The Future of Iraq: Dictatorship, Democracy or Division?

Format Post in Philosophy BY Gareth Stansfield, Liam Anderson

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The Future of Iraq: Dictatorship, Democracy or Division?
Gareth Stansfield, Liam Anderson
Type: eBook
Released: 2004
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Page Count: 274
Format: pdf
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1403963541
ISBN-13: 9781403963543
From Publishers Weekly Despite the word "future" in the title, seven of this work's eight brisk chapters are about the past.The Future of Iraq: ... Textbook While most of the information can be found elsewhere, the book usefully consolidates it into a well-organized primer on Iraqi history. The authors, one an assistant professor of political science at Wright State University, the other a fellow at the U.K.-based Royal Institute for International Affairs, do offer some refreshing takes on past events. They contend, for instance, that Saddam Hussein's regime, far from being an inexplicable evil, was a not-so-surprising result of Iraq's history. The British, they say, who gained control of the region after the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, more or less made violent governance necessary through two key decisions: first, to attach the Kurdish province of Mosul to Arab Baghdad and Basra, giving the new nation a built-in secessionist movement, and second, to favor the Sunni Muslim minority at the expense of the more numerous Shi'a. The last chapter lays out the choices now confronting the United States and reads like a policy brief, listing the advantages and disadvantages of each of four options. Arguing that any short-term occupation will lead to Iraq's violent fragmentation, and that the toll of a long-term occupation is politically unpalatable to Americans, the authors offer their conclusion, which is that the partition of Iraq into either two or three states is "better than any other option currently under consideration." While this is the one alternative the Coalition Provisional Authority is least likely to consider, in part because it fears sparking regional volatility, this is still an excellent volume for Iraq-bound civilians and soldiers seeking to bone up, and for the general reader trying to get a mental toehold in the region. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Review "A well-organized primer....offering some refreshing takes on past events....An excellent volume for Iraq-bound civilians and soldiers seeking to bone up, and for the general reader trying to get a mental toehold in the region."--Publishers Weekly"This is a provocative, readable and realistic examination of a country that never worked. Anderson and Stansfield provide an insightful history focused on the core dilemma of Iraq--no one wanted to be an Iraqi, preferring ethnic, sectarian, or tribal identities--and focus on exactly the right prescription for the future: voluntary union or partition. Far from transforming the Middle East, a democratic Iraq could well splinter into its Arab and Kurdish components. The Future of Iraq explains why this is far from the worst outcome. This book should reshape the debate about what to do in Iraq."--Peter W. Galbraith, Former Ambassador"This is the book that President Bush and Prime Minister Blair--and everyone else vitally interested in the future of Iraq--should read. Anderson and Stansfield’s cogent account of Iraq's bloody history, its failure to create national identity or unity, and the erosion of its governmental institutions under Saddam, supports their skepticism that a democratic, unified Iraq will somehow emerge from the ashes. Given animosities among Kurds and Arabs, Shi’a and Sunnis, and a Hobbesian world of revived tribalism, the authors offer the sobering suggestion that a unified Iraq may be untenable and that the country might better be partitioned. This provocative perspective will surely generate a much needed debate."--Robert Springborg, MBI al Jaber Professor of Middle East Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London"Moving at a cracking pace, with some trenchant indictments of scheming imperialists and a chilling analysis of Saddam's Baathist order, this account lays bare the faultlines that now threaten Iraq with disintegration. No one who played a role in the evolution of this fractured polity escapes unscathed, except possibly the beleagured Kurds and disaffected Shia. Anderson and Stansfield offer an important perspective on how we reached this point, and a thoughtful set of possible alternatives of the country's future."--Dr. Rosemary Hollis, Head of Middle East Programme, Royal Institute of International Affairs (London)

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