My research primarily examines social and political life in Iraqi and Syrian Kurdistan. I am particularly interested in how one can understand sovereignty in these contexts, as they have only partial and tenuous relations to their nominally encompassing states, and often operate quite autonomously with regards to social organization, economic development, and military command. I am currently working on these questions through a 3-year research project I started in 2022, called "Emic Sovereignties." The research project is funded by the Research Council of Norway, and is based at the University of Bergen's Institute for Social Anthropology and the University of Oxford's Centre for Global History.
My research interests include ritual, political violence, cosmology, martyrdom, loyalty, patronage, and forms of tribalism. Prior to receiving this grant, I worked on related topics in the ERC-project "PREVEX", as a post-doctoral fellow at the Centre for Global Criminology at the University of Copenhagen. I received my PhD in late 2019 from the University of Bergen where I examined the impact of martyrdom on the Kurdish movement's ideology and practice, through the ERC-project "Egalitarianism: Forms, Processes, Comparisons" led by Prof. Bruce Kapferer. One of my articles on this topic can be found here: Rudi, A. (2018). The PKK's Newroz: Death and Moving Towards Freedom for Kurdistan. Zanj: The Journal of Critical Global South Studies, 2(1), 92-114.
Methodologically, I primarily base my research on ethnographic work. Since 2015, I have conducted extensive fieldwork in Iraqi Kurdistan, Northeastern Syria, Southeastern Turkey (Turkish Kurdistan), and Germany. Navigating fieldwork is also the topic of my latest publication: Rudi, A. (2022). Learning danger: Cultural difference and the limits of trust in dangerous fieldworks. Qualitative Research, 14687941221096607.