The Russian historical and political approach towards nonconventional independence of Iraqi Kurdistan

Authored by: Kirill V. Vertyaev

Routledge Handbook on the Kurds

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  August  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138646643
eBook ISBN: 9781315627427
Adobe ISBN:


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The phenomenon of the people historically divided by political boundaries is a subject of active methodological research from the point of the political forecast of possible proclamation and future fate of any independent Kurdish state. However, unpredictable consequences of such a step make research fellows refer to more or less obvious topics and issues that have a substantial body of investigated source base. The main problem here is the Kurdistan outlines that are very conditional and nonconventional as boundaries of an imaginary state inside Iraq, and any attempt to resolve this issue de jure is fraught with both political and military complications. Since the middle of the 20th century, the focus of modern Kurdish political nationalism has concentrated on the “Arab” part of ethnic Kurdistan, which covers 20 percent of the territory of Iraq and includes the northern part of Syria. In this area live only 20 percent of all ethnic Kurds, and today it has become the core of the Kurdish national movement that sends a powerful impetus to all parts of ethnic Kurdistan and is seen as a passionate call for national self-determination and sovereignty. Here also arises a vivid phenomenon of the “us-and-them” dichotomy that is one of the sources of ethnic particularism and secessionism most acutely realized in the “Arab-Kurds” confrontational line associated with the center in Baghdad and the “Kurdish periphery”.

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