The Failure of Democracy in Iraq: Religion, Ideology and Sectarianism, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Failure of Democracy in Iraq

Religion, Ideology and Sectarianism, 1st Edition

By Hamid Alkifaey


228 pages

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Hardback: 9781138337787
pub: 2019-01-15
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The Failure of Democracy in Iraq studies democratization in post-2003 Iraq, which has so far failed, due mainly to cultural and religious reasons. There are other factors, such as the legacy of the dictatorial regime, exclusionary policies, the problem of stateness, interference by regional powers, the rentier economy and sectarianism, that have impeded democracy and contributed to its failure, but the employment of religion in politics was the most to blame.

The establishment of stable democratic institutions continues to elude Iraq, 15 years after toppling the dictatorship. The post-2003 Iraq could not completely eradicate the long historical tradition of despotic governance due to deep-seated religious beliefs and tribal values, along with widening societal ethno-sectarian rifts which precluded the negotiation of firm and stable elite settlements and pacts across communal lines. The book examines how the fear in neighbouring countries of a region-wide domino effect of the Iraq democratization process caused them to adopt interventionist policies towards Iraq that helped to stunt the development of democracy. The lack of commitment by the initiator of the democratic process, the United States, undermined the prospects of democratic consolidation. This is compounded by serious mistakes such as de-Ba’athification and the disbanding of the Iraqi army and security apparatuses which caused a security vacuum the US forces were not able to fill.

The Failure of Democracy in Iraq is a key resource for all students and academics interested in democracy, Islam and Middle East Studies.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Methodology 3. Liberty and Democracy 4. Democratization 5. Religion and Politics 6. Political Islam and Democracy 7. Use of Religion for Political Purposes 8. Sectarianism 9. Lack of Democratic Tradition 10. Political and Administrative Errors 11. Exogenous Factors 12. Structural Factors 13. Conclusion Appendices Bibliography

About the Author

Hamid Alkifaey is a writer, novelist and journalist. He has published hundreds of articles in English and Arabic over the years. He worked at BBC in London until 2003 when he returned to Iraq to join the Government. He held senior positions in international institutions. He specializes in democratization and writes and lectures on Middle Eastern issues.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern Democratization and Government

This series examines new ways of understanding democratization and government in the Middle East. The varied and uneven processes of change, occurring in the Middle Eastern region, can no longer be read and interpreted solely through the prism of Euro-American transitology. Seeking to frame critical parameters in light of these new horizons, this series instigates reinterpretations of democracy and propagates formerly ‘subaltern,’ narratives of democratization. Reinvigorating discussion on how Arab and Middle Eastern peoples and societies seek good government, Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern Democratization and Government provides tests and contests of old and new assumptions.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Democracy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / World / Middle Eastern
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies