Subnational governance is at the heart of the ongoing conflict in Libya.
To resolve the conflict, the Biden administration will have to grasp the nettle of subnational governance reform and be prepared to work with the Houthis.
As the Libyan people see renewed prospects for peace, subnational governance may represent an integral part of a resolution to protracted instability.
Resolving subnational conflicts is ultimately about governance because their drivers are frequently linked to grievances and perceived injustice associated with access to power and resources, and to feelings of ethnic, social and / or geographic exclusion and marginalization.
History is often said to repeat itself or at least to rhyme. Decentralization in Ukraine has been on and off the agenda of successive governments since the country’s independence in 1991. Much like previous attempts to decentralize power, President Zelenskiy’s draft decentralization law has become embroiled in long-established power struggles and had to be withdrawn.
Since the end of World War II, we have experienced a shift in conflict dynamics, from inter-state to intra-state conflicts. In 2016 alone, the world witnessed 47 intra-state conflicts. Today, wars are fought within state borders between a multiplicity of actors over the distribution of political power and national wealth both at and between the center and subnational governance levels. Marginalized groups are vying for greater autonomy at the local level, while those in control of the state—be they majorities or dominant minority groups—seek to consolidate political power at the center. Such intra-state conflicts with subnational dimensions are among the most protracted and violent conflicts.
Three months after parliamentary elections were held in Iraq, a new government has yet to be formed, and it appears that the status of Kirkuk remains one of the stumbling blocks on the way to forming a new coalition.
The Iraqi elections and their results were certainly not a complete and utter failure in bringing Iraq closer to a democratic society but they also offer a glimpse at the challenges ahead.