Revolution in Rojava: Democratic Autonomy and Women's Liberation in the Syrian Kurdistan

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by Anja Flach, Ercan Ayboga, and Michael Knapp

Translated by Janet Biehl

Pluto Press

2016, paperback

SKU: 9780745336596


Given the widespread violence and suffering in Syria, it's not unreasonable that outsiders look at the situation as unrelentingly awful. And while the reality of the devastation is undeniable, there is reason for hope in at least one small pocket of the nation: the cantons of Rojava in Syrian Kurdistan, where in the wake of war people are quietly building one of the most progressive societies in the world today.

Revolution in Rojava tells the story of Rojava's groundbreaking experiment in what they call democratic confederalism, a communally organized democracy that is fiercely anti-capitalist and committed to female equality, while rejecting reactionary nationalist ideologies. Rooted in the ideas of imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan, the system is built on effective gender quotas, bottom-up democratic structures, far-sighted ecological policies, and a powerful militancy that has allowed the region to keep ISIS at bay. This first full-length study of democratic developments in Rojava tells an extraordinary and powerfully hopeful story of a little-known battle for true freedom in dark times.

About the Authors:

Michael Knapp is a historian of radical democracy, Ercan Ayboga is an environmental engineer and activist, and Anja Flach is an ethnologist and member of the Rojbin women's council in Hamburg. Janet Biehl is a writer, editor, and translator. She was Murray Bookchin's copyeditor for the last two decades of Bookchin's professional life, and has published several books, including Ecology or Catastrophe: The Life of Murray Bookchin.