HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs


As change sweeps the Middle East, euphoria has slowly given way to anxiety that the tumult will benefit extremist religious groups with anti-Western or anti- modernization agendas. Optimists rightly point to several dynamics that may curb the influence of such groups, such as the secular nature of many of the forces that have dislodged old regimes and the relative lack of public support that extremists have thus far garnered. Yet few have focused on another development that could help promote moderation in the region: the tentative, but growing, role of the region’s Kurdish population.


O'Sullivan, Meghan. "Kurds May Lead the Way for the Arab Spring." Bloomberg, June 16, 2011.