Ten years have passed since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, and the political scene in Iraq is still blurry. Iraq was promoted to be the democratic example in the Middle East. The US came to Iraq to “create” a democratic system that can be a model for other countries in the region. A major factor in creating such environment is by changing the radical centralised totalitarian regime with a weak state that can give more space to building the civil society in new Iraq (Looney, 2003). Nonetheless, the socio-economic and political indicators of the newly installed political “democratic” system point to notable failures. Apart from poor socio-economic factors, the new political elite has either misused democracy for personal, ethno-sectarian or partisan gains or abused the system to ensure their long lasting presence in the decision making arena. Corruption, disconnection from electorate, poor performance and carelessness of politicians and failing state service provisions have all made citizens question the feasibility of political participation in elections. The electorate seem to have lesser faith in the political parties and blocs whose legitimacy of representation is at stake. Noticeably, tribes have stepped forward to mobilise people as a non-partisan and independent powerful social structure. They have been active in lobbying the state as well as encouraging their members for active participation. This paper discusses the extent to which Iraqi tribes are involved in political participation. It explores their roles in active citizenship and the way they represent and mobilise their members. It also probes whether tribes have the influence on shaping the political trajectory in Iraq.
Field of Research
160609 Political Theory and Political Philosophy
Socio Economic Objective
970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society
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