Federated Entities and International Relations:
A Case Study of Iraqi Kurdistan Region Since 2004
University of Kurdistan-Hawler
Background to the Study
According to the Westphalia system in 1684, the nation states or sovereign states are the only actors in the international relations which can establish relation with other states, conduct foreign policy and practice diplomacy. Keating argues that recent years have seen an increasing involvement of regional government's in international arena. The reason behind this is the changes at the level of sates, changes in international system and in political and economic developments within regions themselves. The distinctions between domestic and foreign affairs are eroded and the division of responsibilities between states and Subnational governments are transformed by the globalization process and the emergence of the transnational regimes, especially regional trading areas. Subnational government's involvement in international affairs have three main dimensions which are economic, cultural and political (Keating, 1999, p.p.1-3). According to Duchacek Federated entities are one of those non sovereign actors which engage in international affairs. Territorial components of federal systems have been increasingly asserting their international competence. They involved in foreign affairs in the areas of foreign investment, trade promotion, environmental and energy issues, cultural exchanges, human and labor rights and tourism. There are many federal regions which try to project their welfare and desires to the international scene. Despite of having conflicts between regions and federal authorities, the regions could to huge extend play an active role in international relations. The amount of regions autonomy to conduct foreign policy is differ from one state to another and depends on their constitutions. There are many examples of those federal regions who involved in international relations like provinces in Canada, states in the United States, Nigeria, Brazil, India, lateen America federations, Landers in western Germany, Austria, autonomous republics in Yugoslavia and cantons in Switzerland (Duchacek 1984, pp. 5-6). Hisso illustrates that Kurdistan region is a federal entity within a federal system of Iraq. After the 1991 uprising, no-fly zone was established. As well, Kurdistan Regional Government was formed in July 1992. The Kurdistan National Assembly made decision in which decided to establish a Federal region of Kurdistan within the federal system of Iraq and considered as a self determination right of Kurdish people October 4, 1992 (Hisso, 2008, p.78). From then until 2004, Iraqi Kurdistan Region has been involved in international relations. Those relations with the foreign and neighboring countries witnessed many ups and dawns, but the region was not recognized as a federal entity until 2004. In 2004 the Transitional Administrative Law (TAL) was passed, in 2005 the Permanent Iraqi Constitution was written dawn and for the first time all sectarian groups participated in the process which approved by a public referendum on October 15, 2005. Since then Kurdistan region has been recognized as a federal region within the unified republic of Iraq (Leezenberg 2005). Kurdistan region became one of the federated regions which enjoy huge amount of autonomy in conducting foreign policy. This huge amount of authority and the legality of Kurdistan region's foreign policy under discussion and question. There are more than question needs answer. This study will try to clarify the Kurdistan regions status in international relations and the legal bases of its involvement in international relations. Research Objectives
This thesis has three main objectives.
1- Explains that no longer sovereign states can be considered as the only actor in international relations and emphasizes the federated entities involvement...
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