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Iraq and its regions: Baghdad-provincial relations after Mosul and Kirkuk

Middle East Centre (2018) Iraq and its regions: Baghdad-provincial relations after Mosul and Kirkuk. . LSE Middle East Centre, London, UK.

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The period from July 2017 to May 2018 could prove transformational for Iraq. In July 2017, Iraqi government forces liberated Mosul from Islamic State (IS). In the aftermath of that victory, President of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Masoud Barzani pushed ahead with a referendum on Kurdish independence to enhance Erbil’s bargaining power in its disputes with Baghdad. This backfired and instead the Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, ordered Iraqi forces into Kirkuk, the disputed territory between Baghdad and Erbil, in October 2017. These momentous events form the background against which Iraq will vote in the May 2018 national elections. This vote will not only decide if Abadi gets a second term, but also whether Iraq has moved beyond the divisive sectarian rhetoric that has dominated the country’s post-regime change politics. The LSE Middle East Centre convened a workshop on 15 January 2018, bringing together Iraqi political analysts and decision-makers with other experts on Iraq. The workshop examined the major dynamics that will shape Iraqi politics going forward and drive the relationship between Baghdad and other regions of Iraq, as well as between state and society. The workshop was split into four sessions. The first examined the current political balance of power in the run-up to the May 2018 elections and the potential alliances emerging among the Iraqi ruling elite. The second highlighted the fraught relationship between the capital and the provinces, and asked whether a programme of federal decentralisation was viable. The third looked at the security sector and the dilemma of multiple actors reserving the right to exercise coercive power within Iraq, including the Iraqi Army, the Hashd al-Sha‘abi and the Peshmerga. The final panel discussed the possibility of resetting relations between Baghdad and Erbil, and the weak position the KRG now finds itself in. This report provides a summary of the presentations and discussion.

Item Type: Monograph (Report)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 LSE Middle East Centre
Divisions: Middle East Centre
Subjects: J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2018 12:23
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2021 23:15

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