Aiming at Secession

The KRG’s Activism in the International Arena

  • Alex Danilovich Department of Politics and International Relations, School of Social Sciences, University of Kurdistan Hewler, Kurdistan Region – F.R. Iraq.
  • Huda S. Abdulrahman Department of Politics and International Relations, School of Social Sciences, University of Kurdistan Hewler, Kurdistan Region – F.R. Iraq
Keywords: Federalism, International relations, Iraqi Kurdistan, Para-diplomacy, Referendum of independence

Abstract

This study addresses the issue of sub-national units’ activism in the international arena, using the case of the Iraqi Kurdistan federal region. The prevailing view in the literature is that the increasing involvement of sub-state entities in international relations is caused by globalization and growing economic interdependence. We argue that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has been extremely active in the international arena, primarily, to secure a favorable international image and gain support for recognition in pursuit of a secessionist agenda.  To prove our argument, we generated data through interviews with KRG officials, politicians and Kurdish intellectuals and used secondary data, such as official documents, newspaper reports, statistics and public speeches. Our findings suggest that the KRG has methodically acted to garner international support for its secessionist plans. This conclusion may add to the theory of federalism and paradiplomacy by suggesting that strong political motives may be also the underlying causes of sub-state units’ engagement in international relations, not only globalization and economic interdependence. 

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Author Biography

Alex Danilovich, Department of Politics and International Relations, School of Social Sciences, University of Kurdistan Hewler, Kurdistan Region – F.R. Iraq.

Professionally trained in the USA, France and USSR, Professor Alex Danilovich has developed scholarly expertise in comparative politics, constitutional law and international relations. He has primarily researched transition to democracy, the relationship between former Soviet republics and, lately, Iraqi politics with emphasis on federalism. The results of his research have been summarized in scholarly articles and the following books Understanding Politics in Belarus, Denmark: Aarhus University Press, 2001, Russian-Belarusian Integration: Playing Games Behind the Kremlin Walls, UK/USA: Ashgate, 2006; Kazakhstan: Contemporary Politics (in co-authorship), USA: Eastbridge, 2009; Iraqi Federalism and the Kurds: Learning to Live Together, UK/USA: Ashgate, 2014 and Iraqi Kurdistan in Middle Eastern Politics, UK: Routledge, 2017. [See Academic Profile]

Published
2017-12-29
How to Cite
Danilovich, A., & Abdulrahman, H. (2017, December 29). Aiming at Secession. UKH Journal of Social Sciences, 1(1), 48-59. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.25079/ukhjss.v1n1y2017.pp48-59
Section
Research Articles