The Impact of American Involvement on National Liberation: Polarization and Repression in Palestine and Iraqi Kurdistan

In: Middle East Law and Governance
Dana El Kurd Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, Doha, Quatar,

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What is the effect of international involvement on national liberation movements? In the last few decades, movements transforming into states have increasingly operated in a globalized context and have had to contend with international pressures. However, the effects of international involvement on the internal dynamics of these movements should be more centrally considered. This paper thus examines the role of international involvement in the Kurdish national liberation movement in Iraqi Kurdistan and the Palestinian national liberation movement within the Palestinian territories. Specifically, I look at the role of the United States as the most powerful actor in the Middle East region. This paper argues that international involvement leads to authoritarian conditions within these state-building projects as well as paralyzes the efficacy and coherence of these movements. Specifically, international involvement creates polarization among political elites and a divergence between elite and public preferences, which creates authoritarian conditions.

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