Paper

Securing the Peace: The Battle over Ethnicity and Energy in Modern Iraq

Introduction

This article examines the legal and political impediments to the Kurdish Regional Government's (KRG) exploration and production contracts, which the central government in Baghdad has refused to recognize. The newly established Iraqi national constitution significantly opened as many petroleum-control questions as it resolved. Negotiated in 2005, the constitution not only separated branches of government, but established Federalism as its lodestar. When faced with unresolved issues over regional and national control over petroleum resources, however, International Oil Companies (IOCs) function in an ambiguous legal environment that fails to clearly distinguish between federal and regional powers.

This article examines the legal and political impediments to the Kurdish Regional Government's (KRG) exploration and production contracts, which the central government in Baghdad has refused to recognize. The newly established Iraqi national constitution significantly opened as many petroleum-control questions as it resolved. Negotiated in 2005, the constitution not only separated branches of government, but established Federalism as its lodestar. When faced with unresolved issues over regional and national control over petroleum resources, however, International Oil Companies (IOCs) function in an ambiguous legal environment that fails to clearly distinguish between federal and regional powers.

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For Academic Citation: Dargin, Justin. "Securing the Peace: The Battle over Ethnicity and Energy in Modern Iraq." Working Paper, Dubai Initiative, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, November 2009.

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