KURDS-The Kurdish Spring: Geopolitical Changes and the Kurds

By Özoglu, Hakan | The Middle East Journal, Summer 2014 | Go to article overview

KURDS-The Kurdish Spring: Geopolitical Changes and the Kurds


Özoglu, Hakan, The Middle East Journal


KURDS The Kurdish Spring: Geopolitical Changes and the Kurds, edited by Mo- hammed M.A. Ahmed and Michael Gunter. Costa Mesa, CA: Mazda Publishers, 2013. 344 pages. $40.

This edited book, dedicated appropriate- ly to Robert Olson, one of the pioneers of Kurdish studies in the United States, will be a very useful read for informed general pub- lic and scholars alike. The nonspecialists who want to familiarize themselves with the Kurdish affairs in several different Middle Eastern states, Europe, and beyond will not be disappointed since the contributors do an admirable job in decoding the current very intricate Kurdish movements in the world. The book also contains valuable references for academics who wish to conduct further research on this subject. Another accom- plishment of the book for Kurdish studies is that it blends successfully seasoned schol- ars with younger ones and allows many dif- ferent approaches and rich differences in opinion in noticeable harmony, a task that is rather difficult to accomplish yet significant.

In his introduction, Michael Gunter pres- ents a caveat about the title of the book, that

to speak of a Kurdish Spring may artificially isolate those earlier events from what began shortly after the Arab Spring com- menced in late 2010 and early 2011 [. . .] In addition, the term Kurdish Spring might ignore the contagion or outsider effect on what is occurring. Neverthe- less, Kurdish Spring does sug- gest how these events are sud- den, new demands for change as well stamping them with a fresh, catchy title that in a sense does recognize the influence of such outsider effects as what also oc- curred in the Arab Middle East. Therefore, despite these caveats, Kurdish Spring it will be! (p. 4).

The plausibility of the labeling of the cur- rent developments in the Middle East as "the Kurdish Spring" should in fact be at the back of readers' minds as they read this book. …

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