1 September 2010

This book analyses critical aspects of Kurdish politics in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey and examines how these intertwine with wider regional and international concerns.


Robert Lowe and Gareth Stansfield (eds)


Kurdish politics may no longer be dismissed as the isolated grumblings of tribal militias or leftist insurgents. The new prominence of the Kurds in the affairs of the Middle East and Turkey demands attention.

Events in the past 40 years have transformed the profile and potency of the Kurds, whose influence is critical to the future of Iran, Iraq, Syria 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.

Kurds have been treated solely as 'problems' within established states, but increasingly vibrant expressions of Kurdish ethno-nationalism have quickened the cross-border currents of Kurdish politics and society. The complex regional interplay of Kurdish groups, state actors and geopolitical interests make it imperative for governments to consider the Kurds in their foreign policy towards the Middle East.

Major strides in Kurdish studies have been made in recent years. This book brings together leading scholars to analyse critical aspects of Kurdish politics in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey and examine how these intertwine with wider regional and international concerns.


'This well-researched and carefully constructed volume illuminates an important new factor in Middle East politics, the impact of the modern Kurdish nation on the four main countries they inhabit as momentous changes take place in Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran. Even without an early hope of independence, the Kurds, one of the world's largest populations without their own state, have a potential which needs to be recalculated. This book serves the purpose admirably and is a must for those who wish to understand the region in depth.'
Sir Jeremy Greenstock, former UK Special Representative for Iraq and Ambassador to the UN

'Invaluable ... should be read by any serious observer of Kurdish and Middle East politics.'
Jeremy Bowen, Middle East Editor, BBC


Robert Lowe and Gareth Stansfield

The relationships between states and non-state peoples: a comparative view of the Kurds in Iraq
Professor Stefan Wolff, University of Birmingham

Denied a state, winning a region: comparing Kurdish nationalism after 1918 and 2003
Professor Robert Olson, Kentucky University

The Kurds and contemporary regional political dynamics
Dr David Romano, Rhodes College

Turkey's Kurdish challenge
Professor Kemal KiriÅŸci, Bogazici University

Turkish responses to Kurdish identity politics: recent developments in historical perspective
Dr Janet Klein, University of Akron

The missing moderate: legitimacy resources and pro-Kurdish party politics in Turkey
Dr Nicole Watts, San Francisco State University

The 'liberalization' of Turkish state policies toward the Kurdish language: the influence of external actors
Dr Clemence Scalbert-Yucel, University of Exeter

From civil war to calculated compromise: the unification of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq
Professor Gareth Stansfield, University of Exeter and Chatham House

Internationalizing Iraq's constitutional dilemma
Dr Liam Anderson, Wright State University

The Serhildan and the Kurdish national story in Syria
Robert Lowe, Chatham House

Kurdish political mobilization in Iran
Dr Hashem Ahmadzadeh, University of Exeter

Prospects for the Kurdish future in Iraq and Turkey
Professor Michael Gunter, Tennessee Technological University

About the Editors

Robert Lowe is Manager and Research Fellow of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House.

Gareth Stansfield is Professor of Middle East Politics and Director of the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter, and Associate Fellow of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House.


Hardback price: £30.00 (£20 for members)
Paperback price: £16.99 (£12 for members)

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