Kavak, Seref (2017) Transnational community politics in the diaspora: agenda and agency building experiences of the Kurds from Turkey in the UK. Doctoral thesis, Keele University.

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Abstract

This thesis draws a picture of Kurdish diaspora politics, focusing on the community in London. Political activities carried out by the Kurds are contextualised within the framework of diasporas as transnational non-state actors, through their strong physical and psycho-social ties to their homeland, while they live in their ‘hostland.’ This work is in pursuit of understanding the attempts and strategies of the Kurds from Turkey in the UK to advance their interests as an ethno-national diaspora, and the extent to which these strategies and mechanisms provide the diaspora Kurds with necessary means to survive as a
politically active group.

The security concerns of the Kurdish activists have productive and destructive results for the Kurdish diaspora. The main negative outcome is the deepening of the already existing fear of politics that has been prevalent in Turkish society, including the Kurds, seemingly the most politicised segment of society since the 1980 military coup. The pressure of order-building through legal political activity and civic engagement pushed the Kurds into the pursuit of rights in various aspects of life that were conventionally seen as part of low politics; issues of secondary importance vis-a-vis national liberation, including gender equality, ecologism, social welfare, education, socialisation and cultural development, rather than issues of high politics, such as the PKK’s status, disarmament, political recognition, or autonomy.

Local politics of the UK are perceived as positive, while its higher level policies and foreign policy are seen as mostly negative and "not Kurds-friendly". The diaspora Kurds emphasise negative dimensions of British state in relation to world politics and international relations. I argue that as a response to this negativity, the British Kurds pursue a survival strategy to beat “structure” with their "creative proactive agency" in the diasporan sphere, especially in local politics to which they attach more value and hope.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Politics, Philosophy, International Relations and Environment
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2018 11:39
Last Modified: 16 Jan 2018 11:39
URI: http://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/4367

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