Call for Abstracts: The Migration Conference 2019

28 01 2019

Call for AbstractsThe Migration Conference 2019 Bari, Italy

The Migration Conference Organizing Committee cordially invites you to the 7th conference in the series which will take place from the 18th – 20th June at the University of Bari Aldo Moro in Bari, the regional capital of Puglia in Southern Italy.

The Migration Conference is one of the largest and most prestigious international events for migration scholars, practitioners and policy makers.

The conference is organised in thematic streams of parallel sessions inviting contributions from all disciplines on topics including migration, migrant populations, diasporas, migration policies, Brexit, Trump, labour migrations, refugees, integration, acculturation, xenophobia, discrimination, economic impacts, development, remittances as well as non-migrants and the wider impact of human mobility on sending, transit and receiving societies. The Conference programme of usually comprises keynote speeches, invited talks, oral presentations, poster presentations, exhibitions and workshops. The TMC encourages friendly and frank exchanges to foster research and scholarship in migration studies.

Every year, along with a large body of academics, there are representatives of media, NGOs and policy makers joining us in special panels and roundtables.

Proposals for special sessions/panels and workshops are also welcome.

The main language of exchange is English, however, we also encourage full special panels in other languages, particularly in Spanish, Italian, Turkish and Eastern European languages.

Attracting participants from all over 80 countries worldwide, the conference provides a friendly, supportive environment to present current research and scholarship, receive feedback, share ideas, find inspiration and network.


The deadline for abstract and panel submissions for TMC2019 is 31st January 2019.

We invite submissions from a wide range of disciplines, academics, students, researchers, journalists, volunteers, government workers, third sector representatives.

For more information please visit the conference website and call for papers at the following link:

We welcome the Migration Studies community to join us at the University of Bari in June 2019 to discuss your research in a friendly, vibrant & supportive environment.

Confirmed invited speakers for the Migration Conference 2019 Bari, Italy:

Call for Papers: Workshop on Political and Military Histories of Russian-Kurdish Relations (19th-21st Centuries)

31 12 2018

Moscow, 10-11 June 2019

The involvement of Kurdish forces during the Crimean War inaugurated the political and military encounter of Russians and Kurds between Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Since then, these relations have formed an important and disputed aspect of Russian, and later Soviet, policies in the Middle East. Most significantly, these policies have extended well beyond the clash of the Tsarist and Ottoman Empires at the turn of the 20th century.

While Russian and Soviet policies have included a sustained focus on the role of the Kurds, their political mobilization and activism in the 1920s-1930s and during the Cold War, the relationship has never been a simple one. It was deeply entangled in the nexus of regional politics and Russian/Soviet policies toward Turkey, Iran,Iraq and Syria, as well as in global dynamics. Conversely, mobilities and alliances with the ‘’East’’ have been important in shaping political identities, but remain a still understudied part of Kurdish political strategies on the international arena.

Organized as part of the research project RUSKURD (Sciences Po Lille-EHESS), in partnership with the CEFR (Moscow) and the IFEA(Istanbul), this workshop aims at exploring key aspects of the political history of Russian-Kurdish relations. Ph.D candidates, postdoctoral researcher sand senior researchers are invited to present research based on historical, social and anthropological methods to explore the place of politics, ideology, violence and wars throughout two centuries.

Possible topics to be discussed include:

  • The changing dynamics of the Russian-Kurdish relation in military encounters since the mid-19th century, integrating local conflicts and imperial power struggles,
  • Techniques of insurgency and counterinsurgency, and their transformations in the wake of imperial collapse,
  • The geopolitical use of Kurdish political and military forces by Russia and the Soviet Union from the 19th to the late 20th century,
  • The interplay of police and military factors, logics and actors in the construction of a new border order framing Russian-Kurdish relations,
  • Routes, forms and techniques of political and military influence (including both people and goods, notably weapons),
  • Transnational political, diplomatic and military circulations.

Travel to and accommodation in Moscow will be taken in charge by the organizers. Administrative help for visa issues will be provided to successful applicants who would need it.

Proposals consisting of a resume and a short proposal (one-two pages, summarizing the paper, methodology and sources) should be sent before 1 January 2019 to Successful applicants will be notified by the end of January 2019.

Proposals may be submitted in English, French, Russian, Turkish or Kurdish. The working languages of the event will be English and Russian.

Contact and inquiries:

For details click here.

Call for Papers: Managing Intra-State Territorial Contestation – Iraq’s Disputed Territories in Comparative Perspective

21 12 2018

Held at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), Whitehall, London, 26-27 February 2019


Professor Gareth Stansfield (University of Exeter), Professor Stefan Wolff (University of Birmingham), Argyro Kartsonaki (University of Birmingham)

Iraq’s Disputed Territories remain a source of contestation and instability. Located in the north of Iraq, this broad swathe of territory lying to the south of the Kurdistan Region, and including within it parts of the provinces of Nineveh, Erbil, Salahadin, Kirkuk, and Diyala, the Disputed Territories continue to be a source of conflict between the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government following the Kurdistan Region referendum of 2017 and the subsequent military response of the Government of Iraq. Furthermore, while the immediate threat of Islamic State actions has diminished, conditions in the Disputed Territories continue to create opportunities for the resurrection of militancy and insurgency, associated with the Sunni community, against the Government of Iraq and its allies. Managing the situation in the Disputed Territories and its multi- faceted pre-conflict, conflict, and post-conflict dynamics is therefore of critical importance for Iraq’sstability and also impacts upon wider regional political interests.

Against this background, we are looking for paper proposals on three interrelated themes: the causes of intra-state territorial disputes; the conflict management process in Iraq to date; and comparative perspectives on, and future prospects for, the settlement of issues around Iraq’sinternally disputed boundaries.

Theme 1: Conflict causation

We are particularly interested in papers examining the role of identity-based factors, natural resources and regional and global factors in causing intra-state territorial disputes, as well as on continuity and change in the nature of these causes over time. Papers could focus on Iraq as a single case study or be comparative in approach, ideally including Iraq as one of the cases selected. In addition, we are also open to large-n studies on the causes of intra-state territorial disputes.

Theme 2: Conflict management in Iraq to date

We are keen to have papers in this theme explore key challenges around hydrocarbons, federalism, and the accommodation of Sunnis, Kurds, and other minorities and how these challanges affect the internally disputed boundaries. With a focus on Iraq, we expect papers to analyse the nature and design of internally and externally driven conflict management processes; to examine past proposals for Iraq’s post-2003 institutions, such as the 2005 Constitution and the 2009 UNAMI process; and to offer insights in to the causes of their failure or success, including the 2006-8 civil war and the rise of ISIS in 2014.

Theme 3: Conflict settlement in comparative perspective and future prospects for Iraq

Looking ahead to the future of a post-ISIS, post-election, and post-referendum Iraq, we want to investigate what lessons might be learned from other cases and applied to Iraq in order to increase the prospects of a sustainable settlement of Iraq’s internal territorial disputes. Papers inthis theme could explore what the cases and issues are that are comparable to Iraq; what lessons, from both success and failure, can be learned; and how these lessons can be applied to Iraq.

Paper proposals of no more than 500 words should be submitted electronically to Dr. Argyro Kartsonaki (, together with contact details and institutional affiliation/s of their author/s. Please also indicate whether you will require an official invitation letter for UK visa purposes.

Deadline for submission: 14 January 2019.

The conference has been made possible by funds provided by the UK Economic and Social Research Council as part of the grant Managing Intra-State Territorial Contestation, awarded to Professor Gareth Stansfield (Exeter) and Professor Stefan Wolff (Birmingham). The conference is the concluding event to be held in this three-year research programme.

Travel and accommodation costs will be provided for accepted papers.

We plan to publish selected papers from the conference in an edited volume with a leading academic publisher and/or as a special issue of an appropriate disciplinary journal.

Panel: The Anti-Kurdish Paradigm – From Sykes-Picot to the September 2017 Referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan

26 11 2018

November 26, 2018, 1-3 p.m.

The National Press Club, Holeman Lounge

529 14th St NW Washington, DC 20045

The KPRC is pleased to announce a panel discussion with Mr. Ismail Beşikçi.

Mr. Ismail Beşikçi is a renowned sociologist, Kurdologist, PEN Honorary Member and former Nobel Peace Prize candidate who caught the attention of international politics with his work on the Kurdish Question and the continuing struggle of Kurds including their right to self-determination in the age of nation-states. He is the author of numerous anthropological studies on the social stratification of Kurds and Kurdistan, which he portrays as an international colony under the occupation of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey.

Mr. Ismail Beşikçi was imprisoned in Turkey for a total of 17 years for his scientific works on the Kurds and the Kurdish cause which consistently contradicted the distorted Turkish official historiography and political discourse.

Kurdish aspirations for statehood predate the formation of the modern nation states of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey which rule over Kurdistan by employing both soft and hard power; from outright denial of the existence of the Kurds to forced assimilation and genocidal policies. Despite the discernible denial of the most basic human rights, let alone the right to self-determination, the plight of the Kurds received little attention in the global arena.

Mr. Ismail Beşikçi will discuss the Kurdish struggle for independence from Sykes-Picot to the recent Independence Referendum held in Iraqi Kurdistan in September 2017 and the reasons behind the lack of support from the international community.

For details click here.

Kurdish Policy Research Center Third Annual Conference

12 11 2018

The Evolving Geopolitics in the post-ISIL Middle East, Wednesday, November 14, 2018

11:40 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The National Press Club, First Amendment Lounge, 529 14th St NW Washington, DC 20045

We are pleased to announce the KPRC’s Third annual conference which will be held on November 14, 2018 at 12:00 at The National Press Club, in Washington, D.C.

The conference aims to bring together leading academics, journalists, commentators, politicians and policy makers to offer perspectives on the fast-evolving situation in the Middle East, and particularly on Kurdish people’s rise to political and military significance in the region against the backdrop of the fall of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the rise of Iran as the new regional power.

Deliberations will be on the following themes:

How is Tehran’s rapid rise in the Middle East and its interventionist foreign policy undermining regional and global power relations while posing an existential threat to the Kurdish political gains in Iraq and Syria?

How has the campaign of violence and intimidation become the basis for the grip on power that Erdogan and his ruling Justice and Development Party maintain? What are the geopolitical implications of Turkey’s policies towards the crisis in the Middle East and the Turkish involvement in Syria, which are frequently at odds with U.S. policies? Could Turkey resume its so-called ‘Democratic Initiative’ or ‘Kurdish Opening’ as the country is suffering through one of its worst economic and political crises stemming from its anti-Kurdish position?

What will be the new phase of U.S.-Kurdish relations in the post-ISIL period as ISIL subdued leaving its place to a much serious and strategic threat posed by Iran and its proxies in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere? Will the Trump administration continue and consolidate its partnership with Kurds in an effort to compel Iran and its proxies to leave Syria and Iraq? How long the US will tolerate the Turkish occupation of Syria? Could an agreement that disregards the Kurdish interests remedy fundamental issues in the Middle East and serve long-term U.S. interests in the region?

We hope that you can join us for this exciting event that aims at offering a better understanding of the enduring conflicts in the Middle East and potential solutions.


11:40 a.m.   Registration

                    Snacks and coffee available

12:00 p.m. Opening remarks

Panel I: Geopolitical implications of Turkey’s policies towards the crisis in the Middle East


Dr. Aykan Erdemir, Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Mr. Giran Ozcan, The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Representative to the US


Panel II: The new phase of US-Kurdish relations in the fast-evolving Syrian conflict


Ms. Ilham Ahmad, Senior Member of the Syrian Democratic Council

Mr. Bassam Ishak, President, The Syriac National Council in Syria

Ms. Sarah N. Stern, The Founder and the President of Endowment for Middle East Truth

Moderator:  Mr. Ethem Coban, Research Associate, Public International Law & Policy Group; Coordinator, Kurdish Studies Network


Panel III: Tehran’s growing influence in the Middle East: How did Iraq and Syria become Satellite States of Iran?


Dr. Najmaddin Karim, Former Governor of Kirkuk

Dr. David Pollock, Bernstein Fellow, Director of Project Fikra, The Washington Institute

Dr. Harold Rhode, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Gatestone Institute

Moderator:   Dr. Amy Austin Holmes, Fellow, The Wilson International Center for Scholars; Visiting Scholar, Weatherhead Scholars Program, Harvard University


* RSVP is required

All attendees will receive a valid QR code via email to pass through security gates at the entrance of The National Press Club.

For details click here.

New Book Out: Methodological Approaches in Kurdish Studies – Theoretical and Practical Insights from the Field

4 11 2018

Baser, Bahar et al. (Ed.)

Rowman & Littlefield, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4985-7521-8

This edited volume presents thirteen contributions that reflect upon the practical, ethical, theoretical and methodological challenges that researchers face when conducting fieldwork in settings that are characterized with deteriorating security situations, increasing state control and conflicting inter-ethnic relations. More precisely, they shed light to the intricacies of conducting fieldwork on highly politicized and sensitive topics in the region of Kurdistan in Iraq, Syria and Turkey as well as among Kurdish diaspora members in Europe.

This volume is multidisciplinary in its focus and approach. It includes contributions from scholars from various disciplinary backgrounds, ranging from sociology and political science to social psychology and anthropology. The complexity of security situations, and the atmospheres of distrust and suspicion have led the contributors to be creative and to adapt their research methods in ways that at times transcend disciplinary boundaries and conventions. Relatedly, the contributions also open the often-considered Pandora’s box of discussing the failures in what is often a “messy” research field, and how to adopt one’s methods to rapidly changing political circumstances. This necessitates greater reflexivity in existing power relations of the surrounding context and how those affect not only the interaction situations between the researcher and the participants, but also raise questions for the overall research process, concerning namely social justice, representation and knowledge production. The contributions unravel this by unpacking positionalities beyond ethnicities, discussing how gendered and other positionalities are constructed in fieldwork interactions and by illustrating how the surrounding structures of power and dominance are present in every-day fieldwork.

What differentiates this book from the existing literature is that it is the first academic endeavor that solely focuses on methodological reflections aimed to the field of Kurdish Studies. It offers a comprehensive and multidisciplinary account of scholars’ fieldwork experiences in the Kurdish regions and as such, it is also of value to scholars conducting or about to conduct fieldwork in conflict regions elsewhere.

For details click here.

Discovery of First Kurdish PhD Published in Poland Announced

26 10 2018

We congratulate our colleagues from and the Section of Kurdish Studies in the Department of Iranian Studies in the Institute of Oriental Studies of Jagiellonian University who announced the discovery of the first PhD written on Kurdish subject by a Kurd, Abdullah Jalal Fatah and defended at the Institute of Sociology of Warsaw University in 1978. The thesis was written in Polish language under the guidance of prof. Józef Chałasiński. It’s title was Problemy rozwoju i upowszechniania kultury kurdyjskiej w Iraku (Developement and dissemination of Kurdish culture in Iraq). At the beginning Fatah studied at Łódź University and then he moved to Warszawa. For the access to the thesis and information about Abdullah J. Fatah we are vary grateful to Karwan Fatah-Black and Ali Ghafur. This discovery means that the first thesis on Kurdish subject written at Polish institution belongs to the Kurd and not the Polish researcher Leszek Dzięgiel, whose thesis was, however, the first published academic work.

Abdullah Jalal Fatah was born in Slêmanî (Sulaymaniyah) in February 1936. He was the first Kurd in Poland to write a PhD on Kurdish culture, which he defended in the department of sociology of Warszaw University in 1978. The thesis was written in Polish language and it’s title was: Problemy rozwoju i rozpowszechniania kultury kurdyjskiej w Iraku(Developement and dissemination of Kurdish culture in Iraq). At the same time it can be considered the first PhD on the Kurdish subject defended in Poland which we discovered only now, after many years. Therefore we are very happy to share this information and include Abdullah Jalal Fatah into our list of researchers and academics.

Abdullah was trained as an engineer and initially worked at the Dokan Dam in the Little Zab river in Kurdistan. During the 1960s the political situation in Iraq inclined him to move to Europe: first to Germany and later to Poland. In Poland he studied sociology, was active in the student movement, and worked with the leading Polish sociologists Józef Chałasiński and Antonina Kłoskowska on his PhD.

After obtaining his PhD degree he lectured at the university of Algiers, and subsequently moved to the Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden, before he returned to Iraq where he took a position at the Salahaddin University of Erbil/Hêwler. For personal reasons and increasing pressure from the university leadership to join the Ba’ath Party he soon realized that he had to leave Iraq and return to Europe. Suffering from chronic conditions, however, his health deteriorated during his stay in an Iranian refugee camp and he passed away in Teheran in April 1985.

For more click here.