The Stateless Kurds of Syria: Ethnic Identity and National I.D.

Tilburg Law Review, Vol. 19, Issue 1-2, pages 171 – 181

11 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2019

See all articles by Thomas McGee

Thomas McGee

Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

Kurds constitute a trans-border population and the world’s largest non-state nation. Conceptually, as well as empirically, they have long challenged the boundaries of the Middle East’s nation-state system. Due to recent developments in Syria, the country’s (stateless) Kurds find themselves at a double historic juncture. Firstly, some non-citizen Kurds have ‘benefitted’ from the exceptional naturalization brought in as a reconciliatory reform by the current regime during the Revolution’s early stages. Secondly, the transformation of state identity, which is presently being negotiated between Islamists, secularists and Arab nationalists etc, not only impacts upon citizen-state relations, but also determines the position of both stateless and citizen Kurds. Drawing on fieldwork conducted with stateless Kurds, both in Syria and displaced in neighbouring countries, this paper argues that not only is access to citizenship being transformed, but so too is the very definition of being a citizen. The paper concludes that enjoyment of citizenship for Kurds of Syria cannot be understood from a quantitative statistical analysis alone.

Keywords: stateless Kurds, Syria, ajnabi, maktum, ajanib, maktumeen, identity

JEL Classification: J11, J12, J15, J16

Suggested Citation

McGee, Thomas, The Stateless Kurds of Syria: Ethnic Identity and National I.D. (2014). Tilburg Law Review, Vol. 19, Issue 1-2, pages 171 – 181, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3492420

Thomas McGee (Contact Author)

Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness ( email )

Melbourne Law School
University of Melbourne
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://https://law.unimelb.edu.au/students/grd/students/thomas-mcgee

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