Investigating the transformation of the Kurdish liberation movement in Iraq this book explores its development from an armed guerrilla movement, engaged in a war for liberation with the government in Baghdad, into the government of a de facto Kurdish state known as the Kurdistan Regional Government.

The book seeks to better explain the nature and evolution of the Kurdish liberation struggle in Iraq, which has had important implications over regional geopolitics. Despite attracting growing international attention, the struggle remains understudied. By applying the theoretical framework of de facto statehood to the post-1991 Kurdish liberation movement, the book offers a new approach to understanding the struggle, with a thorough empirical investigation informed by International Relations theory.

Identifying international legitimacy, interaction and identity as significant themes in the politics of de facto states and important variables shaping the evolution and policies of these actors, at both the domestic and international levels, this book will be of interest to students and researchers of International Relations, Middle East Politics and Political Science.

chapter 1|11 pages


chapter 2|28 pages

Understanding de facto states

Contested sovereignty and the pursuit of legitimacy

chapter 4|26 pages

From a minority to a de facto state

The formation of the Kurdistan Regional Government

chapter 5|25 pages

The second decade of autonomy

Reviving the de facto state

chapter 6|24 pages

State-building in the KRG

Non-recognition and domestic development

chapter 7|10 pages


chapter |6 pages