Verena Gruber

Main focus: Kurdish military forces

Twitter handle: @VerenaGruber


Languages: German, English, Italian, Russian

City: Wien

Country: Austria

Topics: middle east, kurdistan, change management, mergers & acquisitions, conflict management, conflict


With a background in Political Science (Austria) and my current phD project at the Defence Studies Department at King's College (London), I bridge the gap between politics and military. In detail, I currently work on the way, military transformation processes, such as the unification and institutionalization of the Kurdish Peshmerga in the north of Iraq, effects statebuilding processes.
In this context, I conducted a four month fieldwork on the ground in Iraq, observing the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in their current front line behavior, set-up and cooperation between different military fractions, to understand the potentials of military unification and their already undertaken structural changes. The results of this research project were published in Small Wars Journal and Conflict Studies Quarterly, as well as they were presented in conferences in Sicily and Islamabad.

Examples of previous talks / appearances:

The results of my field work

The publication of my research results on the civil-military relations of the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq. Small Wars Journal, 2015.

Vatican Youth Symposium

Grateful to be invited to speak at the Vatican's Pontifical Academy as a part of their annual Youth Symposium. (2017)

Kurden im Irak

Es ist immer eine Freude mit Gudrun Harrer im Gespräch über die Lage im Irak zu debattieren.

Unabhängigkeitsdemonstration in Barcelona
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Tell History interviewed me to my experiences at the independence rally of Catalonia in 2015.

Visiting Iraq without Iraqi approval - Discovering Kurdistan

Tell History recently interviewed me on my experiences in the Kurdish north of Iraq.

Peshmerga: united in the future?
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Tell History interviewed me to the future unity of the Kurdish armed forces.

Guest Lecture: Ghent University

A pleasure to hold a guest lecture on the interconnections of cross-country Kurdish relations at Ghent University. (2015)

Diplomatische Akademie Wien

Honoured to be invited by the Students of International Security to give a talk on my experience in Iraqi Kurdistan and on writing a PhD at King's College London. (2019)

Gastvortrag: WU Wien

Es ist eine Freude als Motivations-Sprecherin eingeladen zu werden. Themen: Lebensweg, Studienwahl, Möglichkeitshorizont (2015)

Konferenz: International Conference on Post Conflict Rehabilitation, Islamabad

Pleasure to be invited to beautiful Islamabad for a conference at NUST University for a conference and talk on post-conflict rehabilitation. (2015)

Konferenz: 9th Pan-European Conference on International Relations, Sicily

Talk on the geopolitics of the Kurdish revolution in Syria. (2015)

Konferenz: World Conference on Middle Eastern Studies, Ankara

Honoured to be chosen as a student speaker of my MA class (CMES, Lund University Sweden) to accompany a delegation to the WOCMES in Ankara. (2014) Panel: Perceptions of socioeconomic integration of Middle Eastern immigrants in Europe