Iraqi Kurdistan: Political Development and Emergent Democracy, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Iraqi Kurdistan

Political Development and Emergent Democracy, 1st Edition

By Gareth R. V. Stansfield


280 pages

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The Iraqi Kurds have enjoyed de facto statehood in the north of Iraq for over a decade but Intra-Kurdish fighting, military incursions by Turkey and Iran and the constant threat posed by Saddam Hussein have plagued this 'democratic experiment'.

In this book, Stansfield explores the development of the Kurdish political system since 1991. He examines the difficult and often violent relations between the two dominant powers, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), and their relationship with the Kurdish Regional Government in order to understand the current state of Iraqi Kurdish politics and the operation of the state.

This topical in-depth study identifies the main dynamics of Iraqi Kurdish politics, analyzes the record and potential of the 'Kurdish democratic experiment', and identifies the present and future Kurdish leaders.


'This in-depth study of political development in Iraqi Kurdistan is unique. There is no other work which provides a similar understanding of how the Kurdish political scene emerged, and especially how it has operated in the years of instability since 1991. It should be required reading for anyone interested in contemporary Iraq.' - Tim Niblock, Director of the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter

'This is a realistic and lucid account of the unusual situation of the Kurds of Iraq during the past decade or so. It sets their parties and politics in a properly balanced and authoritative account of their recent history. More than that, it also contains valuable insights into possible future developments in this key strategic region of Iraq.' - Charles Tripp, Reader in the Department of Political Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Theory and Methodology 3. Contextual Analysis 4. The Development of the Party Political System 5. The Organizational Structure and Decision-Making Processes of the Kurdish Democratic Party and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan 6. The Organizational Structure of the Kurdistan Regional Government(s) 7. The Kurdistan Regional Government, 1992-2002 8. Conclusion

About the Author

Gareth R. V. Stansfield is Research Fellow of Political Development at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter. He has spent three years in Iraqi Kurdistan working alongside the Kurdistan Regional Government, the KDP and the PUK.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Middle East and Islamic Studies

This series includes the latest research on a broad range of topics from the social sciences and humanities. It aims to provide a comprehensive forum for cutting edge monographs and edited volumes on this vital region and religion.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Middle East / General
HISTORY / Reference
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies