- Politics, Economy, and Ideology in Iraqi Kurdistan since 2003: Enduring Trends and Novel Challenges
- Arab Studies Journal
- Volume | Issue number
- 23 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School of Historical Studies (ASH)
Since the 2003 war, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq has followed a distinct trajectory, the roots of which lie in its emergence as a de facto autonomous entity in the wake of the 1991 Gulf War. This paper traces the development between 2003 and 2013 of the main political, economic, and ideological features that had emerged in the preceding decade; politically, these include a Leninist tradition of one-party rule and the attempt to dominate civil society; economically, the enduring dependence on oil production and the failure to rehabilitate the agricultural sector; and ideologically, the persistence of secular Kurdish nationalism, and the relative weakness of politicized forms of Islam. Finally, the recent emergence of new intra-Kurdish rivalries concerning the fate of the Syrian Kurds and the ISIS onslaught are briefly discussed.
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