Topic: State-building by non-state national movements in the Middle East

Thesis timeframe:
Application deadline: 02 Nov 2020


​In the Middle East there are at least three cases of non-state national movements working within the confines of existing states to build new states. In mandate Palestine the Zionist Movement worked both within the borders of the mandate and internationally to build a Jewish state. In 1948 this was crowned with success as the state of Israel was established on the ground and gained international recognition. The Palestinian national movement, which in the 1960s came to be represented by the PLO, worked towards the same goal within the same territory. It has not been successful and the size of the state they aimed for has been reduced in the process of trying to gain international support. In Iraq, Syria and Turkey various branches of a Kurdish nationalist movement have worked to a establish an independent Kurdish state. While no such state has come into being there are various levels of Kurdish autonomy within these states. What explains the variations of success of these national movements? How have they worked within the state-based international and regional playing fields? MA thesis on these issues would contribute to some of the planned research in the RCN funded SIS on the Middle East.