The lecture “Strategising the Dream: What would it take for the Kurdistan Region of Iraq to become the Republic of Kurdistan?” was organized by the Centre for Islamic and Middle East Studies. It took place at the University of Oslo May 12, 2017. Watch the video podcast here.
A seminar with Professor Gareth Stansfield, University of Exeter.
With the ongoing Mosul Operation against IS seemingly entering an end-state, pre-Islamic State issues are again reassuming their importance in Iraq. One of the mosts significant of these is the status of the Kurdistan Region. Recognising that their influence will at least change, if not diminish, in a post-Islamic State Iraq, the Kurdish leadership, and particularly the leaders of the KDP, are advocating the holding of a referendum on independence.
This lecture will consider the rationale for this referendum, the domestic politics underpinning it and the regional politics that may, or may not, be acting to constrain it. ‘The day after’ will also be discussed – what do the Kurds intend to do with the result of the referendum? And what needs to happen to ensure that a possible ‘Republic of Kurdistan’ is sustainable politically and economically, as a land-locked state in a region that has, traditionally, not been supportive to Kurdish statements of self-determination?
Gareth Stansfield is Professor of Middle East Politics at the University of Exeter. His research focuses on politics and the political economy of Iraq, the Kurdish regions of the Middle East, dynamics of Gulf/Arabian peninsular security, and questions of post-conflict stabilization and nation/state building.