Kurdistan in Iraq: The Evolution of a Quasi-State, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Kurdistan in Iraq

The Evolution of a Quasi-State, 1st Edition

By Aram Rafaat


248 pages

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Hardback: 9780815393337
pub: 2018-05-10
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The Kurdish-Iraqi conflict lies in the fact that Kurdistan is a nation-without-a-state and Iraq is a non-nation state, each possessing a nationhood project differing from and opposing the other. Iraqi-Kurdistan is an outward looking entity seeking external patronage. Though external patronage has played a pivotal role in the evolution of the Kurdish quasi-state, a lack of positive patronage has prevented it from achieving independence.

This book looks at how the Kurdish and Iraqi quests for nationhood have led to the transformation of Iraqi Kurdistan into an unrecognised quasi-state, and the devolution of the Iraqi state into a recognised quasi-state. This is done by examining the protracted Iraqi-Kurdish conflict and by analysing the contradictions and incompatibilities between the two different nationalisms: Iraqi and Kurdish. The author explains that Kurds as a nation without a state have their own nationhood project which is in opposition to the Iraqi nationhood project. Each has its own identity, loyalty and sovereignty. The book answers the question as to how the Kurdish quest for nationhood has been treated by successive Iraqi regimes. Furthermore, it fills in the literary gaps which exist in relation to the Iraqi-Kurdish conflict by specifying and categorising the cardinal conditions that drive ethnic and nationalist conflicts which lead to the creation of separatist entities.

Drawing upon a vast amount of untapped Kurdish and Arabic primary sources, the book draws on prominent theories on nation-states and quasi-states. It will particularly appeal to students and scholars of international relations, political theory and Middle Eastern Studies.

Table of Contents


1. Recognised and Unrecognised Quasi-States

2. The Context of Two Quasi-States in Iraq

3. The Two Contradictory Nationhood Projects in Iraq

4. The Monarchy-Kurds Relations

5. The First Unrecognised Kurdish Quasi-State (1961-1975)

6. The Case of Negative Patronage

7. The Rise and Fall of Kurdish Insurgency (1976-1988)

8. Iraq’s Failure to Govern Kurdistan (1975-1991)

9. The Second Unrecognised Kurdish Quasi-state (1992-2003)

10. The Third Unrecognised Kurdish Quasi-State (Ukq-III) After the 2003 Invasion

11. Oil for External Patronage and Financial Independence

12. Independence Referendum and the Case of Negative Patronage

About the Author

Aram Rafaat, PhD, is a freelance researcher and educator. He has published widely in English and Kurdish and is the author of two books, The Kurds in Post-Invasion Iraq and The Shiite’s Position on Kirkuk and Federalism and a number of journal articles.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern Democratization and Government

This series examines new ways of understanding democratization and government in the Middle East. The varied and uneven processes of change, occurring in the Middle Eastern region, can no longer be read and interpreted solely through the prism of Euro-American transitology. Seeking to frame critical parameters in light of these new horizons, this series instigates reinterpretations of democracy and propagates formerly ‘subaltern,’ narratives of democratization. Reinvigorating discussion on how Arab and Middle Eastern peoples and societies seek good government, Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern Democratization and Government provides tests and contests of old and new assumptions.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / World / Middle Eastern
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies