A Semester in Review: The Microcosm of Iraqi Kurdistan

The semester ended and I sat pondering what I had learned over the past sixteen weeks. Do I know more about international politics in the Middle East than when I started? If so, what did I learn and how can I best summarize my new knowledge? These questions were running through my mind when I came across this analysis about Iraqi Kurdish relations with Iran and Turkey. The pieces suddenly came together when I realized that Iraqi Kurdistan is a good microcosm for my semester. The four trends which I found to be most significant in my study of international politics of the Middle East are all present within Iraqi Kurdistan: the lingering effects of colonialism; the struggle between politics, or realism, and identity, or constructivism; the impact of oil; and the involvement of outside actors. Continue reading

Hello…..Kurdistan?

Any discussion of minority identities in Mesopotamia almost always ends with one group, the Kurds.This week’s class discussion about the League of Nations mandate system in the post World War I Middle East coupled with current events sparked an interest in the Kurdistan region. Kurdistan is a subject which is often brushed over when learning about the Middle East. Certainly, this can not be due to any lack of importance in the region. A quick search of recent headlines Continue reading