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Understanding Kurdish ethno-nationalism

In this view, urbanization, as well as the virtual absence of a meaningful economic base for this traditionally nomadic shepherd people, argues that as a practical matter the notion of Kurdistan is only a remote possibility.

Entessar does not accept this view. His view is that the disappearance of the Kurdish consciousness is not necessarily the outcome of Kurdish encounter with the forces of modernization. In other words, ethnic consciousness is more powerful a force than industrialization, education, and other attributes of modernizing world. This suggests that the conception of Kurdistan remains a viable possibility, an idealistic goal kept alive for ethnonational reasons and attainable owing to the power of the collective efforts of the Kurds, on one hand against the respective governments controlling border regions occupied by the Kurds, and on the other hand in pursuit of a nationalistic goal.

This consciousness, says Entessar, has exercised influence on the political environments of Turkey, Iran, and Iraq. That is, government policies in each nation-state have had to take account of significant and missional Kurdish minority presence. In the wake of the Gulf War of 1991, for example, Turkey made concessions to governance autonomy and publicly sided with Allied criticisms of Iraqi programs of chemical-warfare genocide against the Kurds. Iran, for its part, appears to have been obliged to assess and reassess its own alliances with Kurdish factions, coming out both for and against the same faction (Kurdistan Democratic Party or KDP) as the balance of power shifted toward and away from a tribalist instead of Soviet-style emphasis. The point is that Kurdish nationalism was a force that the established governments had to reckon with, especially after the establishment of a provisional Kurdistan government in the wake of the 1991 war.

The background of Entessar is academic (professor at Spring Hill College, in Mobile, Alabama)...

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Understanding Kurdish ethno-nationalism. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 15:22, November 28, 2014, from http://www.collegetermpapers.com/viewpaper/1304072109.html
 
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