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Since the early twentieth-century, Kurds have challenged the borders and national identities of the states they inhabit. Nowhere is this more evident than in their promotion of the 'Map of Greater Kurdistan', an ideal of a unified Kurdish homeland in an ethnically and geographically complex region. This powerful image is embedded in the consciousness of the Kurdish people, both within the region and, perhaps even more strongly, in the diaspora. Addressing the lack of rigorous research and analysis of Kurdish politics from an international perspective, Zeynep Kaya focuses on self-determination, territorial identity and international norms to suggest how these imaginations of homelands have been socially, politically and historically constructed (much like the state territories the Kurds inhabit), as opposed to their perception of being natural, perennial or intrinsic. Adopting a non-political approach to notions of nationhood and territoriality, Mapping Kurdistan is a systematic examination of the international processes that have enabled a wide range of actors to imagine and create the cartographic image of greater Kurdistan that is in use today.Read more
- Tells the story of the map of Kurdistan, and how its historical construction informs the Kurdish sense of territory, identity and homeland
- Takes a non-political approach to notions of nationhood and territoriality for a systematic and historically engaged study of Kurdish politics and Kurdish engagement with the international community
- Of importance to those interested in the renewed media focus on the Kurds, plus scholars and students of international relations, nationalism and Middle Eastern studies
Reviews & endorsements
'This excellent study invites us to revisit the history of Kurdish nationalism through maps and map-making. Tracing the role of cartography as an aspect of power relations, and of territory as part of the modern construction of a nation, this pioneering book offers fresh insights into our understanding of ‘Kurdishness’ and of nationalism more broadly.' Katerina Delacoura, London School of EconomicsSee more reviews
'An important contribution to studies of relationships between nationalist constructs and aspirations, territory and sovereignty, and collective identity in imperial lands and postcolonial states. A significant study of cartographic 'Kurdistan,' it picks up where Maria O'Shea's (2004) left off.' Diane E. King, University of Kentucky
'Zeynep Kaya offers readers a critical examination of the construction and imagination of Kurdistan via its cartographic representations, along with some of the resultant political, cultural and social effects of this construction. This fine work represents academia at its best, avoiding partisan polemics and instead methodically re-examining much of what we take for granted on the issue.' David Romano, Thomas G. Strong Chair in Middle East Politics, Missouri State University
‘… Mapping Kurdistan shows the map of greater Kurdistan as a lasting and powerful symbol that can be adapted to whatever political or ideological framework is needed.’ Luke Frostick, duvaR.english
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- Date Published: June 2022
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781108465397
- length: 242 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm
- weight: 0.333kg
- contains: 7 maps
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
List of Figures
Note on text
List of abbreviations
1. Kurdish territoriality under Ottoman rule
2. Orientalist views of national identity and colonial maps of Kurdistan
3. Wilsonian self-determination: the rise and fall of hopes for Kurdistan
4. Kurdish nationalism during decolonisation and the Cold War
5. Kurds and the international society after the Cold War
6. Kurdish diaspora: Kurdistan map goes global
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