Power, Institutions, and Identities
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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 understand Iraq’s historical trajectory: the pursuit of power, the impact of state institutions, and the transformation of social identities. Using this analytical paradigm, the book illuminates the unique political, economic, and social dimensions of Iraqi national life. As well as providing comparison points with MENA countries, the book evaluates Iraqi relations with external actors, including the Arab states, Iran and Israel, Europe, and the United States. 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 political economy, international relations, and the history of Iraq.
Table of Contents
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 J. Flibbert is Associate Professor of Political Science at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, where he teaches Middle East politics, international relations, and foreign policy. His research has addressed the Iraq war, state failure, WMD proliferation, civilian suffering and wartime ethics, human rights in the Middle East, and the political economy of cultural production. He has contributed to edited volumes and published articles in Political Science Quarterly, Middle East Policy, Security Studies, Middle East Journal, and PS: Politics and Political Science.
"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