Security at the Public-Private Divide: Women, Development, and the Everyday Geographies of the Kurdish Question in Turkey
AuthorClark, Jessie Hanna
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation asks how practices of security and development intersect in the operation of political power in conflict and post-conflict zones. Recent investment in gendered development as a mechanism of conflict mitigation mark a historic shift in the security imperatives of Turkish policy towards the predominantly Kurdish Southeast. The visible growth in gendered education and welfare programs in post-conflict urban Southeast Turkey indicate that women are taking center stage in the social, economic, and cultural struggles underpinning the Kurdish Question. In other words, national security strategy and local political struggles for cultural legitimacy are increasingly tied to the intimate management of family, education, and livelihood decisions of Kurdish women. This substantive shift in policy and its deployment in practice necessitate a nuanced approach to the study and understanding of the Kurdish Question. This dissertation explores the complexity of state-society power relations that are unfolding in the day-to-day lives of impacted migrant neighborhoods in Diyarbakir, Turkey. Through the conversations and practices of development actors (administrators, teachers, doctors) and participants (migrant women), political narratives of national belonging (Turkish and Kurdish) are upheld and challenged against the differential distribution and access to resources, commitments to family and culture, and disturbing trends of domestic violence. To this end, the dissertation highlights persistent discrepancies between the security goals of the state and nation and the day-to-day security concerns of women and their families.
Degree ProgramGraduate College