Chatham House: Independent thinking on international affairs

The Kurdish Policy Imperative

This project seeks to shed light on overlooked issues of policy towards the Kurds with the aim of informing and bringing the issue to the forefront of the international debate.  The Kurdish populations of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran are a major strategic issue in Middle East politics in the 21st century. There is a growing sense that this might be a time of change for Kurds, as witnessed in recent developments in Iraq and Turkey, while the Kurdish populations of Iran and Syria remain restive.The uncertainty and instability of the Middle East has various implications for Kurds, many of whom are becoming more influential players.

This project is in partnership with the Ibrahim Ahmed Foundation.

The Kurdish Policy Imperative Book

A collected volume of papers, edited by Gareth Stansfield and Robert Lowe, analyses critical aspects of Kurdish politics in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey and examines how these intertwine with wider regional and international concerns.

The book argues that events in the past 40 years have transformed the profile and potency of the Kurds, whose influence is critical to the future of the Middle East and Turkey. Kurdish social and political dynamism affects these key states to the extent that managing the 'rise of Kurdistan' has become an enduring feature of Middle East politics.

The book was published in September 2010. More details

Conference and Briefing Paper

A Middle East Programme Briefing Paper, The Kurdish Policy Imperative, was published in December 2007 in order to stimulate debate on the major issues prior to a high-profile conference, The Kurds in International Affairs, which was held at Chatham House in December 2007.


For more information please contact the Middle East and North Africa Programme

Moore Wilson Digital Agency London