Thriving in the context of political vacuums created by state weakness, the armed non-state actors in the Middle East, such as Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Kurds increasingly demonstrate features of both state and non-state actors and act autonomously in their foreign policy. Rethinking State-Non-State Alliances: Change and Continuity in the U.S.-Kurdish Relationship investigates the growing influence of Middle Eastern non-state actors as agents of foreign policy through an analysis of the U.S.-Kurdish relationship. Ozum Yesiltas analyzes the underlying causes of increased U.S.-Kurdish cooperation since the early 1990s and addresses the extent to which existing approaches in international relations are adequate in explaining the changing political landscape in the Middle East that brought the U.S. and Kurds together in new ways. Yesiltas draws attention to the ways in which U.S-Kurdish interactions contributed to the escalation of Kurdish nationalism as a transnational phenomenon, and how the growing saliency of Kurdish transnational politics reshapes U.S. foreign policy and broader regional order.
Ozum Yesiltas is associate professor of political science at Texas A&M University Commerce.
Chapter 1: Weak States and Strong Non-States: An Analytical Framework for Understanding Armed Non-State Actors in the Middle East
Chapter 2: The Kurds and the U.S. during the Cold War: A Proxy Relationship
Chapter 3: The Kurds and the U.S. in the Post-Cold War Era: Towards a Strategic Partnership
Chapter 4: The Kurds and the U.S. in the Twenty-First Century: A U.S-Kurdish Alliance?
Conclusion: Change and Continuity in the U.S.-Kurdish Relationship
A well-written, accessible account of a critical and yet underexplored topic. A must-read for anyone with interest in the complexities of the Kurdish-American relationship.
Yesiltas approaches Kurdish-US ties from a refreshing perspective. As she convincingly argues, analysts have too often missed half of the story by studying these ties only from Washington’s viewpoint. The facts are more complex…. Rethinking State-Non-State Alliances presents a very necessary discussion on the importance of studying the foreign policy of non-state actors followed by an insight-filled and well-researched study of Kurdish-US ties from the viewpoint of the former.