The Kurds and Middle Eastern “State of Violence”: the 1980s and 2010s
École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), Paris
Though a macro-level analysis this article examines the evolution of the Kurdish issue since the occupation of Iraq in 2003 and the Syrian crisis in 2011, underlining the necessity of a comparison between the current period and past situations, namely that of the 1980s. Kurdish actors participated from a rather weak position in the Middle-East wide conflicts during the 1980s; alliances with regional states that gave access to political and military resources ensured their durability, but a high price was paid for their transformation into subordinated players of a broader “state of violence”. Since 2011, the trans-border Kurdish space finds itself once again in the heart of a “system of transaction” based on violence, but Kurdish organisations face the new region-wide conflicts in a position of empowerment in Iraq, Syria and Turkey.