The Future of Kurdistan in Iraq
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The Future of Kurdistan in Iraq

Edited by Brendan O'Leary, John McGarry, and Khaled Salih

384 pages | 6 1/8 x 9 1/4 | 17 maps
Cloth 2005 | ISBN 978-0-8122-3870-9 | $59.95s | £39.00 | Add to cart
Paper 2006 | ISBN 978-0-8122-1973-9 | $27.50s | £18.00 | Add to cart
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"This is the first detailed scholarly study of the kind of federation that would best serve the interests of the Kurds and the other peoples of Iraq—Arabs, Turkomans, and Chaldean Assyrians. Highly recommended."—Choice

"Adds up to a strong pitch for a viable Kurdistan within an Iraq federal state—or even an independent Kurdistan if the several contending forces in Iraq will not accept federalism. Much has happened since mid-2004 when this book went to press [but] the analysis and prescription presented here remain relevant."—Foreign Affairs

"This collection of essays is a core resource for anyone with a serious interest in Iraq and the U.S. military. . . . A good representation of the major issues confronting Kurdistan, Iraq, and their neighbors as of spring 2004. I learned even where I disagreed."—Publius: The Journal of Federalism

"When more than one hundred London-based diplomats, politicians, journalists, and international affairs analysts turn out for a discussion of a book, one knows that the book is timely and has something to say about pressing current international affairs and about its topic's potential for impacting regional and international geopolitical alignments. This is what happened on 31 May 2005 at Chatham House, a British think tank associated closely with the United Kingdom's Foreign Ministry. The book discussed was The Future of Kurdistan in Iraq, edited by Brendan O'Leary, John McGarry, and Khaled Salih. The Future of Kurdistan in Iraq well deserves the prestigious turnout it produced."—Mediterranean Quarterly

"An outstanding collection which illustrates the virtue of academic engagement with current predicaments."—Times Higher Education Supplement

On March 19, 2003, the United States, the United Kingdom and a "coalition of the willing" invaded the Republic of Iraq. But one part of that state, Kurdistan, was already free from Saddam's B'athists. It was autonomous but not formally independent. The Future of Kurdistan in Iraq collects expert contributions on the consequences of the overthrow of Saddam's regime for the Kurds and the other peoples of Kurdistan.

The bulk of the published literature in English on the Kurds and Kurdistan has been historical or anthropological. This volume is the first in any language to address in detail the constitutional politics of Kurdistan's relations with the rest of Iraq, and Kurdistan's future constitutional options. The essays are innovative and contain detailed analysis and description. They evaluate how the relations between Kurdistan and predominantly Arab Iraq might—and should—be remade in a state marred by the legacies of genocide, ethnic expulsion, and coercive assimilation.

The volume includes contributions from political scientists, constitutional lawyers, regional experts, and Kurdistan's international constitutional advisory team and opens with a historical overview. The viewpoints present analyses of the Transitional Administrative Law of Iraq and Kurdistan's preferred vision of a pluri-national federation, of appropriate lessons from Canadian federative history, of the constraints facing the negotiators of Iraq's permanent constitution, and of the status of children in constitutional renewal. Essays on past failures for Kurdistan's autonomy, on Kurdish hopes and fears before the March 19 war, on Kurdistan's internal divisions, and on its external relations with Turkey give needed historical background to the debates. Contemporary pieces appraise mistakes made in the U.S. occupation of Iraq, and analyzes what Kurdistan's negotiators seek to have inserted in the negotiation of the Transitional Administrative Law and will want in any permanent constitution of Iraq. The "Postscript: Vistas of Exit from Baghdad" updates readers, and scans benign and malign scenarios for Kurdistan.

Also published in Kurdish and Arabic, this volume is the first in any language to address in detail the constitutional politics of Kurdistan's relations with the rest of Iraq, and Kurdistan's future constitutional options. Its authoritative contributors include political scientists, lawyers, and regional experts, and the three members of Kurdistan's international constitutional advisory team who assisted in preparation for the negotiation of the Transitional Administrative Law, and in preparation of the design of the electoral law of Iraq and Kurdistan.

Containing informed and constructive analysis, practical and fair prescriptions, this collection will interest all general readers who have followed the Iraq War, and will be especially useful to teachers, students, and public officials working in international relations, constitutional law, and the political science of national and ethnic conflicts.

Contributors: Ofra Bengio, Karna A. J. Eklund, Peter W. Galbraith, Michael M. Gunter, John McGarry, Molly McNulty, Brendan O'Leary, Khaled Salih, Gareth Stansfield, Karin von Hippel, Sophia Wanche, Paul R. Williams

Brendan O'Leary is Lauder Professor of Political Science and Director of the Program in Ethnic Conflict at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author, coauthor, or coeditor of fourteen books, including Right-Sizing the State: The Politics of Moving Borders. He served in Kurdistan as a constitutional advisor to the Kurdistan National Assembly and Regional Government during 2004.

John McGarry is Canada Research Chair in Nationalism and Ethnicity, Queen's University, Kingston, Canada. He is the author and editor of numerous books, including Minority Nationalism and the Changing International Order (with Michael Keating).

Khaled Salih, born in Sulaimania, Kurdistan, is Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Southern Denmark. A specialist in Middle East politics, he was a consultant for the Iraqi Reconstruction and Development Council, served in Kurdistan as a constitutional advisor to the Kurdistan National Assembly and Regional Government, and is currently Adviser to the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region.

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