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Abstract

Two different sociopolitical projects of nation formation seem to be in praxis in Kurdistan simultaneously: The Kurdistan Region of Iraq aspires to be an independent nation-state, while the movement led by the Kurdistan Workers' Party advocates a democratic confederal project. How did this bifurcation arise? By putting Abdullah ocalan's interpretation of nationalism and capitalist modernity in dialogue with existing theories of nationalism, I argue that this bifurcation resulted from a difference in scaling the root causes of the Kurdish question: The former project imagines emancipation through state formation within capitalist modernity, while the latter problematises capitalist modernity itself. The modular and hegemonic expansion of nationalism and the nation-state along with capitalist modernity has been countered in Mesopotamia by politico-social multiplicity. This has given rise to the particular structural dynamics that underlie a "recurring failure" in state formation. The bifurcation in question here has emerged interactively against this background.