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Title: Iraqi Kurdistan : an analysis and assessment of the development and operation of the political system
Author: Stansfield, Gareth R. V.
ISNI:       0000 0001 1071 3678
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2001
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This thesis examines the development and mechanics of the political system of Iraqi Kurdistan (northern Iraq). Since 1991, a de facto state system has been in existence in this region, a situation exists which has few precedents and no present-day comparison. The political system of Iraqi Kurdistan is identified as possessing political parties, electoral procedures, a national assembly, and organs of governance and administration. To understand this political system, the structures, decisionmaking processes and political history of the major political parties are analysed. Historically, the Kurds have never possessed a state. However, following the Gulf War of 1990-1991 and the withdrawal of the Government. of Iraq (GOI) from Iraqi Kurdistan, an indigenous emergency administration was established by the Iraqi Kurdistan Front (IKF), followed by multi-party elections in 1992. The administrative vacuum forced the militia-style political parties into governing the territory. Such a task brought parties supposedly representing different strata of Kurdish society together in a volatile coalition resulting in a equal sharing of power. However, interfactional fighting in 1994 resulting in the Kurdish region being divided between the two most powerful political parties (the KDP and PUK), with the system being further complicated by a multitude of smaller political parties and groupings. A theme which is developed throughout the thesis is that the successful peaceful political development of the Iraqi Kurdish region may be achieved by employing a variant of a consociational system of governance. It is argued that a major component of a peaceful political settlement has to include elite accommodation within the governmental structure which is acceptable to the geopolitical thinking of neighbouring states and influencing powers, as well as being able to administer the Iraqi Kurdish region in this difficult period for the whole of Iraq. A modified powersharing system may possibly allow for such political development to take place, later allowing the KDP and PUK to once again unify the political system of Iraqi Kurdistan.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Iraq; Kurds; Kurdish; Middle East