Sasha Toperich, Tea Ivanovic, and Nahro Zagros, Editors



The Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) suffered greatly during Saddam Hussein’s rule. Following a United States-led invasion, the KRI experienced an economic boom. However, the emergence of ISIS and their attack on Iraqi Kurdistan drew away investors and foreign companies, and the 1.8 million internally displaced people and refugees from Syria added more pressure on the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Moreover, the global fall in oil prices reduced inflows for the KRI’s economy. At the same time, Baghdad ceased sharing the KRG’s constitutionally guaranteed share of the national budget, thus elevating political tensions between the central government and the KRG. Nevertheless, the Peshmerga forces continued their fight against ISIS and gained international recognition by repelling the terrorist group and regaining KRI’s territory. The Kurdistan Region of Iraq will hold a referendum on independence on September 25, 2017, a vote that will certainly change the political discourse of the entire Middle East and likely also farther beyond. 

In this volume, respected authors and experts elaborate on all these important issues and shed light on the vibrant dynamics of this emerging democracy.

Chapter 1 – From a Revolutionary Movement to an Institutionalized Administration (Falah Mustafa)
Chapter 2 – Keeping the Kurdistan Flame Alive Abroad (Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman)
Chapter 3 – Protecting Kurdistan: Peshmerga Before, During, and After ISIS (Sirwan Barzani)
Chapter 4 – Kurdistan’s Political Landscape and the Path Towards Independence (Ranj Alaaldin)
Chapter 5 – Why It Is Time for and Independent Kurdistan Region of Iraq (Gazang Bradosti)
Chapter 6 – Questions Arising Before and After Independence (Michael M. Gunter)
Chapter 7 – Displacement and Forced Camps as a Civilizing Offensive (Ibrahim Malazada)
Chapter 8 – Kurdistan Region of Iraq’s Ethnic and Religious Communities: The Need for Power-Sharing and Genuine Partnership (Dlawer Alalddeen)
Chapter 9 – The Emergence of a Nation-State and the Question of Ethno-Religious Minorities (Muslih Mustafa and Kamal Y. Kolo)
Chapter 10 – The Role of Civil Society Organizations in Youth Development (Abdulsalam Medeni)
Chapter 11 – A Talking Story (Stafford Clarry)
Chapter 12 – Economic Diversification and Reconstruction (Ali Sindi)
Chapter 13 – Oil and the Creation of a Nation-State: The Kurdistan Region at a Crossroads (Kamal Y. Kolo)
Chapter 14 – From a Curse to a Blessing: Kurdistan’s Oil and Natural Resources (Ashti Hawrami)
Chapter 15 – Agriculture and Water Resources in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (Abdulsattar Majeed Qader)
Chapter 16 – Christians and Religious Freedom (Bashar Matti Warda)
Chapter 17 – Yezidis and Justice (Pari Ibrahim)
Chapter 18 – The Culture of Yezidis (Luqman Sulaiman Mahmood)
Chapter 19 – Humanitarian Work in the Kurdistan Region: Historical Development and New Challenges (Dilshad H. Kidhir, Mariette Hägglund, and Awat Mustafa)
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