On Democratic Autonomy

BOOK: Democratic Autonomy in North Kurdistan: The Council Movement, Gender Liberation, and Ecology by TATORT Kurdistan and Janet Biehl (New Compass, 2013)

TAORT Kurdistan also wrote this article, Democratic Autonomy in Rojava, following a 2-month visit to Rojava.

Janet Biehl, Bookchin, Ocalan and the Dialectics of Democracy (Paper given at the conference Challenging Capitalist Modernity–Alternative Concepts and the Kurdish Quest, which took place 3–5 February 2012 in Hamburg University.

Alexander Kolokotronis delves into the theoretical underpinnings of Democratic Autonomy, in The No State Solution: Institutionalizing Libertarian Socialism in Kurdistan.

This article by Rafael Taylor published in August 2014, The new PKK: unleashing a social revolution in Kurdistan, is a useful exploration of Ocalan’s ideas and the theory and practice of democratic autonomy in Rojava.

Michael Knapp explains how the cooperative and democratic economic model being developed in Rojava offers possible emancipation from both capitalist and feudal systems of exploitation.

A conference was held in Hamburg in April 2015 called Dissecting Capitalist Modernity, which brought together scholars and activists from across the world to unpack contemporary capitalism and discuss alternatives, like the ones presented by Ocalan and the Kurdish movement. Participants included International Initiative’s Havin Gunesser, scholar Dilar Dirik, Prof. David Graeber, PYD co-chair Asya Abdullah, MP Selma Irnak, Dr Radha D’Souza, and prominent Marxist geographer Prof David Harvey. The conference included sessions on democratic autonomy as well as lessons from around the world, such as Mexico and Venezuela. The papers and videos are available on the dedicated conference website.