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Civil Society, Conflicts and the Politicization of Human Rights

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This publicaton explores violence, conflict and peace. It focuses on the non-governmental component in ethno-political conflicts. Civil society actors, or conflict society organizations (CoSOs), are increasingly central in view of the complexity of contemporary ethno-political conflicts CoSOs are key players in ethno-political conflicts. Nevertheless, the precise relationships underpinning the human rights-civil society-conflict nexus have not been fully examined. This volume analyzes the impact of civil society on ethno-political conflicts through their human rights-related activities, and identifies the means to strengthen the complementarity between civil society and international governmental actors in promoting peace. These aims are addressed in case studies on Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cyprus, Turkey's Kurdish question, and Israel-Palestine.

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Human rights, civil society and conflict in Turkey’s Kurdish question

Turkey’s Kurdish question has been strongly shaped by and analysed through the lens of the nature of the Turkish state and the manner in which it has responded to the Kurdish nationalist challenge. Indeed, Turkey’s Kurdish question, rather than representing an ethnic or ethno-political conflict, is more accurately described as a conflict between the Turkish state and the Kurdish nationalist movement, the latter being epitomized above all by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Whereas the specificities of the Turkish state have moulded the particular shape of the Kurdish nationalist challenge, the PKK has tended to validate the securitizing discourse of the state establishment. This notwithstanding, a grossly underresearched area regards the role and impact of civil society actors, both Turkish and Kurdish, in Turkey’s Kurdish question.

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