Democratic autonomy: a peaceful resolution for Turkey?
Mendoza Vasquez, Melisa (2015) Democratic autonomy: a peaceful resolution for Turkey? [Thesis]
Territorial self-governance is an effective conflict resolution tool commonly used in countries where ethnic groups make self-determination demands. The success of territorial self-governance in resolving conflicts, however, largely relies on the way its institutional design is arranged. Power sharing mechanisms, at this point, emerge as central for the success of the design. In the light of these theoretical considerations, this thesis examines in detail the institutional design of Democratic Autonomy -the selfgovernance model proposed by the Kurdish movement in Turkey for the resolution of the Kurdish conflict- and aims to evaluate the extent to which the model can contribute to the resolution at issue. In order to conduct the analysis, Democratic Autonomy model is situated in an analytical framework which can manifest an effective tailor-made institutional design for a territorial self-governance arrangement with essential power sharing mechanisms. In-depth interviews conducted with prominent Kurdish actors and first hand documents obtained from the mainstream Kurdish organizations make up the data utilized for the study. In accordance with the analysis carried out, the thesis argues that Democratic Autonomy is a valuable project for an alternative governance for Turkey. Yet, for the time being, it appears unable to offer a genuine contribution to the resolution of the Kurdish conflict, as its institutional design has serious inadequacies and ambiguities, thus making it unable to manifest an effective governance model. Failing to put forth a strong substantiated design, it appears to remain more rhetorical than concrete.
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