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IACM 2023

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The Geopolitics of The Kurdish Self-Determination Conflict: Linking Recognition, Mediation and Conflict Resolution

The long-running dispute over the Kurdish drive for self-rule constitutes one of the major geopolitical conflicts in the Middle East. The transnational and transborder significance of the Kurdish question stands in stark contrast to both the extent and level of international mediation efforts towards conflict resolution. Regional and international organisations tend to abstain from any noteworthy engagement, but more importantly, the major powers with leverage over the conflict dynamics, such as the USA, the EU, and Russia, have divergent interests as well as totally different approaches to the Kurdish movements. The proposed study seeks to understand the causes and consequences of the International Community’s lack of engagement in conflict resolution vis-à-vis the question of Kurdistan. While discussing the conflict over the Kurdish drive for self-government across four states, the study will focus on two crucial sites of the dispute: the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq and the Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria.

Naif Bezwan
University of Vienna

Abdurrahman Gülbeyaz
University of Nagasaki


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