Breaking the rifles: conscientious objection to military service in Turkey and in Israel
Durgun, Doğu (2017) Breaking the rifles: conscientious objection to military service in Turkey and in Israel. [Thesis]
This dissertation questions how conscientious objectors become agents of social, political, legal and institutional change in contexts where military, militarism and militarization impede their agencies through a comparative-historical analysis of the objection movements in Turkey and in Israel. Drawing on the acts of citizenship approach, it argues that the objectors become political actors through a process in which they take distance from the hegemonic conceptions of military, citizenship and war; put forth new political subjectivities with new claims and goals; and perform acts of civil disobedience in multiple sites and at multiple scales. Discussing the acts of citizenship approach through the lenses of the feminist intersectionality theories and the comparative-historical methodology, it further claims that the activist citizen is not a monolithic but intersectional subjectivity that comes into being through a reflexive and embodied process which differentiates the political agency and its relation to voice. The multiple, multilayered and intersectional identifications construct the acts of citizenship (and the social movements) through series of bargaining and negotiations that unfold in situated contexts of time and place. Specifically, the dissertation argues that the hegemonic conceptions of military, militarism and militarization affect the objections differently. Whereas they enable the early emergence of the conscientious objection as a reformist act of citizenship and with a higher scope in Israel, they limit the agencies of the objectors in Turkey. That said, the radical acts of objection still emerges, albeit delayed and with a smaller scope, in both countries since the intersectional dialogue between various identifications at the individual and collective level enable alternative conceptions of military, militarism and militarization.
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