AbstractsPolitical Science

U.S. Foreign Policy Interests towards the Kurds

by Nina Visholm

Institution: Roskilde University
Year: 2015
Keywords: KRG; U.S. foreign policy; U.S. interests; Realism; USA; Kurds; Great powers; International system; Offensive realism; Defensive realism
Record ID: 1120233
Full text PDF: http://rudar.ruc.dk/handle/1800/19193


The aim of this project is to identify the underlying interests of U.S. foreign policy towards the Kurds over time and how they have influenced the Kurdish position in the Middle East. Furthermore, it shall be investigated how these interests have possibly shifted over time. In order to examine and explain U.S. foreign policy interests, the theoretical framework is mainly based on offensive and defensive realism theories - following the ideas of John J. Mearsheimer and Kenneth Waltz. On the basis of a qualitative inquiry, the design of the project incorporates a historical and interpretative approach. The project’s findings illustrate that the U.S. foreign policy approach did not change over the course of history. The USA has been following realist thinking in order to fulfil its national interests. Nonetheless, historical events have triggered certain adjustments within U.S. foreign policy. Throughout the project, this will be illustrated when analysing U.S. foreign policy behaviour in terms of either offensive or defensive realism. The project will end with the group’s afterthoughts concerning the future position of the Kurds based on the knowledge achieved throughout the project.