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.

Invitation: Initiative for Mesopotamia Kurdish Academy

26 10 2018

The Initiative for Mesopotamia Kurdish Academy will organize a meeting to discuss the formation of a global Kurdish academy that can shape, support, coordinate and promote scholarly research and debates on the issues related to the Kurds and Kurdistan. The first meeting of our initiative will take place at Middlesex University the Burroughs, Hendon London NW44BT.We propose two dates for the first meeting (15th December 2018 or 19th January 2019). Please participate via the doodle link below for identifying the date that could be the most convenient day and time four you.

The Initiative for Mesopotamia Kurdish Academy



As a short run objective, the Initiative for Mesopotamia Kurdish Academy has been formed in order to support, coordinate and promote academic research by young scholars including but not limited to masters and Ph.D. students in the fields such as social sciences, humanities, psychology and linguistics. In the long run, however, the initiative bears the ambition of subsuming its activities under the banner of an academy.


The initiative, in order to achieve its short run goals, will assist researchers develop their projects in dialogue with the latest conceptual and methodological debates in the world academies; it will offer them assistance regarding sources and proposal design / funding opportunities. With these goals in mind, the initiative will form academic counseling units, organize conferences and offer online interactive presentations / courses.


The Initiative for Mesopotamia Kurdish Academy deems it as a priority to develop connections with universities and respected academic institutions. Thereby, it aims to enlarge its objectives vis-à-vis the sources and opportunities that it will manage to reach and create. The ultimate goal of the initiative’s activities is the creation of a Kurdish academy. However, given the instability and political oppression in the countries of the region –where the interests of the initiative are embedded—that deter academic activities, its base will initially be formed in Europe.



The Initiative for Mesopotamia Kurdish Academy is a global enterprise. It has been created by scholars who are currently based in North America, in Continental Europe, in England and in the Middle East. It is a platform open to scholars from varied institutional backgrounds, different schools of thought and diverse worldviews. The initiative has emerged thanks to the voluntary and complimentary inputs of the participants and will continue to operate as such. The founding initiative aims, on principle, to overcome and go beyond political fragmentation and cleavages that has long taken a toll on Mesopotamia / Kurdish / Kurdistani studies.


Founding Activities:

The Initiative for Mesopotamia Kurdish Academy will organize a inaugural convention in October 2018. The date and the place of the meeting will be announced shortly. At this convention, fields and guiding principles of the initiative’s activities will be discussed, and relevant executive units will be formed. A foremost important agenda item will be the creation of financial resources and establishment of a permanent administrative office for the initiative.


Following this founding convention in April 2019 the initiative aims to hold its first academic conference with the participation of Ph.D. students specializing in the abovementioned fields. In this meeting the methodological and conceptual aspects of the participants’ research projects will be interactively and dialogically discussed.


The Initiative for Mesopotamia Kurdish Academy envisions to hold its first interdisciplinary conference in June 2019. Academic institutions whose foci are in the fields described above will also be invited to the convention. In a special session of the conference the future of the Mesopotamia / Kurdish / Kurdistani studies will be discussed with regards to the experiences and current situation of area studies in the world.


All of these meeting will be held at locations in Europe due to current political instability in Kurdistan and consequent concerns about security / safety of participants.


This is not an absolute or final program; it will be reshaped according to the participants’ critiques, comments and proposals.


Institutional Participants:

Paris Kurdish Institute

Stockholm Kurdish Library

İsmail Beşikçi Foundation

Bruxelles Kurdish Institute


Call for Papers: Special Issue Kurdish Diasporas and New Social Locations – Making Sense of Displacement and Community Building

23 09 2018

Call for Papers Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies

Special Issue: Kurdish Diasporas and New Social Locations: Making Sense of Displacement and Community Building 

Guest editors: Stanley Thangaraj, City College of New York

Aynur de Rouen, Binghamton University

Kurdish communities have a long history of displacement, marginalization, and persecution in the Middle East/West Asia. They are the largest ethnic community without a state of their own. They have faced multiple oppressions at the hands of Western, Arab, Turkish, and Persian actors. There is now an emergence of vibrant scholarship on Kurdish diasporas in Europe, as there are large communities in Germany, Sweden, and England. However, little research has emerged in interrogating the diversity of Kurdish diasporic lives outside of Europe. Kurdish communities spread throughout the globe, in both the global north and the global south. For instance, the city of Nashville in the state of Tennessee in the United States has one of the largest community of Kurds outside of Kurdistan. Similarly, there are growing communities across Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, and other locations. Accordingly, each specific physical location provides very important historicities, social locations, and diverse lived experiences of diasporic Kurds that challenges the idea of singular or equivalent Kurdish identities. With the emerging literature on Kurds and Kurdistan, we emphasize the importance of Kurdish diasporic communities in new destination sites as important resources in understanding how Kurdistan is negotiated multiply, contradictorily, and in other unpredictable fashions. For example, the various locations of Kurdistan in legible national frames of Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Iraq have also meant that forced national education systems with language mandates in Turkish, Arabic, and Persian has created different linguistic registers for Kurdish diasporas to make sense of their communities.

Yet, the particularity of diasporic lives also show the different and differential relationships to Kurdistan, the various constructions of Kurdistan, and the lived experiences in host nations.  As a result, a careful investigation of multiple Kurdish diasporas provides terrain for interrogating how diasporas form in relation to the host nation, to imagined contours of Kurdistan, and in relation to other Kurdish diasporic communities. The relationship between history, migration, and community building remains nuanced and complex.  On the one hand, it offers ways to think about long histories of resistance and challenge. On the other hand, it also offers us ways to talk about the complexities and problematics of community building that may inadvertently and intentionally create its own sets of subjugation and exclusion.

   This special issue aims to explore the changing social and cultural landscape ofKurdishdiaspora by engaging with many diasporic sites as a way to complicate understandings of diaspora, Kurdistan, and local lived experiences of identity. Through established and emerging theoretical perspectives, and original empirical studies, the objective of the volume is to provide a critical (re-)examination of the roles that new locations and social histories have indifferently inflecting Kurdish identity across various diasporic sites. In the process, we aim to trouble, complicate, and challenge conceptualizations of “diaspora.” We invite paper proposals and abstracts that critically engage with Kurdish diasporas in new destination sites or previous understudied place. Though by no means limited to these questions, we anticipate that papers might address the following topics:

  • How do multiple lived experiences and different forms of migration as well as residence link the various sites and communities of diaspora and homeland(s)? How do localized performances of Kurdish identity and host national identity facilitate imaginaries of “home” within the diaspora?
  • In what ways do these new locations facilitate the construction and articulation of “new ethnicities” / diasporic Kurdish identities?
  • How do the various social locations and lived experiences complicate and multiply inflect Kurdish identity? What is the relation of host nation, lived experiences, and visions of Kurdistan?
  • How are femininities, masculinities, queer identities and other forms of intersectionality articulated through Kurdish communities?
  • What are the implications of the “War on Terror”, empire and neoliberal politics for citizenship and community building in the Kurdish diasporas?
  • How do the ISIS campaigns and Turkish state violence become a means of negotiating longer histories of trauma, pain, struggle, creativity, and possibility in Kurdish diasporas?
  • What role does race play out in not only deciphering localized experiences in host countries but also in the Kurdish diasporic imagination of Kurdistan?
  • What are the creative and many performative ways of expressing Kurdish identity across categories of race, gender, sexuality, language, class, ability, and ethnicity in the Kurdish diaspora?

Final submissions can be:

  • Full-length articles (6,000 to 7,500 exclusive of references) that theoretically and/or empirically attend to walking methodologies (these will be double blind peer reviewed)

The journal is an open source online journal that currently publishes the papers as pdf files. Images and URL links can be included in submissions. All proposals will be submitted electronically as word documents, using APA citation format. Please send the manuscript to Stan Thangaraj (City College of New York) and Aynur de Rouen (Binghamton University) at and   If you have any questions, please do reach Stan and Aynur at the e-mail addresses posted above.



November 15, 2018: Proposal/expression of interest (250 words plus 50-word bio)

December 01, 2018: Authors will be notified of acceptance of their proposal

February 1, 2019:  Final submissions due for blind peer review, once comments and reviews are given back in 6 weeks, the final revised version should be submitted by April 30, 2019

For details click here


New Book Out: Comparative Kurdish Politics in the Middle East – Actors, Ideas, and Interests

9 09 2018

Tugdar Emel Elif & Al, Serhun (Eds.)

Palgrave, 2018

ISBN 978-3-319-53715-3

This edited volume introduces the political, social and economic intra-Kurdish dynamics in the Middle East by comparatively analyzing the main actors, their ideas, and political interests. As an ethnic group and a nation in the making, Kurds are not homogeneous and united but rather the Kurdish Middle East is home to various competing political groups, leaderships, ideologies, and interests. Although many existing studies focus on the Kurds and their relations with the nation-states that they populate, few studies analyze the Kurdish Middle East within its own debates, conflicts and interests from a comparative perspective across Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Syria. This book analyzes the intra-Kurdish dynamics with historically-grounded, theoretically-informed, and conceptually-relevant scholarship that prioritizes comparative politics over international relations.

For details click here.

Kurd-Akad Science Award Nomination

9 08 2018

In 2017, Kurd-Akad awarded its first honorary prize for distinguished scientific contributions and outstanding commitment to civil society at its annual reception. Kurd-Akad now wants to supplement this with a science and young talent award. The award ceremony will take place at this year’s annual reception. The prize is intended for scientists, especially young Kurdish scientists, for their outstanding scientific work.

The nominated scientists may be of any nationality.  The persons nominated for the Young Academics Award should have obtained their Bachelor’s degree, those nominated for the Science Award should have at least two years of professional experience after completing their dissertation. A brief CV of the nominee and a statement of reasons should be sent by email to Self-nominations are also welcome.

Deadline for nominations: SEPTEMBER 15, 2018.

New Book Out: Kurdistan in Iraq – The Evolution of a Quasi-State

17 07 2018

Rafaat, Aram

Routledge, 2018


The Kurdish-Iraqi conflict lies in the fact that Kurdistan is a nation-without-a-state and Iraq is a non-nation state, each possessing a nationhood project differing from and opposing the other. Iraqi-Kurdistan is an outward looking entity seeking external patronage. Though external patronage has played a pivotal role in the evolution of the Kurdish quasi-state, a lack of positive patronage has prevented it from achieving independence.

This book looks at how the Kurdish and Iraqi quests for nationhood have led to the transformation of Iraqi Kurdistan into an unrecognised quasi-state, and the devolution of the Iraqi state into a recognised quasi-state. This is done by examining the protracted Iraqi-Kurdish conflict and by analysing the contradictions and incompatibilities between the two different nationalisms: Iraqi and Kurdish. The author explains that Kurds as a nation without a state have their own nationhood project which is in opposition to the Iraqi nationhood project. Each has its own identity, loyalty and sovereignty. The book answers the question as to how the Kurdish quest for nationhood has been treated by successive Iraqi regimes. Furthermore, it fills in the literary gaps which exist in relation to the Iraqi-Kurdish conflict by specifying and categorising the cardinal conditions that drive ethnic and nationalist conflicts which lead to the creation of separatist entities.

Drawing upon a vast amount of untapped Kurdish and Arabic primary sources, the book draws on prominent theories on nation-states and quasi-states. It will particularly appeal to students and scholars of international relations, political theory and Middle Eastern Studies.

For details click here.

Call for Abstracts: International Kurdish Studies Symposium – Kurds, Displacement and Resilience

13 07 2018

International Kurdish Studies Symposium, Kurds, Displacement and Resilience, University of Toronto, October 12-14, 2018

Forced displacements have long characterized the everyday experience of Kurds. From Syria and Turkey to Iraq and Iran, Kurds have been displaced, exiled and dispossessed by the dominant national states. However, Kurds have resisted the violation of their rights through a complex political and cultural processes. Having been forcibly displaced and exiled, Kurdish communities have struggled to re-establish their lives in shantytowns of cities or refugee camps. Some have been forced to leave their countries and seek refuge in Western Europe and North America. While displacement has caused dispossession, violence and suffering, Kurdish communities have developed various forms of resistance and/or resilience that range from economic support networks to community organizations providing cultural and educational services in counteracting the regimes of displacement.  

The inaugural meeting of the International Kurdish Studies Symposium at the University of Toronto will explore displacement, resistance and resilience in Kurdish context(s). The symposium invites paper abstracts that address regimes of displacement haunting Kurdish lives as well as forms and strategies of resistance and resilience. The symposium particularly welcomes contributions that discuss the ways in which the Kurdish experience expands and complicates our knowledge on displacement, dispossession, resilience and resistance.  

Please submit your 300-word abstract and two-page CV (including your contact information and institutional affiliation) as one PDF document to The deadline for abstract submission is August 15, 2018.

International Kurdish Studies Symposium at the University of Toronto is a research and learning collective initiated by faculty members and graduate students, and is sponsored by various institutions and departments at the University of Toronto.

New Book Out: Routledge Handbook on the Kurds

12 07 2018

Gunter, Michael M. (ed.)

Routledge, 2019

ISBN: 9781138646643

With an estimated population of over 30 million, the Kurds are the largest stateless nation in the world. They are becoming increasingly important within regional and international geopolitics, particularly since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Arab Spring and the war in Syria. This multidisciplinary Handbook provides a definitive overview of a range of themes within Kurdish studies. Topics covered include:





  • Kurdish Studies in the United States and Europe
  • Early Kurdish History
  • Kurdish Culture, Literature and Cinema
  • Economic Dimensions
  • Religion
  • Geography and Travel
  • Kurdish Women
  • The Kurdish situation in Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran
  • The Kurdish Diaspora

With a wide range of contributions from many of the leading academic experts, this Handbook will be a vital resource for students and scholars of Kurdish Studies and Middle Eastern Studies.

For details click here.

Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (KRI) Announces 20 Scholarships for Foreign Students

23 06 2018

Having a special interest in Kurdish language, Literature and Culture, Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research/ Kurdistan Regional Government is pleased to initiate a new scholarship program entitled Kurd Scholarships and call for applications for studies starting in the academic year (2018- 2019).

The deadline for application is August 1st 2018

Non Eligibility

  • Kurdish people
  • Iraqi and Kurdistan Region citizens


  • International students

Available scholarship types and number of seats:

  • Kurd Scholarships are available for bachelor in Kurdish language, Kurdish Literature, and Kurdish Culture for academic year (2018- 2019).
  • (20) seats are provided for the academic year (2018-2019)


  • The applicant has to have a high school (preparatory) degree, for example, National baccalaureate or its equivalent in other education system.
  • A- level in SAT1 and SAT2
  • The applicant has to submit two recommendations written by authorized officials at his his/ her school or work place.
  • The applicant has to submit his/her original copy of his/her degree with marks.
  • The applicant has to have at least (4.5) IELTS or its equivalent.

The Period of Study and the language in study program:

  • The period of the bachelor study is four academic years except the first year (Foundation) allocated for learning Kurdish and promoting communication and culture skills.
  • The whole four year bachelor study will be in Kurdish

Host universities:

The applicant will be hosted in one of the following public universities:

  • Salahaddin University/ Erbil
  • Sulaimani University
  • University of Duhok
  • Soran University
  • Koya University

Financial and other support:

The Kurd Scholarships covers the following:

  • Once the applicant is, for the first time, arrived, he/ she will be welcomed by the specific team at the airport and transferred to the host university.
  • According to the living standard in Kurdistan Region, monthly amount of ($ 600) contribution to living cost in Kurdistan Region for the whole period of the study and the foundation year.
  • Free dormitory place in the host university.
  • ($ 1000) for annual flight expenses, except the applicants from USA and Australia, their annual flight expense are ($1500).
  • The visa and residential fees
  • Annual medical insurance for $ 500 and it is only for medical treatment in the Kurdistan Region and it does not cover the medical treatment outside the Kurdistan Region. The applicant has all the right to select the insurance company)
  • The study period of the Kurd Scholarships are four academic years, if an applicant could not succeed within the specific period of time, or for any period beyond four years, the applicant will be responsible for his/ her study (tuition fees, living coast, annual flight expenses and medical insurance) expenses.


The international students can apply and send their documents to the following email address no later than August 1st 2018:

For details click here.

New Book Out: Turkey’s Kurdish Question from an Educational Perspective

20 06 2018

Ince, Adem

Rowman & Littlefield, 2018

ISBN: 9781498566162

Turkey’s Kurdish Question from an Educational Perspective represents a comprehensive examination of all major factors in education—teachers, curriculum, policy documents, educational attainments and textbooks—that might possibly affect Kurds. It sheds a critical spotlight on the educational side of the issue, offering a summary of existing challenges, ways to deal with these problems, and the proposal of long-term solutions to achieve permanent peace in the region.

New Book Out: Rojava Revolution, War and the Future of Syria’s Kurds

20 06 2018

Schmidinger, Thomas

Pluto Press, 2018

ISBN: 9780745337722

The Kurdish territory of Rojava in Syria has become a watchword for radical democracy, communalism and gender equality. But while Western radicals continue to project their own values onto the revolution, the complexities of the situation are often overlooked or misunderstood.

Based on over 17 years of research and fieldwork, Thomas Schmidinger provides a detailed introduction to the history and political situation in Rojava. Outlining the history of the Kurds in Syria from the late Ottoman Empire until the Syrian civil war, he describes the developments in Rojava since 2011: the protests against the regime, the establishment of a Kurdish para-state, the conflicts between the parties about the administration of the Kurdish territory and how the PYD and its People’s Councils rule the territory.

The book draws on interviews with political leaders of different parties, civil society activists, artists, fighters and religious leaders in order to paint an complex picture of the historical conflict and the contemporary situation.

For details click here.

New Book Out: Ethnic Boundaries in Turkish Politics – The Secular Kurdish Movement and Islam

8 06 2018

Sarigil, Zeki

NYU Press, 2018

ISBN: 9781479882168

One of the fault lines of Turkish politics traditionally has been the divide between religious and secular movements. However, as Zeki Sarigil argues, the secular Kurdish movement in Turkey has increasingly become aligned with Islam. As a result, Islam has become part of the movement’s political discourse, strategies and actions.
Ethnic Boundaries in Turkish Politics traces the evolving relations between the leftist, secular Kurdish movement and Islam, from an apathetic and/or antagonistic attitude in the 1970s and 1980s to an increasingly Islam-friendly approach in the 1990s to an attitude of accommodation and the rise of Kurdish-Islamic synthesis in the early 2000s. Based on 104 interviews in several provinces in Turkey (primarily Ankara, Diyarbakir, Istanbul, and Tunceli) between 2011 and 2015 as well as ethnographic data, public opinion surveys and statements from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Kurdish leaders, Sarigil shows how the secular Kurdish movement increasingly has been endorsing Islam and Islamic actors. The reasons for this Islamic opening are global, national, and local; Sarigil demonstrates that a group of strategic and ideological factors have encouraged and/or forced Kurdish leaders to redraw symbolic and social boundaries of the movement. Namely, with the end of the Cold War support for Marxist ideas collapsed, creating increasingly more favorable responses towards religion. In addition, the movement’s need to expand its social basis and popularity; electoral politics; and legitimacy struggles against rival political actors were other major factors, which triggered the Kurdish movement’s boundary expansion (i.e. its Islamic opening). The study also shows that the Kurdish boundary making was not without any tension or contestation. The boundary expansion by Kurdish ethnopolitical elites triggered both internal and external boundary contestations.
The movement’s embrace of Islam on a more widespread level has major ramifications for politics in Turkey and in the region. Ethnic Boundaries in Turkish Politics has important insight into the PKK, modern Turkish and Islamic societies and highlights the increasing role of Islam in global politics.

Call for Papers: Iranian-Kurdish Cultural Production – Past, Present, Future

6 06 2018

This workshop aims to open scholarly discussion on Iran’s Kurdish cultural heritage and its relation to contemporary Kurdish cultural creation. It also aims to analyse the current state of Iranian-Kurdish cultural production, its transformation, challenges and prospects. Iran is a colourful mosaic of cultures, languages and people, yet its pluralistic nature has not been fully represented in studies of the country. It is in the context of opening up this rich and varied heritage that this workshop seeks to examine and analyse the past and present Kurdish cultural production. While certain aspects of Kurdish culture, such as its music, are well appreciated and celebrated in Iran, other vibrant activities in literature, the visual arts and cinema are much less known. The twenty-first century has witnessed an unprecedented acceleration in the development of Kurdish cultural production despite various impediments. This includes a flourishing cinema, an emerging children’s literature, the establishment of literature and theatre festivals, the collection and publication of Kurdish folklore, and translation of world literature into Kurdish. We hope to open avenues of research into these vital areas that have hardly been explored before.

Potential themes of the workshop include but are not limited to:

–      Gorani literature, past and present

–      Kurdish literature in different dialects and languages

–      Circulation and perception of Kurdish cultural production in Iran

–      Dialogue between Kurdish and Persian arts (literature, cinema, etc.)

–      Kurdish music in Iran

–      Kurdish cinema and television productions in Iran

–      Collection, publication and circulation of Kurdish folklore in Iran

–      Festivals (literature, theatre, etc.)

–      Diaspora and Kurdish cultural production

–      Studies of individual artists and works

The workshop has been made possible by generous support of Iran Heritage Foundation. Accommodation, lunch, refreshment, and up to £100 towards travel expenses will be provided for the participants of the workshop. Please email paper abstracts of no more than 300 words with your CV to Dr Farangis Ghaderi (

The deadline for submission is June 10, 2018.

Venue: Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter

Date: 17-18 September 2018

Funded by Iran Heritage Foundation and Centre for Kurdish Studies, University of Exeter


New Book Out: Iraqi Kurdistan, the PKK and International Relations – Theory and Ethnic Conflict

6 06 2018

Černy, Hannes

Routledge, 2017

ISBN: 9781138676176

Due to its primacy in explaining issues of war and peace in the international arena, the discipline of International Relations (IR) looms large in analyses of and responses to ethnic conflict in academia, politics and popular media – in particular with respect to contemporary conflicts in the Middle East.

Grounded in constitutive theory, this book challenges how ethnic/ethno-nationalist conflict is represented in explanatory IR by deconstructing its most prominent state-centric models, frameworks and analytical concepts. As much a critique of contemporary scholarship on Kurdish ethno-nationalism as a detailed analysis of the most prominent Kurdish ethno-nationalist actors, the book provides the first in-depth investigation into the relations between the PKK and the main Iraqi Kurdish political parties from the 1980s to the present. It situates this inquiry within the wider context of the ambiguous political status of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, its relations with Turkey, and the role Kurdish parties and insurgencies play in the war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Appreciating these complex dynamics and how they are portrayed in Western scholarship is essential for understanding current developments in the Iraqi and Syrian theatres of war, and for making sense of discussions about a potential independent Kurdish state to emerge in Iraq.

Iraqi Kurdistan provides a comprehensive and critical discussion of the state-centric and essentialising epistemologies, ontologies, and methodologies of the three main paradigms of explanatory IR, as well as their analytical models and frameworks on ethnic identity and conflict in the Middle East and beyond. It will therefore be a valuable resource for anyone studying ethnicity and nationalism, International Relations or Middle East Politics.

For details click here.

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