Civil society after Saddam: oil unions and democracy in Iraq

Isakhan, Benjamin 2013, Civil society after Saddam: oil unions and democracy in Iraq, in Lecture series of the Centre for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies 2013, American University of Beirut, Lebanon, Beirut, Lebanon.

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Title Civil society after Saddam: oil unions and democracy in Iraq
Author(s) Isakhan, Benjamin
Conference name Lecture series of the Centre for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies (2013 : Beirut, Lebanon)
Conference location Beirut, Lebanon
Conference dates 15 Oct. 2013
Title of proceedings Lecture series of the Centre for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies 2013
Publication date 2013
Conference series Lecture series of the Centre for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies
Total pages p
Publisher American University of Beirut, Lebanon
Place of publication Beirut, Lebanon
Keyword(s) Iraq
civil society
democracy
Summary Following the intervention in Iraq by coalition forces one decade ago, the Bush Administration underwent an enormous and unprecedented project to bring the ‘Western’ liberal model of democracy to Iraq. For the first few years the project to bring democracy to Iraq had its share of successes as the Iraqi people proved themselves capable of understanding and utilizing democratic mechanisms and institutions. This culminated in a series of nation-wide elections from 2005 onwards that brought a democratically elected government to power (Isakhan, 2012). However, one of the unfortunate consequences of the war and the US effort to bring democracy to Iraq was that many key ethno-religious political factions viewed it as an opportunity to pedal their own relatively narrow and very divisive political rhetoric (Davis, 2007). This meant that the Iraqi government was constituted not so much by a body who wanted to draw Iraq together behind a common ideology and to work towards a collective and egalitarian future, as it was by representatives who would fight on behalf of their ethno-religious constituencies. Not surprisingly, a great deal of academic literature has emerged which has analysed and criticised the formal political parties and institutions of the post-Saddam era (Dawisha, 2009). Indeed, the bulk of contemporary scholarship on Iraqi politics focuses on issues such as: the increasingly authoritarian tendencies of the Iraqi government; the obstinacy and ineptitude of many elements of Iraq’s political elite; the systemic corruption that is hollowing out the coffers of the state; the moribund bureaucracy that are struggling to deliver basic services and; of course, the deep-seated divisions within and between those that represent Iraq’s three main ethno-religious blocks: the Shia Arabs, the Sunni Arabs and the Kurds.
Language eng
Field of Research 160699 Political Science not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 940299 Government and Politics not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category E2 Full written paper - non-refereed / Abstract reviewed
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30060226

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Created: Tue, 04 Feb 2014, 13:41:39 EST by Benjamin Isakhan

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