This article brings the case of the Kurdish referendum for independence into the wider literature on independence referendums. It examines the decision to hold an independence referendum and explores the pre-referendum conditions and the post-referendum consequences. The article argues that the referendum in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq was held due to internal political competition and growing rebellion from the population against the poor economic and political situation rather than the ripeness of the timing for independence. Theoretically, this article adds a new dimension to the scholarship on independence referendums, as it demonstrates that the purposes of independence referendums can go beyond the question put to the population - such as consolidating popular support by connecting to the populations’ nationalist desires, despite independence not being a realistic prospect. Finally, it brings further support for previous findings of the importance of international support for independence referendums.
Bibliographical noteCopyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.
- Independence Referendums
- Unrecognised states
O'Driscoll, D., & Baser, B. (2019). Referendums as a Political Party Gamble: A Critical Analysis of the Kurdish Referendum for Independence. International Political Science Review , (In-press), (In-press). https://doi.org/10.1177/0192512119858367