From ally to foe: The Iraqi Communist Party and the Kurdish Question, 1958-75

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In the modern history of Iraq, the period from the 1958 Revolution until the Ba‘th Party's consolidation of power by the mid-1970s stands out as an exceptionally eventful era. Not only did it witness a revolution that overthrew the British-installed monarchy, it also saw the revolutionary regime's own downfall a few years later in a bloody coup. That putsch was later followed by many similar military interventions. In addition, the epoch witnessed phases of internal warfare between the Kurdish minority and the central government. Throughout this period the future of the new Iraqi republic was ‘up for grabs’, and various disparate groupings and political parties struggled for power and to win over the general population to their respective causes. Besides the Ba‘th Party, which eventually seized power in 1968, the two major political players during this period were the Iraqi Communist Party and the Kurdistan Democratic Party. Most academic studies have downplayed the role played by the two latter organisations during this period and none have explicitly looked at the changing relationship between them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-185
Number of pages17
JournalBritish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Cite this