A new kind of society is being built in Syria, but it's not one you would expect. Surrounded by deadly bands of ISIS and hostile Turkish forces, the people living in Syria's Rojava cantons are carving out one of the most radically progressive societies on the planet today. Western visitors have been astounded by the success of their project, a communally organised democracy which considers women's equality indispensable and rejects reactionary nationalist ideology whilst being fiercely anti-capitalist.
The people of Rojava call their new system democratic confederalism. An implementation of the recent ideology of the imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan, it boasts gender quotas of 40 percent, bottom-up democratic structures, deep-reaching ecological policies and a militancy which is keeping ISIS from the gates.
Revolution in Rojava is the first full-length study of this ongoing social and political transformation in Syrian Kurdistan. It is the first authentic insight into the complex dimensions of the revolution. Its authors use their own experiences of working and fighting in the region to construct a picture of hope for Middle-Eastern politics and society, and reveal an extraordinary story of a battle against the odds.
Michael Knapp is a historian of radical democracy, Cofounder of the Campaign Tatort Kurdistan and member of NavDem Berlin. His research focuses on the Kurdish issue and the construction of alternatives to capitalist modernity. His research has taken him to the Middle East, where he has studied the Kurdish Liberation Struggle and the PKK. Anja Flach is an enthnologist and member of the Rojbin women's council in Hamburg. She spent two years in the Kurdish women's guerrilla army and has previously published books about her experiences. Ercan Ayboga is an environmental engineer and activist. Formerly living and co-founding the Tatort Kurdistan Campaign in Germany, now he lives in North Kurdistan and is politically involved in the Mesopotamian Ecology Movement, particularly in water struggles.
Translator's Note Foreword by David Graeber Introduction Prologue 1. Background 2. Rojava's Diverse Cultures 3. Democratic Confederalism 4. The Liberation 5. A Women's Revolution 6. Democratic Autonomy in Rojava 7. Civil Society Associations 8. The Theory of the Rose: Defense 9 The New Justice System 10. Democratisation of Education 11. Health Care 12. The Social Economy 13. Ecological Challenges 14. Power Struggles 15. Prospects Glossary Notes Index