Identity, Conflict and Politics in Turkey, Iran and Pakistan

Edited by

Gilles Dorronsoro


Olivier Grojean

Bibliographic Details
Identity, Conflict and Politics in Turkey, Iran and Pakistan Hardback
February 2018£40.00

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Ethnic and religious identity-markers compete with class and gender as principles shaping the organisation and classification of everyday life. But how are an individual’s identity-based conflicts transformed and redefined? Identity is a specific form of social capital, hence contexts where multiple identities obtain necessarily come with a hierarchy, with differences, and hence with a certain degree of hostility. The contributors to this book examine the rapid transformation of identity hierarchies affecting Iran, Pakistan and Turkey, a symptom of political fractures, social-economic transformation, and new regimes of subjectification. They focus on the state’s role in organising access to resources, with its institutions often being the main target of demands, rather than competing social groups. Such contexts enable entrepreneurs of collective action to exploit identity differences, which in turn help them to expand the scale of their mobilisation and to align local and national conflicts. The authors also examine how identity-based violence may be autonomous in certain contexts, and serve to prime collective action and transform the relations between communities.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Identity, Hierarchy, And Mobilization — Gilles Dorronsoro and Olivier Grojean

Part One: The Formation of Identities

  1. “The Narcissism of the Minor Difference” and Religious Violence: The Case of the Alevis and Sunnis of Central Anatolia — Benoît Fliche
  1. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Hierarchy: The Use of Categories in the Kurdish Conflict in Turkey — Clémence Scalbert-Yücel
  1. Ethnic and Regional Ferment in Iran: The Gilan Example — Christian Bromberger

Part Two: The Emergence of Mobilizations

  1. The Management of Identities in and by Turkey’s Political Parties — Elise Massicard
  1. The Transformation of a Conflict in the Diaspora: Muslims and Sikhs and the British State — Christine Moliner
  1. The Origins of the Protest Movement Against Ethnic Hierarchy: The Azerbaijani Cause in Iran — Gilles Riaux
  1. Violence and War in the Middle East in the 1980s — Hamit Bozarslan

Part Three: Transitions to Violence

  1. Self-Radicalisation of a Young Indian Jihadist in Great Britain: The Quest for Ethics and Long-Distance Suffering — Aminah Mohammad-Arif
  1. Conflicting Emotions: The 2006 Anti-“Danish Cartoons” Riot in Lahore (Pakistan) — Amélie Blom
  1. Quetta City and the Baloch Guerrilla: Issues at Stake in Politically Motivated Urban Violence — Luc Bellon
  1. From Student Strife to Campus Warfare: The Escalation of Political Violence at Karachi University, 1979-1991 — Laurent Gayer
  1. The Instrumentalization of Ethnic Conflict by the State: The Azeri-Kurdish Conflict in Iran — Chirine Mohséni




Gilles Dorronsoro, a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment, Washington, D.C., is an expert on Afghanistan, Turkey, and South Asia and the author of Revolution Unending: Afghanistan, 1979 to the Present (Hurst, 2005).

Olivier Grojean is a political sociologist who teaches at CERIC-CNRS, Aix-en-Provence.

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