Throwing Water Over the Tinderbox: An Alternative for Kirkuk
O'Driscoll, Cornelius Dylan
Date: 9 December 2013
University of Exeter
PhD in Kurdish Studies
Since the United States’ (US) invasion of Iraq in 2003 there has been an intensification of the battle between the rival ethnonationalisms for the control of Kirkuk. Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen are all trying to manoeuvre their ethnic group into positions of power in Kirkuk and as a result the governance has suffered. There has been little ...
Since the United States’ (US) invasion of Iraq in 2003 there has been an intensification of the battle between the rival ethnonationalisms for the control of Kirkuk. Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen are all trying to manoeuvre their ethnic group into positions of power in Kirkuk and as a result the governance has suffered. There has been little in the way of negotiations in order to reach a settlement on the issues that create conflict in Kirkuk. This thesis examines all the issues of conflict and proposes a resolution that deals with them all. The original contribution to the knowledge is the depth of the analysis, which has resulted in a thorough framework that includes all the details necessary to implement it and proposes methods that have not been put forward for Kirkuk before, such as: an international committee, the available cross border institutions, a multi-capital city, the creation of a new province, and making decisions in the council based on a weighted majority of 60% with 40% of two of the main three ethnic groups being in favour. Prior to this thesis, analyses on Kirkuk have been brief, have not addressed all the issues of conflict, and have only given general ideas without following through on them. Additionally this thesis has developed liberal consociational theory with regards to trans-regional self-determination disputes. Therefore, the concepts of cross border institutions, demilitarisation, multi-capital city, special status, international committee and regional power sharing are analysed within this context, thus furthering the consociational theory. This thesis includes an analysis of the relevant theories on power sharing in order to place Kirkuk within these. It is through this analysis that this thesis proposes a liberal consociational settlement for Kirkuk that addresses all the issues of dispute. In this thesis conflicts are viewed as not existing within a static status quo, but rather as being ever-changing. In acknowledging the ever-changing nature of conflicts, the thesis makes forecasts of socioeconomic changes, as these too impact upon the dynamics and what is effectively possible in any resolution.
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