In Iraq the issue of decentralization tends to kick up a flurry of activity and discussion whenever Law 21 is amended or a governor attempts to create a new region. Otherwise though, federalism only draws attention as it relates to Baghdad-Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) relations, oil revenue sharing, or both. However, while federalism rarely lends itself to meaningful discussion beyond Baghdad-KRG dynamics, Iraq’s current public service regime is struggling to deliver on desperately needed services in part due to the issue of establishing a functioning federal state system across the country. Far more attention needs to be devoted to institutions and how those operating within them can deliver those services. One way to do this is to decentralize service provision to the governorates not incorporated into a region. However, this process has been hampered by administration, fiscal, and political issues. Identifying these and seeking solutions to resolve them will be key. This paper addresses the decentralization process, specifically focusing on the issues surrounding the governorates not incorporated into a region, as per Law 21.
Read the paper in PDF here Decentralization and its Discontents in Iraq
Source: Middle East Institute. September 25, 2019