cover image: Secession and Conflict: Iraqi Kurdistan in Comparative Perspective



Secession and Conflict: Iraqi Kurdistan in Comparative Perspective

15 Feb 2023

The overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003 in Iraq opened the door for Kurdish nationalists to move toward outright independence. Despite the recent visibility of the Kurds in the international media, little is known about their political aspirations as citizens of an autonomous region.In Secession and Conflict Zheger Hassan employs a comparative analysis to explore why Iraqi Kurdistan, despite being better positioned institutionally and economically than the similar cases of South Sudan and Kosovo, has not declared independence. In rebuilding Iraq and fighting against the Islamic State, the Kurds have cultivated important political alliances with the US and Europe, which have garnered them international economic, military, and political support. Though now well-positioned to function as an independent state, Iraqi Kurdistan has vacillated in seizing this golden opportunity to declare independence. The apparent Kurdish willingness to forgo independence runs counter to the prevailing narratives about the Kurds in the Middle East. Hassan draws not only on the history of the Kurds but also on first-hand interviews with high-ranking officials, journalists, and nationalists to provide a new window into the calculations of Kurdish leaders as they navigate the complicated politics of Iraq. Secession and Conflict offers a new model for understanding the Kurdish question in Iraq.
iraq middle east history


Hassan, Zheger

McGill-Queen's University Press
Published in
Montreal, QC

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