Public Authority and Iraq’s Disputed Territories

Originally published in the LSE Middle East Centre blog by IRIS Director Christine van den Toorn in August 2018. This blogpost introduces the LSE research project Public Authority and Iraq’s Disputed Territories by Christine van den Toorn, examining the territorial dispute between the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional... Read More

Kurdistan Politics at a Crossroads

With their legitimacy and credibility irreparably damaged, Kurdish political elites stand to lose seats and influence in Iraq’s upcoming parliamentary elections. Originally published in Sada, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace by IRIS Director Christine van den Toorn on April 26, 2018. From March 25 to 30, Kurds demonstrated in Sulaimaniya,... Read More

Internal Divides Behind the Kurdistan Referendum

The Kurdistan Region’s “yes” vote in the independence referendum does not translate to unconditional support for independence in the short term. Originally published in Sada, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace by IRIS Director Christine van den Toorn on October 11, 2017. On September 25, Iraqi Kurds voted in a referendum... Read More

High Noon in Iraq's Wild West

The Islamic State is finally being forced out of the country, but anarchy is taking over. Originally published in Foreign Policy by IRIS Director Christine van den Toorn on February 22, 2016. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The liberation of towns from the Islamic State has had the surprising effect on my Iraqi friends... Read More

Rivalries Trump Resettlement in Liberated Territory

The town of Sulaiman Bek epitomizes a major challenge facing Iraq: IS has been ousted, but ethno-sectarian politics are preventing displaced civilians from returning. Originally published in Iraq Oil Report by Christine van den Toorn and Muhammed Hussein on February 17, 2016. Read the full article here (subscription only). Read More

Splits over Sinjar Strategy Leave Town in IS Control

Power struggles among rival Kurdish forces, several backed by the U.S., are frustrating a long-planned offensive to retake the city whose sacking drew the world’s attention to the IS invasion. Originally published in Iraq Oil Report by Christine van den Toorn , Patrick Osgood, and Rawaz Tahir on November 8,... Read More

Kurdistan’s Missed Chance for Reform

Political deadlock within the Kurdistan Regional Government is hindering the shift from an executive to a parliamentary system. Originally published in Carnegie's Sada Journal by IRIS Director Christine van den Toorn and Raad Alkadiri on September 15, 2015. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Over the past few weeks, disputes have grown over whether to... Read More

The Hero Yazidis Hope Will Save Them

When the Yazidi city of Sinjar fell to ISIS last year, the U.S. got sucked into a new war. Now, who will lead the fight to re-take the town? Yazidis want to take point. Originally published in The Daily Beas t by IRIS Director Christine van den Toorn on May... Read More

Pages