Meet Our New Research Fellow at PCMR Filip Sommer

Date of publication: May 21, 2024

Filip is currently studying for a PhD in Regional and Political Geography. His research focuses on Kurdish politics, Middle East security, economic and political issues especially in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. His dissertation aims to present the mechanisms of governance between different key actors in Iraq’s disputed territories and their perceptions by the local population. Methodologically, it stands on the borderline between political geography, political science and security studies. He has recently undertaken several field trips to Iraq’s disputed territories, specifically to areas such as Khanaqin and Kirkuk. He has been conducting field work in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and Federal Iraq, first collecting data for his master’s thesis on the geopolitical status of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), and now conducting field research in Iraq’s disputed territories for the past 5 years.

Filip is then currently a lecturer at the American University of Iraq Sulaimaniyah (AUIS), focusing on political geography and contemporary conflict areas of the world. Last but not least, he is a research fellow at the Institute of Regional and International Studies (IRIS) at AUIS, where he focuses on political, economic and security issues in the Kurdish and Iraqi political arenas.

His main academic outputs include: KAVÁLEK, T., SOMMER, F. (2019): Russia’s Imprint in Iraqi Kurdistan: Rosneft’s Ascendancy. Middle East Policy, 26(4), 91-101; SOMMER, F. (2020): Iraqi Kurdistan – the eternal desire for an independent state’,, Geographical Reviews, 29(3) 12-15; KAVÁLEK, T., SOMMER, F. (2020): RUSSIAN ENCROACHMENT IN ARAB COUNTRIES SINCE 2011, New Direction; SOMMER, F. (2022): Parliamentary elections in Iraq: no major changes, International Politics, SOMMER, F. (2022): Iraq’s 2021 parliamentary elections: an uncertain path in an unstable country?, Geographical Reviews, 31(3), 18-21 a SOMMER, F. (2022): The war in Syria: 11 years of unabated conflict, International Politics.

Research Focus:

  • Armed conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and the wider Middle East
  • Non-state armed actors in the Middle East
  • Geopolitical relations in the Middle East
  • Conflict areas in North and Sub-Saharan Africa