Contesting Kurdish Identities in Sweden: Quest for Belonging among Middle Eastern Youth
Summary, in English
Contesting Kurdish Identities in Sweden explores how young Kurdish immigrants living in Sweden experience and articulate their ideas about citizenship rights, belonging, and statehood as they are shuttled between different citizenship regimes and exclusive structures of belonging. Unlike immigrants who come to Sweden from countries where their groups are dominant, Kurds who immigrate to Sweden re-occupy a minoritized position; they do so not merely under the marginalized label of "Kurd," common in the Middle East, but under other, overlapping identity categories that are equally negative and loaded. Examining how national and ethnic conflicts in the Middle East continue to impinge on Kurdish youths' identities in Sweden, Barzoo Eliassi highlights the gulf between a rhetoric of equality and the lived experience of cultural, political, and economic subordination. He argues that, despite important theoretical deliberations about cosmopolitanism and post-nationalism, the international nation-state system has created a global apartheid that divides the world into nations with states and nations without, where the latter continue to be treated as anomalous and politically, legally, and socially superfluous.