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The Kurdish protest movement and the Islamic republic of Iran: the securitisation of Kurdish nationalism

Hassaniyan, Alan and Stansfield, Gareth (2022) The Kurdish protest movement and the Islamic republic of Iran: the securitisation of Kurdish nationalism. MEC Paper Series (62). LSE Middle East Centre, London, UK.

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The Islamic Republic of Iran has proven to be intolerable of any domestic dissent and opposition and the country’s whole population has suffered from the regime’s authoritarian rule. However, people of the peripheral regions of the country have been disproportionally impacted by such authoritarianism. The Iranian government has an inherent fear of a multi-ethnic society and peripheral nationalism, embodied in the movements and activities of the country’s Kurds, Azeris, Arabs, Baluchis and Turkmen. This paper examines the Kurdish-state conflict in Iran, and argues that Kurdish nationalism, due to its demands for democratisation and decentralisation, and its resistance to the Islamic Republic’s value system, has been regarded by the regime and the ruling elite of the Persian majority as a major threat to Iran’s national cohesion and territorial integrity. While Kurdish nationalism has mobilised its forces to protest and resist assimilation and exclusion, the Iranian government’s reaction is motivated by fear and anxiety toward Kurdish independence and secession. Consequently, Kurdish nationalism has been massively securitised, and the Kurds suffer immensely from a wide range of coersive measures aimed at defusing this nationalism.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
J Political Science > JZ International relations
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2022 14:57
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 12:24

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