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)
Areas of Expertise (8)
Governor’s Teaching Award (professional)
State of Missouri
Missouri State University Foundation Teaching Award
J.S. Seidman Research Fellowship
CÉRIUM Post-Doctoral Scholarship (professional)
Université de Montréal
R.B. Myers Post-Doctoral Fellowship (professional)
Department of National Defence (Canada)
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
- 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
Dr. David Romano addresses most recent chemical attack in Syria.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Peeling Back the Layers, Understanding Islam and Muslims
Dr. David Romano tries to clear up the stereotype of Islam by explaining the various aspects of Islam.
Professor Seeks Clarity in Turbulent Middle Eastern Issues
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.
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
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This article examines the effect of modern media and communications technology on ethnic nationalist resurgence, using the Kurds as a case example.
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].