Between State and Non-State: Politics and Society in Kurdistan-Iraq and Palestine

Between State and Non-State: Politics and Society in Kurdistan-Iraq and Palestine

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This edited volume compares the internal dimension, politics and society in Kurdistan-Iraq and Palestine. In particular, it focuses on internal processes in Kurdistan-Iraq and Palestine (Palestinian Territory of the West Bank and Gaza Strip) in their specific shaping, development and transformation. The contributing authors analyze the transformation processes of the internal power structures, the economic basics, and the civil societies and provide an overview of the current political, economic and societal situation and challenges in both regions. The book presents the similarities and differences between both de facto states with regard to a set of guidelines: legitimacy, power relations, transformation of politics and society. It provides empirical explanations and contributes to a better understanding of both de facto states.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781349958924
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan US
Publication date: 12/09/2018
Edition description: Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 2017
Pages: 278
Product dimensions: 5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x (d)

About the Author

Gülistan Gürbey is Adjunct Professor of Political Science, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.

Sabine Hofmann is Researcher and Lecturer at the Center for North Africa and Middle Eastern Politics, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, and the Center for Near and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Marburg, Germany.

Ferhad Ibrahim Seyder is Professor of Political Science at the Center for Kurdish Studies, University of Erfurt, Germany.

Table of Contents

Introduction Conceptualizing De Facto Statehood of Kurdistan-Iraq and Palestine
Gülistan Gürbey/Sabine Hofmann/Ferhad Ibrahim Seyder

Part I Historical Background and Turning Points

1. The Iraqi Kurds: Historical backgrounds of a non-state nation
Ferhad Ibrahim Seyder

2. Historical Background of the State-Building Process in Palestine
As’ad Ghanem

Part II Political System and Internal Power Structure

3. The Evolution of the Political System of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq
Gareth Stansfield

4. The (Quasi) Political System of Palestine
Ghada AlMadbouh

Part III Economic Fundamentals and Challenges

5. The Economic System(s) of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Iraq
Sardar Aziz

6. What is the “Palestinian Economy”?
Raja Khalidi

Part IV Civil Society and “State”

7. The Reality of Civil Society in Kurdistan Region
Murad Hakeem

8. Civil Society in Palestine
Samir Awad

Part V Foreign Relations: Examples

9. The United States and the Kurds of Iraq: Strange Allies
David Romano/Hussein Rikar Kh. Hussein/Stephen Rowe

10. Palestinian Diplomacy: Past and Present
Mkhaimar Abusada

Gülistan Gürbey/Sabine Hofmann/Ferhad Ibrahim Seyder

11. Understanding Kurdistan-Iraq and Palestine: Comparative Features, Similarities and Differences

12. Reflections of Statehood in the Middle East


Müzehher Selcuk

Silvia Nicola

Fact Sheets

List of Contributors

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Travelers among Palestinians and Kurds from Iraq quickly learn that they rarely empathize with one other, because the maxim that intensely applies here is that 'they are the friends of our enemies.' This pathbreaking collection demonstrates, however, just how much the citizens of these quasi-recognized polities have common experiences, including contested national self-determination claims, internal party and spatial divisions, geopolitical constraints, and pan-ethnic linkages. Their histories differ, of course, but in more instructive ways than is often suggested. This pioneering endeavor takes many useful comparative steps beyond ethnocentric introspection and collective self-pity.” (Brendan O’Leary, Lauder Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania)

“This is a very welcome addition to the comparison of two quasi states, The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Palestine. They both represent interesting cases in the international political system; both enjoy a modicum of recognition (Palestine more so than the KRG), financial autonomy (the KRG more so than Palestine) and both are far more consequential in international affairs than their status would suggest. This comparison, the first of its kind, makes for an interesting volume for scholars of the region and beyond.” (Henri J. Barkey, Director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He is the former Bernard L. and Bertha F. Cohen Professor at Lehigh University)

“This is an important volume, which advances our knowledge of the internal dynamics of de facto states. The editors have brought together an eclectic mix of authors who offer insights on the genesis and historical transformation of the political and socio-economic processes in Kurdistan-Iraq and Palestine. A must-read for all those who wish to understand the fundamentals, how these have affected institution and state-building dynamics as well as the current challenges in both regions.” (Dimitris Bouris, University of Amsterdam. Dimitris Bouris and Tobias Schumacher (eds.) (2017), The Revised European Neighbourhood Policy: Continuity and Change in EU Foreign Policy, Palgrave Macmillan)

“This volume is the first of its kind to systematically bring together essays by prominent scholars exploring the Kurdish Iraqi and Palestinian experiences in parallel. It makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of the challenges and characteristics of these two ‘de facto states.’ The volume provides a comprehensive overview and comparative analysis that will be of considerable benefit to policy analysts and professionals dealing with Iraqi Kurdistan, Palestine and the wider region.” (Markus E. Bouillon, author of The Peace Business and Iraq: Preventing a New Generation of Conflict)

“This path breaking work fills a real lacuna in the literature: a comparative analysis of the de facto states of Kurdistan and Palestine. In a region where the very concept of unified nation states is being challenged by conflict and civil war, might the 'no state solution' that has characterized Palestinian and Kurdish political life in the past two decades herald something new for Middle Eastern politics? This sophisticated study probes this fascinating scenario.” (Michael R. Fischbach, Randolph-Macon College, U.S.A. Author of Records of Dispossession: Palestinian Refugee Property and the Arab-Israeli Conflict (2013))

“This book offers a parallel exploration of two of the most explosive legacies of the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement to carve up the Middle East: the Kurdish question and the Palestinian question. Beyond its comparative purpose, it provides excellent insights into each of the Kurdish regional government in Iraq and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.” (Gilbert Achcar, Professor at SOAS, University of London and Chair of the SOAS Centre for Palestine Studies)

“A ground-breaking book that, for the first time, compares the two stateless nations behind so many of the Middle East's conflicts over the past century. Leading scholars of Palestine and Kurdistan compare notes on society and politics and state-building initiatives. Essential reading for scholars and policy makers alike.” (Eugene Rogan, University of Oxford. Author of The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East, 1914-1920, New York and London: Basic Books and Penguin, 2015)

“This insightful, theoretically informed volume gives a sober assessment of the evolution of the political and economic systems in Palestine and the Kurdish autonomous areas. The parallels, and differences, between the two regions are illuminated in empirically rich chapters that make a substantial contribution to the literature.” (Matteo Legrenzi, Associate Professor, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and President of the Italian Association for Middle Eastern Studies (SeSaMO))

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