This essay engages with the political possibilities and limits of the ethico-political horizon of the resistance in Rojava, which has been advanced and put into action under the general name of democratic autonomy. Following the shift of perspective that took place within the Kurdish liberation movement in the 1990s, we interpret democratic autonomy as a new methodology that weds decolonization and national liberation with a strong critique of the state form and patriarchal capitalist modernity. We then discuss autonomy and democracy as distinct yet related moments that articulate together local and universal dimensions, and we consider some ways in which these moments support or challenge one another.

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