This paper explores the difficulties of the city and governorate of Kirkuk, specifically the problems from its diverse composition. Kirkuk has been described as a “microcosm of Iraq”, in recognition of the ethnic, linguistic, cultural and religious diversity in the region. This gives added impetus to finding a resolution to the difficulties of governance in the governorate-city: a solution to the problems in Kirkuk could have positive reverberations for the rest of Iraq.The governorate’s problems began in the wake of the discovery of oil there, with a gradual effort towards “Arabization” of the population there undertaken by the then-government of Saddam. This led to the formation of clear ethnic fault lines, which became clearer following the invasion of Iraq in 2003. At that point, Kirkuk became even more polarized, serving to further entrench the problems of governance in the region. Based on the existing literature on Kirkuk, on the Iraqi constitution and the experience of government in Iraq since 2003, this paper proposes consociational democracy as the preferred approach to resolving Kirkuk’s long-outstanding issues, including the disputes resulting from religious and ethnic differences typical of pluralist societies.