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David Romano - Missouri State University. Springfield, MO, US

David Romano David Romano

Thomas G. Strong Professor of Middle East Politics | Missouri State University

Springfield, MO, UNITED STATES

Dr. Romano researches the politics and government of the Middle East.




David Romano Publication David Romano Publication




Gaining a global perspective Erdogan's about-face on the Kurds Ethnic Terrorism, Constituency Reforms, and Improvement in Minority Rights Session 9: Regional Power Dynamics: Conflict and Collaboration To be or not to be a terrorist? What interrupts radicalization?



Dr. David Romano is a Thomas G. Strong Professor of Middle East Politics at Missouri State University. He has authored numerous publications on the Kurds and the Middle East, including two books.

His research interests cover nationalism, social movements, theories of peace and conflict, political violence, politicized Islam, Middle-East and Mediterranean politics (with a special emphasis on Turkey, Iraq, the Kurds and other Middle Eastern minorities) and foreign policy.

Dr. Romano has been a Rudaw columnist since 2010.

Industry Expertise (3)

International Affairs Education/Learning Research

Areas of Expertise (8)

Middle East and Mediterranean Politics (special emphasis on Turkey, Iraq, the Kurds and other Middle Eastern minorities) Forced Migration (Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons) Non-state Actors (particularly movements employing guerilla and terrorist tactics) Politicized Islam Globalization and Development Issues Theories of Peace and Conflict Social Movements Nationalism

Accomplishments (5)

Governor’s Teaching Award (professional)

State of Missouri

Missouri State University Foundation Teaching Award


J.S. Seidman Research Fellowship

Rhodes College

CÉRIUM Post-Doctoral Scholarship (professional)

Université de Montréal

R.B. Myers Post-Doctoral Fellowship (professional)

Department of National Defence (Canada)

Education (4)

University of Toronto: Ph.D., Political Science 2002

Major Field: Developing Areas
Minor Field: International Relations
Thesis Title: Kurdish Nationalist Movements

Bilkent University: Visiting Researcher 1998

McGill University: M.A., Political Science 1993

Thesis Title: "A tale of two movements: Peru, 1965 and the present"

McGill University: B.A., Middle East Studies and Political Science 1991

Affiliations (2)

  • Kurdish Studies Journal: Member of Editorial Review Board
  • Cambridge University Press: Reviewer of Article Submissions and Book Manuscripts

Media Appearances (8)

Syrian business owner in Springfield laments the state of his native land

KY3  tv


Dr. David Romano addresses most recent chemical attack in Syria.

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Syrians stifled by Lebanon’s new entry restrictions

Arab News  online


Dr. David Romano weighs in on why Lebanon is restricting Syrians’ entry into the country.

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What Israel's PM could have said



This week a statement from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gathered much attention from Kurdish and other Middle Eastern media. Mr. Netanyahu said that Israel “supports the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to attain a state of their own.”

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The fruits of Obama’s strategy and new challenges for Trump



With the liberation of Mosul and now Tal Afar from the so-called Islamic State (ISIS), the strategy of former US President Barack Obama finally bears fruit. In Syria as well, ISIS finds itself with its back against the wall as Kurdish-led PYD and SDF forces make their way through Raqqa and close in on (along with Assad regime forces from another direction) Deir ez-Zor.

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The Time for Kurdistan’s referendum is now



In an opinion piece on Wednesday, the editorial board of The New York Times joined a chorus of Western and Iranian voices saying “now is not the time for the Kurds’ referendum on independence.” While conceding that “self-determination is an understandable goal” and that Kurds have yearned for independence “for generations,” The New York Times throws out the same concerns and objections as others.

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Opinion Why Identity Matters in Foreign Policy



Listening to some scholars and analysts of foreign policy, states and their leaders rationally pursue the policies that simply maximize their interests — security, power and money, mainly. From this point of view, Turkey is increasingly distancing itself from NATO, Europe and the United States because of Brussel’s refusal to admit it to the European Union and Washington’s support of PKK-aligned Kurdish groups in Syria.

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Peeling Back the Layers, Understanding Islam and Muslims

KSMU  radio


Dr. David Romano tries to clear up the stereotype of Islam by explaining the various aspects of Islam.

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Professor Seeks Clarity in Turbulent Middle Eastern Issues

KSMU  radio


Dr. David Romano’s loved ones sometimes ask if he’d prefer to study a less volatile part of the world – Norwegian beaches, perhaps? But, that’s not him. He’s especially interested in social movements that take up arms for their cause.

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Event Appearances (7)

Israel’s Stakes in Iraqi Kurdistan

Kurdistan at a Crossroads: Current Issues of Domestic and International Politics  Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan


A Kurdish State in the Middle East: Best and Worst Case Scenarios

Southwestern Social Science Association  Austin, TX.


Independence of Kurdistan; Opportunities and Challenges

Invited Speaker at American University of Duhok  Duhok, Iraqi Kurdistan


Intra-Kurdish Politics and the Different Kurdistans

Middle East Research Institute Conference on the Future of the Middle East  Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan


Conflict, Democratization and the Kurdish Issue

“Diversity and Democracy” Lecture Series  Montreal, Canada


Energy Dependency and Future of Energy Politics Around Turkey

Roundtable Speaker at Turkish Heritage Organization  Washington, D.C.


Freedom of Expression in Turkey

12th International Conference on the European Union, Turkey and the Kurds  Brussels, Belgium


Minds-Eye (1)

The big questions: Life and death in the Middle East

Dr. David Romano’s loved ones sometimes ask if he’d prefer to study a less volatile part of the world – Norwegian beaches, perhaps? But, he said, “The questions that got me interested in political science are the life-and-death questions.”

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Articles (33)

The Kurdistan Regional Government’s Oil Imperative Routledge Kurdish Handbook


The Kurds The Routledge Handbook of Middle East Minorities


Israel’s Stakes in Iraqi Kurdistan Federalism, Secession, and International Recognition Regime: Iraqi Kurdistan at a Crossroads


Forms and Prospects of Kurdish Armed Struggle The Future of the Kurds in the Middle East: Representation and Reform after the Arab Spring


The 'Arab Spring'; and the Kurds: New Opportunities and Threats Non-State Armed Actors in the Middle East Geopolitics, Ideology, and Strategy


One Kurdish Nation and 1,001 Kurdish Politics The Middle East Journal


Popular and scholarly interest in the Kurds has exploded of late. In academia, this interest began even before the rise of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and the Kurds’ checking of the jihadis’ ambitions in Syria and Iraq. This contrasts starkly with the situation only 20 years ago, when this reviewer was in the midst of his doctoral studies and could find only six books (in English or French) dealing with modern Kurdish issues in the University of Toronto’s library, the largest library collection in Canada.

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Social Movement Theory and Political Mobilization in Kurdistan The Kurdish Question Revisited


The United States and the Kurds of Iraq: Strange Allies The Palestinian Authority and the Kurdistan Regional Government


The relationship between the US government and the Iraqi Kurds, beginning in the Cold War and continuing to the present campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), has been complicated. It is characterized by cooperation toward short-term US objectives while noticeably lacking consensus regarding Kurdish long-term goals.

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Relations Between the United States and Kurdistan Kurdish Issues: Essays in Honor of Robert W. Olson


Successful and Less Successful Interventions: Stabilizing Iraq and Afghanistan International Studies Perspectives


The US troop surge and awakening movements are the two factors most often associated with the decrease of violence in Iraq after 2006. However, these policies, including a distinction between the Anbar Awakening and later Sons of Iraq (SOI) program, did not occur simultaneously.

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Iraqi Kurdistan and Turkey: Temporary Marriage? Middle East Policy


In Turkish political circles, there is a popular quip: “The United States wanted Turkey and Iraq's Kurds to become friends, not get married.” As their cooperation deepens, especially in hydrocarbons, observers increasingly question whether the relationship will endure.

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Iraq's Descent Into Civil War: A Constitutional Explanation The Middle East Journal


In the summer of 2014, the Iraqi government lost control of much of the country. Insurgents — including the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), former Ba‘thists, and an array of Sunni tribes — captured Mosul, and then much of western Iraq. Although complex factors lay behind these developments, this article focuses on one theme of central importance: attempts to consolidate power in Baghdad and the concomitant evisceration of Iraq’s constitution. When key provisions of a very decentralizing federal constitution were ignored or violated, the blowback from disenfranchised groups in Iraq brought the country to the brink of collapse.

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Central State Weakness and Kurdish Opportunities The Kurdish Spring


The Long Road Toward Kurdish Accommodation in Turkey: The Role of Elections and International Pressures Democratization and Ethnic Communities


The Kurds and E.U. Enlargement Divided Nations and European Integration


The Jihadists in Iraq Oxford Handbook of Islam and Politics


Turkish and Iranian Efforts to Deter Kurdish Insurgent Attacks Deterring Terrorism: Theory and Practice


Iraqi Kurdistan: challenges of autonomy in the wake of US withdrawal International Affairs


In August 2010, the United States officially ended the combat mission of its military forces in Iraq and withdrew all but 50,000 of its troops from the country. Iraqi Kurds now contemplate the implications of the looming withdrawal of the remaining 50,000, scheduled for the end of 2011.

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The Kurds and Contemporary Regional Political Dynamics The Kurdish Policy Imperative


La migration irrégulière en provenance d’Iraq via la Turquie (Irregular Migration from Iraq through Turkey) Les migrations internationals contemporaines


Regional Organizations, Regional Identities and Minorities: The Arabs and the Kurdish Question Beyond Regionalism? Regional Cooperation, Regionalism and Regionalisation in the Middle East


The Future of Kirkuk Governance in Ethnically Mixed Cities


IDP and Refugee Return to Northern Iraq: Sustainable Returns or Demographic Bombs? Refuge


Regime change in Iraq has opened the door to the return of hundreds of thousands of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), the majority of whom were expelled from Kirkuk and other areas in northern Iraq. The Iraqi case presents three broad, readily identifiable categories of displaced persons: refugees in Iraq's neighbouring states, internally displaced persons, and refugees and migrants in third countries further afield.

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The Future of Kirkuk Ethnopolitics


The analysis below provides an overview of the modern history of the city of Kirkuk and its surrounding area, its role in Iraqi politics, and the risk of sectarian conflict over control of the Kirkuk region breaking out.

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Women in Post-Saddam Iraq: One Step Forward or Two Steps Back? NWSA (National Women's Studies Association) Journal


This article examines the ever-changing position of women in post-monarchical Iraq. Ironically, many women's gains obtained under Saddam's Ba'athist regime were subsequently lost under the same regime.

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Conducting Research in the Middle East's Conflict Zones PS: Political Science and Politics


In many people’s minds, the Middle East stands out as the world’s most dangerous place. I often remark to my colleagues and friends, however, that I feel safer doing field research in most Middle Eastern countries than I would in much of Africa or Latin America.

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The Palestinians The Iraq War: Causes and Consequences


Whose House is this Anyway? IDP and Refugee Return in Post-Saddam Iraq Journal of Refugee Studies


Although many people displaced by Saddam's regime over the years looked forward to returning as soon as the 2003 war ended, a number of problems emerged which continued to bedevil the return process as late as one year after the war.

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Cyprus and Ethnicity: Impact on Politics and Society The Encyclopedia of the Developing World


Globalisation, Extremism and Violence in Poor Countries Third World Quarterly


Globalisation - understood as external and internal market liberalisation - generates conditions in poor countries that are conducive to the emergence of extremist movements, instability and conflict. Liberalisation and the accompanying requirement of macroeconomic stabilisation subject people to rapid and sometimes devastating changes in fortune. Yet globalisation has had vastly different effects in different countries.

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Safe Havens as Political Projects: The Case of Iraqi Kurdistan States Within States: Incipient Political Entities in the Post-Cold War Era


Modern Communications Technology in Ethnic Nationalist Hands: The Case of the Kurds Canadian Journal of Political Science


This article examines the effect of modern media and communications technology on ethnic nationalist resurgence, using the Kurds as a case example.

The Ethnic Question in an Environment of Insecurity: the Kurds in Turkey Journal of Ethnic and Racial Studies


This article examines the effect that a poor structural context, what we term an "environment of insecurity", has on the Kurdish ethnic nationalist mobilization in Turkey. The empirical evidence for this analysis is based on data from the 1993 Turkish Demographic and Health Survey [TDHS].

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