Collaborative federalism - an alternative model for solving oil and gas disputes in Iraq

Khorsheed, Najmadeen Rashid (2020) Collaborative federalism - an alternative model for solving oil and gas disputes in Iraq. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Since adopting federalism as a new model of governance in the current Constitution of 2005, the distribution of power and wealth has become one of the most contentious issues between the major groups in Iraq; the Sunni Arabs, the Shiite Arabs and the Kurds. Federalism has caused major conflicts between the FG (Federal Government) and the KRG (Kurdistan Regional Government) over the management of oil and gas. Who owns oil and gas in Iraq? Which levels of government are entitled to enter into negotiations with IOCs (international oil companies) and conclude contracts with them in all matters related to oil and gas? Are the SGs (sub-national governments) entitled to export oil and gas in their region or governorates? All these questions have provoked significant disputes between the FG and KRG. This thesis aims to clarify the nature of the federal dimension to disputes over oil and gas management in Iraq and their possible solution by adopting Elazar‘s theory of collaborative federalism. After presenting the main elements of Elazar‘s theory and conceptualization of collaborative federalism as a core pillar of this research, the study delves into an analysis of the constitutional and legal basis of the federal system in Iraq, as well as its social and political dimensions, with a particular focus on how it treats the management of oil and gas resources. The originality of this thesis lies in the fact that it is the first study to link comprehensively the Iraqi federal model to collaborative theory and to suggest that collaborative theory could be a mechanism for resolving internal disputes around the management of oil and gas and for achieving common constitutional and policy aims relating to natural resources within the Iraqi federation. The thesis comprises an in-depth analysis of the Iraqi case using a comparative analysis. The structure of the Iraqi federation according to the Constitution of 2005 and the constitutional provisions regulating the relationship between the federal authorities and all sub-national government authorities suggest the need to adopt an approach based on negotiation, cooperation and compromise among all the governments (national and sub- national) within the federation. Therefore, in order to identify lessons for the Iraqi case (in terms of both successful and failed models of federalism) both the Canadian and Nigerian federations are examined and compared/contrasted with the Iraqi system. It is concluded that, while Canada and Nigeria offer valuable lessons in how to (and sometimes how not to) achieve a suitable federalist response to the management of natural resources in a State, there is much that can be learnt from a collaborative federalist perspective to facilitate better negotiation, greater cooperation and eventual compromise between all parties involved. While recognising the extreme particularity and sensitiveness of the political situation in Iraq, it is suggested that the development of a legal framework and legal discourse around collaboration within the realm of federal relations may enable greater clarity, fairness and ultimately legitimacy in the distribution of oil and gas resources and revenue in Iraq.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
Subjects: D History > DS History of Asia > DS067 Iraq (Assyria, Babylonia, Mesopotamia)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labour > HD9000 Special industries and trades > HD9502 Energy industries. Energy policy. Fuel trade
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 26 May 2020 13:15
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2022 09:22

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