The Politics of Negotiating the Kurdish Self-Determination Conflict: Failure by Design?

Authors

  • Naif Bezwan University of Vienna, Austria

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.11576/ijcv-5777

Keywords:

Kurdish self-determination conflict, self-rule, direct rule, denial of political accommodation, negative third-party involvement, intra-Kurdish contention

Abstract

This study explores the long-standing conflict over Kurdish self-determination as it played out in three cases of negotiations conducted between the governments of Iraq, Iran, and Turkey, and the representatives of Kurdish movements from the 1970s onwards. Drawing on conflict and negotiations studies, the paper seeks to explain (a) why efforts at negotiating the conflict in question have not been successful and (b) what reasons account for this failure. To this end, the study first conceptualizes the Kurdish question as a constitutive conflict of self-determination grounded in a dynamic contest between direct rule and self-rule. Second, it systematically links the failure of negotiations to the absence of substantive commitments by the states involved, the lack of collective action on the part of the Kurdish actors, and negative third-party involvement. The objective is to provide a theoretically guided and empirically informed conceptual approach to the failed politics of negotiating the Kurdish self-determination conflict.

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Further information

Published

2022-12-21

Issue

Section

Focus (2): Geopolitical Shifts and Ethnic Conflicts: The Transnational Kurdish Conflict in the Contemporary Middle East