To be for fighting & To fight for being (How identity and the sense of belonging can influence the performance of the Syrian Kurds’ military groups)

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Post-graduate student, Kazan Federal University
Affiliation: Kazan Federal University
Address: Russian Federation,
Journal nameAsia and Africa Today
EditionIssue 3

The purpose of this article is to examine how the concept of identity and the sense of belonging can shape the performance and increase the capacity of a military group. At first the text outlines the theoretical framework of what is the sense of belonging and how this is strictly connected with the notion of identity by looking at previous literature. Afterward the paper defines how these factors can cause and bring to a different military capacity, when it is formed by representatives of a single ethnic group.

The relevance of this work is the possibility of having a clearer understanding of military efficiency by combining theories of two sciences: political science and anthropology. Previous works didn’t give a complete vision and understanding of it because they were not combining the theories of these two disciplines, leaving a not clear result in their research. Furthermore, for proving the theoretical framework developed in the text, a case study is chosen: the Syrian Kurds, specifically two groups, Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat (YPD) and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Using a qualitative research method, the groups are exposed, and it is outlined how the theoretical idea of the paper functions when looking at physical examples. The combination of primary sources and interviews with UN staff operating in Syria during 2012-2016, allowed a more complete and objective vision of the groups’ capacity and the reality that the Syrian Kurds were living. The choice fell on these exponents because they manifest each of the theoretical points touched in the research (culture, sense of belonging and identity).

KeywordsSyria, Kurds, Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat, Syrian Democratic Forces, sense of belonging, military performance
Publication date24.03.2022
Number of characters21853
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