Iraq Power, Institutions, and Identities
Addressing major political developments in Iraq over the past century, this book provides an up-to-date and accessible study of the country, advancing a sympathetic yet balanced understanding of its critical role in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and in global affairs.
The author introduces three concepts to aid in understanding Iraq’s historical trajectory: the pursuit of power, the impact of state institutions, and the transformation of social identities. Using this analytical approach, the book illuminates the unique political, economic, and social dimensions of Iraqi national life. In addition to providing comparisons with several MENA countries and the Arab states, the book evaluates Iraqi relations with external actors, including the United States, the European powers, China, and Russia. Though conscious of Iraq’s long and complex history, special attention is paid to contemporary events, ranging from Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990 to the American-led invasion in 2003, and more recent struggles with elections, the Islamic State, and democracy. It is nevertheless argued that, despite its challenges, Iraq’s story remains hopeful, moving forward in time.
Both wide-ranging and closely focused, the book is vital reading for students, scholars, and general audiences interested in Iraqi politics, international relations, and political economy.
Introduction: Iraq, Old and New 1. State Formation, 1914 – 1958 2. From Revolution to Dictatorship, 1958 – 1988 3. From Dictatorship to Troubled Democracy, 1988 – 2022 4. International Relations 5. Political Economy Conclusions
"Andrew Flibbert has written an accessible and thematically-grounded overview of Iraq’s complex history. He analyzes the impact of individual decision-makers, domestic politics, and the international system on key moments in Iraq’s history and the development of state institutions. All who read this book will better understand the contemporary politics and international relations of Iraq."
David Patel, Crown Center for Middle East Studies, Brandeis University, United States