What the Kurdish Independence Referendum Means for the Middle East

People in Kurdish region of Iraq have voted overwhelmingly for independence in a popular referendum that took place in late September. No country in the region wanted this referendum to happen — and neither did the United States, with whom the Kurds have been a longtime ally. Soon after the results were announced, the Iraqi government and other countries in the region like Turkey and Iran threatened retaliatory measures.

The implications of this referendum and its fallout are still unfolding. Here to help me make sense of what this referendum was all about and how it may impact the political and diplomatic dynamic of the region is Morgan Kaplan, a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Buffett Institute for Global Studies and the Department of Political Science at Northwestern University. We discuss why this referendum was so politically significant and how it may affect the future shape of the Middle East.

If you have 20 minutes and want to learn about the broader implications of the Kurdish independence referendum, have a listen.

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