Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Rojava at 4: examining the experiment in Western Kurdistan

Lowe, Robert (2016) Rojava at 4: examining the experiment in Western Kurdistan. LSE Middle East Centre Workshop Proceedings. Middle East Centre, LSE, London, UK.

Download (823kB) | Preview


In July 2012, Kurds in northern Syria began taking control of territory. This led to the creation of the largely self-governing areas known collectively as Rojava (Western Kurdistan), and a new experiment in local government which has deep significance for Syrian, Kurdish, Middle Eastern and international geopolitics. Four years on from this unprecedented development, the LSE Middle East Centre convened a workshop on 19 July 2016 to examine the progress and nature of the Rojava project. Nine specialists on Kurdish, Syrian and Turkish politics presented short papers and contributed to rich discussions over the day. Colleagues from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development also made valuable contributions. The healthy level of debate was testament to the complexity and nuance of the issues and this report seeks to introduce the key themes which emerged and provide new insights into Rojava. The workshop was split into four sessions. The first sought to understand Rojava through analysis of the Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat (Democratic Union Party, PYD) and its party complex, the new political and social architecture, and the structure and operations of its armed force, the Yekîneyên Parastina Gel (People’s Defence Units, YPG). The second session examined the parties of the other Kurdish faction, the Kurdistan National Council (KNC), Rojava’s relationship to the Syrian regime and its engagement with other Syrian actors. The third session moved north to consider the ambitions held for Rojava by the Partiya Karkerên Kurdistanê (Kurdistan Workers’ Party, PKK), which is the mother party of the PYD, and also Turkish scenarios for dealing with its Rojava problem. The final session explored Rojava’s activities and relationships in the wider international arena. This report provides a distillation of the presentations and discussions.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 The Author
Divisions: Middle East Centre
Subjects: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2016 10:33
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 23:39

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics