Date of Award:

8-2020

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Political Science

Committee

Anna O. Pechenkina

Committee

Jeannie Johnson

Committee

Nicole Allen

Abstract

In the mid-1990s the two Kurdish parties in Iraq—the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK)—signed two power-sharing agreements, which had dramatically different results. The 1992 50-50 Agreement ended in conflict while the 1998 Washington Agreement ended in long-lasting peace.

I examine both the agreements and their surrounding context to identify what explains the success or failure of these two agreements in establishing long-lasting and cooperative peace. I find that the presence or absence of peace is due to both the language of the agreements and the context in which they were created. I demonstrate this through an examination of the two learning periods the Iraqi Kurds experienced, one through fighting from 1994-1997 and the second through a peacetime separation into two governorates from 1998-2006.

One of the most important conclusions is that the endemic Koya/Shaqlawa peace process between the two Iraqi Kurdish parties prior to the 1998 Washington Agreement resulted in a more ambiguous agreement in 1998 which laid the ground work for greater cooperation over the next decade culminating in the 2006 Kurdistan Regional Government Unification Agreement.

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