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Making of Transnational Selves: A Transdisciplinary Approach to Kurdish Diaspora and Non-State Political Agencies

Unité : REPI Recherche et Études en Politique Internationale | ULB704

Description :

This book project is based on my unpublished doctoral thesis entitled "Transnational Community Politics in the Diaspora: Agenda and Agency Building
Experiences of the Kurds from Turkey in the UK" (Keele University, UK, 2017). It attempts to draw a portrait of the Kurdish diaspora politics with
particular focus on the community level in London. In so doing, political activities of the Kurds from Turkey are contextualized within the framework of
diasporas as non-state actors in transnational politics, hence going beyond their strong physical and psycho-social ties to their homeland thanks to the
opportunities created in the transnational sphere. On the other hand, the limits of being a stateless diaspora emerges as a major obstacle experienced by the Kurds
which sheds light on several problems faced by multiple non-state actors in world politics. The case of the Kurdish diaspora as a stateless non-state actor
in contrast with state-led diasporas and states themselves, provides us with the golden epistemological opportunity of building up an “anthropology of
international relations” to better understand world politics by closely looking at the interaction of micro actors on the ground (like diasporas) with
macro actors like the states and international organisations among others. This allows for an original path of understanding not only how principal actors of
world politics are perceived by smaller actors including diasporas, communities and individuals but also demonstrates the ways the former is influenced by
the latter and vice versa. First, the book provides remarkable insights into everyday life and political activism of the Kurdish diaspora individuals and
patterns of politicization through community centres in the UK. As a political science and international relations research employing sociological and
anthropological techniques and tools, it has a great transdisciplinary strength through its methodological choices. My research is based on a 15-month-data
collection period between June 2012 and September 2013, and it has a qualitative approach. It comprises 20 in-depth interviews, casual participant observation,
field notes and photos, as well as official and unofficial social media accounts, publications and websites linked to Kurdish diaspora
associations/community centres among others. Therefore, I offer a "politics in the vernacular" approach to the study of nations and ethnic groups in the
transnational sphere.      
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