Why Did Protests Erupt in Iraqi Kurdistan?

In comparison to previous demonstrations in the KRI, the rhetoric of the December 2020 protests was more absolutist and its geographical scope was unprecedented. Far-flung mid-sized towns such as Kalar and Kifri witnessed some of the largest gatherings as well as the destruction of political party offices. Meanwhile, the response... Read More

Iraqi Women in Civil Society

This report argues that throughout Iraq’s continued attempts to transition to democracy, women’s rights actors have faced significant challenges to further women’s participation in a number of areas. These challenges have arisen as a result of infighting among women’s networks, questions over a feminist agenda or women’s empowerment working framework,... Read More

Protestors and Civil Society Actors in Iraq: Between Reform and Revolution

This report argues that the protest movement emerged spontaneously and represents a novel kind of social movement in Iraq, pushing the boundaries of what constitutes civil society and activism. The role of traditional civil society–i.e. civil society organizations (CSOs) and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)–was relatively minimal in driving the formation and... Read More

Living Apart Together: Decentralized Governance in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

After the reunification of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in 2005, the region was governed under a power sharing coalition dominated by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan’s (PUK). The parties’ previously separate de facto governments were incorporated into a unitary political system governed on the... Read More

Assessing Iraqi Kurdistan's Stability: How Patronage Shapes Conflict

The Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) has generally lacked the security incidents common throughout the country since 2003. Yet, tension between the main political parties ruling over the region – the Erbil-based Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Sulaimani-based Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) – has increasingly come to the... Read More

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