student profile: Ms Eda Gunaydin


Thesis work

Thesis title: Different Answers to the Same Question: an applied discourse analysis of domestic and international constructions of Kurdish identity and the 'Kurdish problem'

Supervisors: Charlotte EPSTEIN , Sarah PHILLIPS

Thesis abstract:

This dissertation engages with the question of how differing actors have constituted Kurdish identity since 2013 up until the present moment, a time period during which significant political shifts around Kurdish politics have occurred. It first provides an applied discourse analysis of identity construction by three actors: Western states, Kurdish home states (Turkey, Iraq, and Syria), and Apoist Kurds. In doing so, it draws out how these wildly differing understandings of Kurdish identity are used to legitimate the very different solutions offered to address the 'Kurdish problem' -- for example through assimilation and genocide, offering the group Westphalian statehood, or pursuing the novel concept of democratic confederalism. In providing a post-colonial account of Kurdish identity, the dissertation also uses Kurdish political theorising as an opening in order to deconstruct colonising discourses about the state, religion and secularism, and feminism, which are routinely applied to analyses of the Middle East.

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