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Zeynep Kaya

Research Fellow

Dr Zeynep Kaya is Research Fellow at the LSE Middle East Centre and Research Officer at the LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security. Zeynep is currently researching gender, displacement and the implementation of the WPS agenda in Iraq.

Her wider research interests are in the international politics of the Middle East with a focus on Kurdish politics in Iraq, Syria and Turkey, as well as Turkish domestic politics and foreign policy. Zeynep recently completed a research project on how international-local interaction shapes gender norm compliance in Iraqi Kurdistan, and she is currently leading a project on responses to internal displacement in Iraqi Kurdistan. Zeynep completed her PhD in International Relations at LSE and is currently working on her book Mapping Kurdistan: Self-determination, Territoriality and Quest for Statehood

Contact Details

Email: z.n.kaya@lse.ac.uk
Telephone: +44(0)207 955 6508

Research interests

  • Nationalism and international norms, particularly self-determination
  • Kurdish nationalism in the region and the diaspora
  • International political theory
  • Gender and state-building in the Kurdistan region of Iraq
  • Contemporary Turkish politics



Research Projects

Understanding the Role of International Actors in Enhancing Women’s Rights after a Foreign Military Intervention: A Case Study of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

The Complexity of Humanitarian Response to IDPs in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq



Kaya, Zeynep (2016) Women, peace and security in Iraq: report on Iraq’s National Action Plan to implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. LSE Middle East Centre Report, Middle East Centre, LSE, London.

Kaya, Zeynep (2016) The AKP and Turkish foreign policy in the Middle East Collected Papers, Kaya, Zeynep, ed Vol. 5. Middle East Centre, LSE, London, UK.

Kaya, Zeynep and Lowe, Robert (2016) The curious question of the PYD-PKK relationship In: Stansfield, Gareth and Shareef, Mohammed, (eds.) The Kurdish Question Revisited. Hurst, London, UK. ISBN 9781849045629.

Kaya, Zeynep (2016) Book review: the politics of international intervention: the tyranny of peace Middle East Centre Blog (18 Mar 2016) Blog entry.

Kaya, Zeynep (2016) Women in post-conflict Iraqi Kurdistan Open Democracy (26 Feb 2016) opinion.

Whiting, Matthew and Kaya, Zeynep (2016) Floating or sinking? The state of democracy in Turkey and the rise of the HDP Open Democracy (25 Feb 2016) opinion.


Kaya, Zeynep (2015) The declining health of Turkish democracy LSE Middle East Centre Blog (20 Nov 2015) Blog entry

Kaya, Zeynep (2015) Cautious hope for Turkey: Between a coalition government and early elections. LSE Middle East Centre (10 June 2015) Blog Entry

Kaya, Zeynep (2015) When sovereignty and self-determination overlap in claims to statehood: the case of Iraqi Kurdistan. In: International Relations and a new Middle East Symposium, 07-08 May 2015, Aarhus, Denmark

Kaya, Z. and Whiting, M. (2015) Ethnonational separatism in East Asia: the international dimension In: Pacheco-Pardo, R. and Reeves, J., (eds.) Non-Traditional Security in East Asia. Imperial College Press, London, UK, 93-118. ISBN 9781783267033

Kaya, Zeynep and Keranen, Outi (2015) Constructing identity through symbols by groups demanding self-determination: Bosnian Serbs and Iraqi Kurds Ethnopolitics, 14 (5). 505-512. ISSN 1744-9057


Kaya, Zeynep (2014) Further distance between EU and Turkey might jeopardise PKK-Turkish government talks. LSE Euro Crisis  in the Press (September 2014) Blog Entry

Kaya, Zeynep (2014) Book Review: The Struggle for Iraq’s Future: How Corruption, Incompetence and Sectarianism Have Undermined Democracy by Zaid Al-Ali. LSE Review of Books (05 Aug 2014) Blog Entry

Kaya, Zeynep (2014) Initial Reflections from a research trip to the Kurdistan region of Iraq. LSE Middle East Centre (14 May 2014) Blog Entry


Kaya, Z. and Whiting, M. (2013) Protests in Turkey: Competing visions for democracy. LSE European Politics and Policy (18 June 2014) Blog Entry

Kaya, Z. and Whiting, M. (2013) Can Turkey learn anything from Northern Ireland? LSE Middle East Centre (26 March 2013) Blog Entry


Kaya, Zeynep (2012) Oil dispute and ethno-politics in the Kurdish region of Iraq. LSE Ideas (August 2012) Blog Entry

Kaya, Zeynep (2012) Thoughts on the ethno-territorial demands of the Kurdish political groups. LSE Middle East Centre (30 July 2012) Blog Entry


Kaya, Zeynep (2008) Book Review: Kerim Yildiz and Tanyel B. Taysi, The Kurds in Iran: the past, present and future Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 36 (3). 649-651. ISSN 0305-8298