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Activists in Office Kurdish Politics and Protest in Turkey by Nicole F. Watts

Activists in Office Kurdish Politics and Protest in Turkey


Activists in Office Kurdish Politics and Protest in Turkey by Nicole F. Watts

Thousands of Kurdish politician-activists have been prosecuted and imprisoned, and hundreds have been murdered for espousing Kurdish political and cultural rights over the past twenty years. The risks are high, yet Pro-Kurdish political parties have made significant gains, as resources afforded by the political system have allowed them to challenge state rhetoric and policies to exercise power at the municipal level, which has helped legitimize and advance the pro-Kurdish movement. Activists in Office examines how these parties, while sharing many of the goals expressed by armed Kurdish groups, are using the legal political system to promote their highly contentious Kurdish national agenda in the face of a violent, repressive state. Nicole F. Watts sheds light not only on the particular situation of Kurds in Turkey, but also on the challenges, risks, and potential benefits for comparable movements operating in less-than-fully democratic contexts. The book is a result of more than ten years of research conducted in Turkey and in Europe, and it draws on a wide array of sources, including Turkish electoral data, memoirs, court records, and interviews.


book is embedded in a solid theoretical paradigm that shed light on the four major Kurdish nationalist movements in Iraq, Syria, Iran, and Turkey since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. Summing up: Highly recommended

. * Choice * Most of the recently published books on the Kurdish problem in Turkey focus on the armed struggle and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Watts, however, offers a much-appreciated alternative approach. -- Michael M. Gunter * Insight Turkey * An original and well-informed book that makes a most welcome contribution to the literature on Kurdish politics in particular and nationalism and democratic politics more generally. . . . an innovative, sharp, and valuable study. -- Michael A. Reynolds * Political Science Quarterly *

About the Author

Nicole F. Watts is associate professor of political science at San Francisco State University.

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Book Info

Publication date

18th November 2010


Nicole F. Watts

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University of Washington Press


208 pages


Political ideologies
Political science & theory



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