Maria Fantappie & Cale Salih

The Politics of the Kurdish Independence Referendum

Changing Nature of Conflict | September 20, 2017 |

Photo by Cale Salih

The International Crisis Group’s Maria Fantappie, and UNU-CPR’s Cale Salih write on the politics of the Kurdish independence referendum in Foreign Affairs. 

On September 25, Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani plans to hold a referendum on Kurdish independence. The results will not be legally binding, but in calling for a vote, the Kurdish leadership has put its own society and its foreign partners into a bind. Although the vote may extend the lifespan of a Kurdish leadership otherwise in decline, it calls for unity that mutes domestic dissent and risks provoking crises that will leave Kurdistan externally exposed.

Read the full piece here.