Using institutions to moderate separatist tendencies : a focus on Iraqi Kurdistan
Author(s)Weinstock, Adele B., 1980-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Political Science.
Roger D. Petersen.
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This thesis offers an alternate theory to the problem of secessionism by integrating two separate fields of research: nationalism and constitutional engineering. In particular, I apply two prominent theories of nationalism, those of Ernest Gellner and Benedict Anderson, to the problem of constitutional engineering. The theories developed by Gellner and Anderson have furthered our understanding of the historical and evolutionary processes of nationhood and nationalism. I argue that the insight offered by these theories can therefore better guide policy makers, scholars, and constitutional engineers in the design of political institutions for deeply-divided societies. The engineering of institutions has the capacity to contain separatist conflict by striking at what I argue are the two necessary cause of secessionism - desire and ability. In my thesis I focus on one case study in particular, that of Iraqi Kurdistan. I argue that a secessionist movement by Iraqi Kurds can best be thwarted by applying a two-pronged strategy: First, devolve enough power to the Kurds so that their rights as a minority group are protected and their desire for self-rule is fulfilled. Likewise, ensure the representation of Kurds in all levels of government. Second, encourage diversity within the Kurdish political arena. Both components of this strategy can be achieved by adopting a proportional representation electoral formula, selecting a territorially-based federalism, and choosing a parliamentary system.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Political Science, 2005."February 2005."Includes bibliographical references.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Political Science.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology