Past eventResearch Event

Iraq and the Kurdistan Region: The Disputed Territories in 2010

14 December 2009 - 5:30pm to 6:30pm

Chatham House, London


Professor Brendan O'Leary, University of Pennsylvania
Professor Gareth Stansfield, Associate Fellow, Chatham House, and University of Exeter
Chair: Patrick Cockburn, Middle East Correspondent, The Independent



The speakers will discuss Iraq's potentially momentous year in 2010. Elections, scheduled to be held in January, will result in a new Council of Representatives in which new blocs and coalitions will vie for prominence. Maintaining their role as powerbrokers in this complex game will be a cohesive Kurdish bloc, which will seek a price for its support.

This price is likely to include the issue of the status of Kirkuk and other disputed territories claimed by the KRG as part of the Kurdistan Region. With the constitutional provisions concerned, the resolution of the status of disputed territories being unfulfilled (Article 140), and the political and military tension across the territories remaining high, it should be expected that the Kurdish leadership will demand a resolution of the disputed territories issue in return for supporting either the State of Law coalition or the Iraqi National Alliance in the next Council of Representatives.

Professor Brendan O'Leary is Lauder Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania. He is currently a Power Sharing Expert in the Standby Team of the Mediation Support Unit, Department of Political Affairs, United Nations. His latest book is How to Get Out of Iraq with Integrity (Penn Press, 2009).

Professor Gareth Stansfield is an Associate Fellow of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House, and Professor of Middle East Politics at the University of Exeter. In 2008, he served as a Senior Political Advisor to the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq. His latest book is, with Liam Anderson, Crisis in Kirkuk: The Ethnopolitics of Conflict and Compromise (UPenn Press, 2009).

The event will be followed by a reception.