The feasibility of an independent Kurdish State in Iraq

Date

2012

Authors

Barzani, Niyaz

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Abstract

The literature on the case of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq focuses mainly on the historical aspect of the Kurds' struggle against successive Iraqi regimes. The literature lacks a solid theoretical and analytical framework for examining the feasibility of an independent Kurdish State in Iraq. The main objective of this study is to provide the necessary theoretical and analytical framework for the Kurdish case in Iraq. This paper focuses on two main issues: the right of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq to become independent, and the feasibility of achieving independence. Regarding the right of independence, this study examines the case of Kurdistan Region of Iraq in light of moral theories of secession, theories of self-determination, and theories of recognition in international law. Regarding the feasibility of such a state, this study critically analyzes the internal and external (geopolitical) dimensions surrounding the KRI. It concludes that, theoretically, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq has the right to self-determination and to declare independence. These rights are deterred, however, by geopolitical circumstances. The feasibility of independence depends greatly on surmounting those geopolitical barriers.

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Keywords

Geopolitical barriers, Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Recognition, Self-determination, Sovereignty

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Department

Political Science and Geography