Date of Submission

Winter 12-18-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in International Conflict Management (Ph.D. INCM)

Committee Chair/First Advisor

Darina Lepadatu, Charity Butcher

Committee Member

Maia Hallward

Committee Member

Idean Salehyan


Previous research examines impact of ethnic ties between host states and diaspora and why states and ethnic minorities in the diaspora may occasionally support violent rebel organizations in the homeland. However, these previous studies do not really consider the relationships among co-ethnic organizations without a homeland government. This dissertation tackles the following important questions: How and when do co-ethnicKurdish organizations provide open support for each other during conflict-peace cycle events? Moreover, do external threats impact the relationship among co-ethnic organizations? The aim of this research is to identify the causal factors that influence the transnational networks between Kurdish organizations. I use a longitudinal research design from 2004 to 2017. A total of 387 articles out of thousands were collected from regional and international news archives. I evaluated this research by the thematic content analysis of statements and actions taken by various actors. Research findings reveal that political rationality and external threats seem to be stronger predictors of political behavior than ethnic ties in the Kurdish case. This study helps scholars and policy makers to evaluate the impact of transnational networks between co-ethnic Kurdish organizations in cases of civil war, which may play a crucial role in the escalation and de-escalation of internationalconflicts. In addition, this research helps to understand the role of co-ethnic organizations in building sustainable peace in areas of conflict.

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