A small country for more men? Iraqi Kurdistan and recent inflows of migration

Dudlák, Tamás (2017) A small country for more men? Iraqi Kurdistan and recent inflows of migration. Corvinus Journal of International Affairs, 2 (4). pp. 35-53. DOI

PDF - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader

Official URL:


In this article I intend to deal with recent trends of migration into the areas under the control of the Kurdish Regional Government of Iraq (KRG, Erbil). In the last decades, Iraq saw significant inflows and outflows of refugees across its borders with neighboring countries. The latest developments in Iraq/Syria – the interconnected problem of sectarian war, the Syrian crisis, and the emergence of ISIS – forced people with different ethnic and religious backgrounds to seek shelter in the Kurdish Regional Autonomy of Iraq (KRA) (in the territory governed from Erbil, but legally under the control of the central government in Baghdad). Approximately 1.5 million Arab people have thus fled to this relatively peaceful part of Iraq causing a huge demographic, social and economic burden for a de facto autonomous territory with an indigenous population of around 5 million. As a consequence, the once minority Kurds now shelter their Iraqi Arab compatriots who form the ethnic majority in Iraq. As many as 85% of the newcomers are from the non-Kurdish part of Iraq (mainly Sunni Arabs). The issue received further significance with the independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan on 25 September 2017. Other recent issues, such as the liberation of Mosul with its humanitarian impact, make for strained relations between Erbil and Baghdad. In this complex political and security environment where the legal, political and social boundaries are fluid, the questions I am interested in examining in this article include whether the KRG seeks to instrumentalise (in any way) or securitise (to any extent) the presence of displaced persons in its territory? How can the situation between the local Kurds and their Arab guests be characterised? And in general: What is the status of the displaced people in Iraqi Kurdistan?

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Kurds, Iraq, IDPs, refugees, Syria, securitisation, small power
Subjects:International relations
ID Code:3835
Deposited By: Veronika Vitéz
Deposited On:13 Dec 2018 11:45
Last Modified:13 Dec 2018 11:45

Repository Staff Only: item control page


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics