Party politics in quasi-states: Iraqi Kurdistan

Dylan O'Driscoll, Irene Costantini

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Following the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003, party politics became central in the development of a pluralistic, but not fully democratic political system in the country marred by continuous violence and instability. This chapter focuses on party politics in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) without neglecting its positioning within the broader Iraq. Indeed, Kurdish party politics cannot be fully grasped without integrating the domestic (KRI), national (Iraq) and regional (MENA) dimensions. Rooted in a historical struggle against the regime of Saddam Hussein and aspiring to Kurdish independence, the major political parties in the KRI, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) are, as the chapter argues, on the one hand, the main contributors to the construction of a quasi-state and on the other hand, the main obstacles to the institutionalisation of federal politics and its effectiveness.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook on Political Parties in the Middle East and North Africa
EditorsFrancesco Cavatorta, Lise Storm, Valeria Resta
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780429269219
ISBN (Print)9780367674045, 9780367219864
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2020


  • Governance, Leadership and Trust


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