For many years now, Syria has been devastated by serious clashes and sectarian violence, to which no solution has been found so far. In some areas of Northern Syria, especially in the territory of Rojava, which are composed mostly by Kurds but in reality are multi-ethnic and multi-confessional, autonomous and elective authorities have been established: the Autonomous Democratic Regions of Jazira, Afrin and Kobanî. In 2016, these autonomous entities founded an autonomous federal region, the “Democratic Federal System for Rojava-Northern Syria”.
As established by the 2014 Charter of the Social Contract of Rojava, these autonomous experiences, defined as “democratic confederalism”, are based on democratic values and the respect of cultural diversity and gender differences. Among other principles, the political project of Rojava/Northern Syria lays its foundations on the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms, on democratic participatory processes, on ethnic, religious and cultural/linguistic pluralism, on the principle of equality, on the peaceful coexistence of different components of society and on the separation of Church and State.
This project serves as an opportunity to critically analyse institutional developments in Rojava/Northern Syria. By relying on a comparative approach, the project aims to answer the following crucial questions: what are the main characteristics of the political experiment of democratic confederalism, as developed in Rojava/Northern Syria? What are its strengths and its weaknesses? What are the differences between this experiment and other mechanisms for the accommodation of ethnic conflicts and the management of diversity? Can this experience of democratic confederalism help put an end to clashes and violence in Syria? And, finally, can it fill the institutional gap arisen after the outbreak of the civil war in Syria and provide peace and stability in a multicultural and multi-confessional country, such as Syria or other Middle Eastern States?
- Conference "Democratic Confederalism: Developments and Perspectives of Autonomous Experiences in Rojava/Northern Syria", Eurac Research, Bolzano, April 21st, 2017
Speakers: Dilar Dirik (University of Cambridge), Karl Kössler (Eurac Research); Joseph Marko (Eurac Research, University of Graz); Kamran Matin (University of Sussex, Brighton); Francesco Palermo (Eurac Research); Ghadi Sary (Governance House); Kamal Sido (Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker - Germany); Kariane Westrheim (University of Bergen)
Associazione popoli minacciati – Sudtirolo/Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker – Südtirol
Ufficio d'Informazione del Kurdistan in Italia (UIKI-Onlus)
Andrea Carlà, email@example.com
Mattia Zeba, firstname.lastname@example.org
The conference was funded by the Autonomous Province of Bolzano/Bozen, Presidency and Foreign Relations, Office of Cabinet Affairs, Development Cooperation.