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Online meeting “Youth Identity, Politics and Change in Contemporary Kurdistan”

9 December 2022


Online meeting “Youth Identity, Politics and Change in Contemporary Kurdistan.”

Speakers: Dr Bamo Nouri, Dastan Jasim and Dr Kamaran Palani.

Moderators: Dr Bahar Baser and Dr Shivan Fazil

Each of this event’s speakers has written a book on a topic surrounding this question – which was explored by our moderators.

This meeting begins with both Baher Baser and Shivan Fazil introducing the speakers and briefly discuss how the book ‘Youth Identity, Politics and Change in Contemporary Kurdistan’ came to be with summary of each of the chapters within the book.

Shivan Fazil is a Researcher with the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Shivan works and focuses on the drivers of conflict and peace, the issues of governance in Iraq and particularly the challenges of stabilization.

Dr Bahar Baser is Associate Professor in Middle Eastern Studies at Durham University, and she mentions within the meeting that young people in the Kurdistan region are participating in protests in the region, the youth feel alienated from political processes now and acknowledges that a significant number of youth dream of leaving Kurdistan.

Bamo Nouri highlights that the main problem within Kurdish politics is predominantly centred around the current status quo and structure of the Kurdish political systems and all these factors have signified why the youth disillusionment is prevalent in the situation today. Nouri points out that they have not been able to identify the roots of these problems.

Dastan Jasim comments that the youth is very much ignored summarises that within her chapter there is a difference in political culture of people born before the 1990’s and people born after the 1990’s, the growing role gender plays in this instance since gender plays an important role in Kurdistan. Dastan developed an understanding throughout her time researching that Kurdish people are very unrepresented in the studies which she analyses.


Dr Bamo Nouri

Dr Nouri has recently written: Nepotistic Elites, the Kurdish global Refugee Crisis and Global Insecurity – how the two-party KRG has squandered generations of youth to maintain a declining and unpopular status quo.

Bamo is a Lecturer in International Relations at the University of West London, and an Honorary Research Fellow at City, University of London. He is also an independent investigative journalist and writer with interests in American foreign policy and the international and domestic politics of the Middle East. Bamo is the author of ‘Elite Theory and the 2003 Iraq Occupation by the United States: How US Corporate Elites Created Iraq’s Political System’.

Dastan Jasim

Dastan has recently written Differences and similarities of Youth & Protest between Erbil and Baghdad.

Dastan Jasim is a Research Fellow at the GIGA Institute for Middle East Studies, a doctoral student at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, and a member of the GIGA Doctoral Programme. Her research focuses on the civic culture of Kurds in Iraq,Iran, Syria, and Turkey, as well as on security developments in the Kurdish regions.

Dr Kamaran Palani

Dr Palani has recently written Youth and Governance: Do young Kurds support Kurdish independence?

Kamaran Palani is a Lecturer in International Relations at Salahaddin University, a Research Fellow at MERI, and an Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research. Palani holds a PhD from Leiden University (Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs, 2021). He is the author of Kurdistan’s De Facto Statehood: A New Explanatory Framework (Routledge, 2022).


Dr Bahar Baser

Bahar Baser is Associate Professor in Middle Eastern Studies at Durham University. Previously, she was Associate Professor at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University. She is also a research associate at the Security Institute for Leadership in Africa, Stellenbosch University and visiting researcher at the Tampere Peace Research Institute, Finland. Her expertise lies in diaspora studies and peace and conflict studies with a regional focus on the Middle East.

Dr Shivan Fazil

Shivan Fazil is a Researcher with the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. His work focuses on drivers of conflict, peacebuilding, and governance in Iraq. Shivan holds an MSc in Middle Eastern Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He is the recipient of the Chevening Scholarship, a prestigious award by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.