Photo of Dr Francis Owtram

Dr Francis Owtram

BA Manchester, PhD (LSE)

Honorary Research Fellow

Francis Owtram has a PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics and is the author of A Modern History of Oman: Formation of the State Since 1920 (IB Tauris, 2004).  He has taught at the University of Southampton (The Middle East and the West in the 20th Century, Department of Adult Continuing Education) and the University of Exeter (International History, Department of Lifelong Learning).  From 2007-2012 he was Lecturer  in the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Kurdistan Hewler, Erbil, Iraq, where he taught International Relations of the Middle East, Global Political Economy and International Security at Masters level.  

His research interests focus on the Modern History and International Relations of the Middle East, with special reference to the Gulf States, and also include  unrecognized states, paradiplomacy and transnational migration.  Publications include 'The Foreign Policies of Unrecognized States' in N. Caspersen and G. Stansfield (eds) Unrecognized States in the International System (Routledge/Exeter Studies in Ethno Politics, 2010) and a co-edited volume (with Annemarie Profanter) Citizenship in Transition: New Perspectives on Transnational Migration from the Middle East to Europe (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013).

He is currently a Gulf History Specialist in the British Library Qatar Foundation Partnership, at the British Library, London, assisting in the development of the Gulf History online archive available through the Qatar Digital Library.  

Research interests



·       Profanter, A. and Owtram, F. (editors) Citizenship in Transition: New Perspectives on Transnational Migration between the Middle East and Europe.  Newcastle, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013

·       Owtram, F.  A Modern History of Oman: Formation of the State since 1920. London, IB Tauris, 2004


·       Owtram, F. Turkey and two Middle Eastern ‘quasi-states’: Turkish relations with the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Palestinian National Authority, Turkeyscope, Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, Tel Aviv University, December 2017‘quasi-states’-turkish-relations-kurdistan-regional-government

·       Park, W., Jongerden, J., Owtram, F. and Yoshioko, A. ‘Note on the Independence Referendum in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and disputed areas’ Kurdish Studies, October 2017

·       Owtram, F. ‘Kurds in Iraq: From Sykes-Picot to No-Fly Zones and Beyond’ Open Democracy, September 2017

·       Mohammad, H.K. and Owtram, F.   Paradiplomacy of Regional Governments in International Relations: Foreign Relations of the Kurdistan Regional Government (2003-2010), Iran and the Caucaus, vol. 18, Brill, 2014, 65-84

·       Owtram, F. ‘The Kurdistan Region of Iraq: Ethnic Conflict and the Survival of Dynastic Republicanism in a De Facto’ StateEthnic Conflict  in Artens, J. (ed) De Facto States and Ethnic Conflicts P@X online bulletin, vol. 21, Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, September 2012, 13-15

Book Chapters

·       Owtram, F. ‘The State We’re In: Post-Colonial Sequestration and the Kurdish Quest for Independence since the First World War’ in The Routledge Handbook of Kurdish Studies, M. Gunter (ed), London, Routledge, 2018.

·       Owtram, F. From Shotgun Marriage to Amicable Divorce? The Kurdistan Region of Iraq: Self-Determination, Secession and Recognition in Comparative Perspective’  in Federalism, Secession and International Regime of Recognition: Iraqi Kurdistan at the Crossroads, London, Routledge, 2019.

·       Owtram, F. ‘The Kurdistan Region of Iraq and the Federal Constitution: A Perimeter Plinth of State Territorial Integrity or a Stepping Stone to Secession’, in G. Stansfield and M. Shareef (eds), The Kurdish Question Revisited, London, Hurst, 2017.

·       Owtram, F. ‘The Kurds, Oil and the Drive for Independence: Ace in the Hole or Joker in the Pack’ in A. Danilovich (ed), Iraqi Kurdistan in Middle East Politics, London, Routledge, 2017.

·       Owtram, F. ‘The Federalization of Natural Resources in A. Danilovich’, Iraqi Federalism and the Kurds: Learning to Live Together, Farnham,  Ashgate 2014.

·       Danilovich, A. and Owtram, F.  Federalism as a Tool to Manage Conflicts and Associated Risks in Danilovich, A. Iraqi Federalism and the Kurds: Learning to Live Together, Farnham, Ashgate 2014.

·       Profanter, A. and Owtram, F. ‘Introduction -  Celebrating Difference: In Search of Paradigms Addressing Barriers to Transnational Migration’, in Profanter, A. and Owtram, F. (eds) Citizenship in Transition: New Perspectives on Transnational Migration from Europe to the Middle East. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013

·       Owtram, F, ‘The Foreign Policies of Unrecognized States’ in Casperson, N. and Stansfield, GRV. (eds) Unrecognized States in the Internation al System.  London: Routledge, 2011.

·       Owtram, F. ‘L’Oman et l’Occident: la formation de l'État omanais depuis 1920’ in M. Lavergne (ed) L’Oman contemporain: état, territoire,  identité, Paris, Karthala, 2002)

British Library Expert Articles on  the Qatar Digital Library, 2013 - 2017

·       No Friends but the Mountains: British Officialdom and the Kurds (forthcoming)

·       Muscat and the Monsoon -

·       Oman and Britain since 1750: A Close Relationship -

·       The Financial Troubles of Sa’id bin Taimur -

·       Frankincense in Dhofar: An Ancient Trade at the Centre of19th Century Troubles


·       Spies,Ships and Strategic Communication: Anglo-French Competition in the Gulf

·       ‘Maps, Forts, and Frankincense’, Anglo-Omani Review 2017



·       ‘From Dhofar to Doha and a Road Trip to Riyadh: Bertram Thomas’ Sojourns in Arabia, Untold Lives, February 2015 -


·       ‘Preparation Pays Off: Bertram Thomas and the Crossing of the Empty Quarter’, Untold Lives, December, 2015


·       ‘Anyone for tennis: relaxation and social mingling in the Gulf’, Untold Lives, July 2015


·       New online portal on Gulf History involving IR Dept PhD alumnus, Francis Owtram’ LSE Department of International Relations blog and LSE Middle East Centre blog, June2015


·       ‘Making waves with the Qatar Digital Library’, British Library Science blog, December, 2014

·       ‘The early US Navy in the Gulf’, British Library Americas blog, May 2013

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