Political instability has characterised the modern history of Iraq, which has proven itself as a complex state to govern. However, the creation of a federal system in 2005 offers the potential for change and a deviation from a past characterised by authoritarian government, brutality and war.
The Iraqi Federation explores why and how Iraq became a federal state, and analyses how the process of formation impacts on the operation of the Iraqi federal system. It argues that the different approaches taken by various federal theorists in the past, particularly William H. Riker’s bargain theory, are insufficient to explain the formation of the Iraqi federation completely. The process of the establishment of a federal Iraq must be understood in the context of its unique history and cultural specificity, as well as in the context of the other new federal models that have appeared since the end of the Cold War, including Belgium, the Russian Federation, Ethiopia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Nigeria.
Drawing on interviews with contemporary political players in Iraq, this book helps to deepen our understanding of how one of the newest federal states operates in a practical sense. By linking the new federal models to the classic federal theory, it also provides a unique contribution to theories on federal state formation. It will therefore be of great interest to students and scholars of Middle East Politics, as well as those studying Federalism.
Introduction 1 Iraq: Imperial and Historical Legacies 2 The Origins of Federations 3 Justification for the Adoption of Federalism in Iraq 4 Iraq’s Reconstruction: Actors, Pressures and Challenges 5 The Constitutional Process, the Constitution and Constitutionalism in Iraq 6 The Institutional Structure of the Iraqi Federation 7 The Significance of the Iraqi Experiment Conclusion