Lack of international recognition as a state has disastrous consequences on an area already suffering from war and displacement.

Local structures at work

As mutual aid initiatives spring up across many wealthy countries struggling to provide basic goods and services, the AANES may offer an instructive example to those who are looking for viable alternatives to “going back to normal.”

As Meghan Bodette convincingly argues, the AANES’s bottom-up political and economic structures, built according to the principle of decentralized governance, have played an important role in the region’s response to the crisis. Many cooperatives, the pillar of the new economic vision, and local production workshops, have swiftly adapted to meet the demands of the pandemic. As a result, they started producing masks to be distributed to pharmacies, members of local security forces, and—through neighborhood communes, the smallest unit of the new bottom up political system—to the general population. Communes, which are in direct contact with neighborhood residents, have been responsible for registering people in need of aid and distributing basic goods to them on a house-to-house basis. At the same time, the relationship between cooperatives, communes and other institutions of the AANES has enabled an effective coordination of efforts.

Bottom-up political and economic structures, built according to the principle of decentralized governance, have played an important role in the region’s response to the crisis

[Read the rest of this article by Anya Briy on openDemocracy]

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