June 22, 2024

Nabil Al-Tikriti Co-Publishes Chapter with UMW Alumna on Syrian Kurdish History

On Nov. 16, 2015, London’s Gingko Library released its first publication, a scholarly volume edited by T.G. Fraser and titled The First World War and its Aftermath: The Making of the Modern Middle East. 2014 UMW graduate Laila McQuade and Prof. Nabil Al-Tikriti co-authored the 15th chapter of this volume, titled “The Limits of Soft Power: Why Kurdish Nationalism Failed in the French Mandate of Syria.” This chapter was based on an independent study that McQuade completed under the supervision of Prof. Al-Tikriti in the spring of 2014. Ms. McQuade collected the chapter’s primary sources in the course of a research visit she conducted to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs archives in Nante, France, supported by the Office of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

The abstract for the chapter is as follows: “By 1936, the borders of Syria were set by the Franco-Syrian Treaty. Under the treaty, mandatory Syria remained unified, with the exception of Lebanon, and with no provision for Kurdish autonomy. While some have argued that this resulted from the lack of a viable Kurdish independence movement or unity among the Kurds, the Kurds in Syria appear to have had a structured and cohesive nationalist movement. Rather, Kurdish nationalists failed to achieve their primary goal due to their friendly relations with the French and the consequences of that relationship in light of France’s shifting priorities in the 1920s and 1930s. As their relationship with France was based on a marriage of interests rather than affinity or ideals, when their interests were no longer aligned, the Kurdish nationalists were ill-equipped to promote their goals through the soft power they had accrued, and lacked the hard power they desperately needed to forcibly achieve them.”

Access to this chapter is available on this link: https://www.academia.edu/20024351/The_Limits_of_Soft_Power_Why_Kurdish_Nationalism_Failed_in_the_French_Mandate_of_Syria