Implementing social security programmes in post-conflict Iraqi Kurdistan region: the case of "Social safety net" and "Rights and privileges to families of martyrs and genocide survivors" after 2001

Irwani, Muslih (2014) Implementing social security programmes in post-conflict Iraqi Kurdistan region: the case of "Social safety net" and "Rights and privileges to families of martyrs and genocide survivors" after 2001. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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By drawing on the hegemony of politics over the administration and social policy in the Kurdistan Region, researching the implementation of social security programmes is critically important for understanding the outlook of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) towards social policy. This research broadly examines policy implementation theories within the context of this politically underdeveloped region, taking into account the social security programmes of the KRG as a case study. Primary questions could be asked here, such as what are the critical factors in the implementation of social security in the KRG? Why has the KRG not adopted and implemented an effective social policy with its developmental programmes since its relative economic growth in 2001? My focused question in the current research is: why has the KRG implemented its two main social cash transfers (‘Rights and Privileges to Families of Martyrs and Genocide Survivors’ and ‘Social Safety Net’) differently? Exploring these cases would favour understanding of the extent to which the political conditions of the Kurdistan Region have influenced the implementation of social benefit schemes of the KRG. Experiencing its national struggle in the past, intra-Kurdish civil war during the 1990s and partisanship afterwards has formed the KRG.

As for the theoretical framework of this research, I have used two sets of literature: policy implementation and clientelism. Having employed qualitative semi-structured interviews with forty-six individuals and six focus groups from implementers of the aforementioned programmes in the region, this research discusses the critical factors in the implementation process of social security programmes in the KRG. In contrast to almost all policy implementation theories and models, which lay emphasis on the role of top officials (top-down approach), bureaucrats and implementers (bottom-up approach), I argue that the political character of the programme and its beneficiaries is potentially a determinant actor in the policy implementation success. The KRG deals with social cash transfers in accordance with the profile and socio-political status of beneficiaries. In this regard two types of clients could be distinguished: high value clients treated within a preferred programme (RPFMGS) and low-value clients treated within a neglected programme (SSN). The profile and status of beneficiaries of social security schemes play a decisive role in the salience given to the social programme, and in the effectiveness of its implementation.

Both aforementioned social security programmes are implemented at a ministerial level. However, the performance of the two programmes appears to be complicated and evidently different. The main difference between both programmes is that the first programme, RPFMGS, serves a population who are characterised as ‘political victims’, while the second programme, SPF, covers ‘socio-economic victims’. Labelling beneficiaries based on their socio-political status will primarily explain the reason why the KRG deals with each social security programme very differently. The first programme is highly prioritised politically, while the second is neglected politically.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Cope, S.
Fitzpatrick, T.
Keywords: Kurdistān (Iraq). Ḧikûmetî Herêmî Kurdistan-ʻÊraq, social security, social policy, Kurdistān (Iraq)
Subjects: H Social sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Sociology and Social Policy
Item ID: 14414
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2015 13:02
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2017 14:25

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