The 'Kurd' between capitalist-statist nationalism and class conflict

Govand Khalid Azeez*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ‘Yes for independence’ campaign in Iraqi Kurdistan has been predominantly explained as an act undertaken by an omni-representative political governing structure (Kurdistan Regional Government) and a homogenous ethnic group univocally voicing a ‘Yes for independence’. However, the role of what Engels calls the ‘first great cleavage of society’: The historically conflicting exploiting and exploited classes and the manner in which they influence the cause, the means of articulation and the materialisation of this ‘Yes’ have been overlooked. This paper aims to demonstrate that this ‘Yes’ is a site of contestation between these two classes and their transcendental subjective political position and real material structural condition and interests. It exposes the fallacious and reactionary ideological proposition that KRG, the instrument of a semi-feudal and semi-bourgeois class, is the universal and legitimate representative of ‘Kurdish society’ and that there is a homogenous politico-ontological typology (the ‘Kurd’) articulating a cohesive and consistent ‘Yes’ for a new state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-432
Number of pages22
JournalCritique (United Kingdom)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Bourgeoisie
  • Capitalism
  • Empire
  • Iraq
  • Kurdistan
  • Nationalism
  • Proletariat
  • State


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