The Kurdish Liberation Movement in Iraq: From Insurgency to Statehood, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Kurdish Liberation Movement in Iraq

From Insurgency to Statehood, 1st Edition

By Yaniv Voller


176 pages

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Hardback: 9780415707244
pub: 2014-09-09
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Investigating the transformation of the Kurdish liberation movement in Iraq this book explores its development from an armed guerrilla movement, engaged in a war for liberation with the government in Baghdad, into the government of a de facto Kurdish state known as the Kurdistan Regional Government.

The book seeks to better explain the nature and evolution of the Kurdish liberation struggle in Iraq, which has had important implications over regional geopolitics. Despite attracting growing international attention, the struggle remains understudied. By applying the theoretical framework of de facto statehood to the post-1991 Kurdish liberation movement, the book offers a new approach to understanding the struggle, with a thorough empirical investigation informed by International Relations theory.

Identifying international legitimacy, interaction and identity as significant themes in the politics of de facto states and important variables shaping the evolution and policies of these actors, at both the domestic and international levels, this book will be of interest to students and researchers of International Relations, Middle East Politics and Political Science.


I read the book entitled "The Kurdish Liberation Movement in Iraq: From Insurgency to Statehood" while I was writing a chapter on the Kurds of Iraq for the Encyclopedia of Modern Ethnic Conflicts in December 2014. What grabbed my attention was the books research design. It would not be wrong to argue that the vast majority of academic works on the Iraq Kurds include either chronological or policy-oriented research, however, Yaniv Voller's book covers much more than a historical background and policy implications. - Burak Bilgehan ÖZPECK, Department of International Relations. (2014)

Voller embeds his study in the international relations theory of constructivism, which advocates the study of how states themselves understand their own interests and to not assume their interests as suggested by mainstream realist IR theory. Readers may also want to consult Robert Olson's 'The Goat and the Butcher'. - R. W. Olson, University of Kentucky

Whether the krg’s increased legitimacy and economic autonomy will lead to independence will be determined in the near future. By highlighting the significant steps Kurdistan Region has taken toward statehood in the past twenty-five years of its existence, this book provides an insightful examination of this significant political question. - Cengiz Gunes, Bustan: The Middle East Book Review

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 2 Understanding De Facto States 3 The Rise of the Kurdish Liberation Movement in Iraq 4 From a Minority to a De Facto State 5 The Second Decade of Autonomy 6 State-building in the KRG 7 Conclusion

About the Author

Yaniv Voller is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Politics and International Relations Department at the University of Edinburgh. He has conducted and published studies on various aspects of the international politics of the Middle East, including secession, political reforms and gendered-violence.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern Politics

This series is concerned with recent political developments in the region. It will have a range of different approaches and include both single authored monographs and edited volumes covering issues such as international relations, foreign intervention, security, political Islam, democracy, ideology and public policy.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies