Iraq’s democratic dilemmas: from entrenched dictatorship to fragile democracy

Abdulla, Namo (2010) Iraq’s democratic dilemmas: from entrenched dictatorship to fragile democracy. Information, society and justice journal, 3 (2). pp. 107-115. ISSN 1756-1078


The US-led allied invasion of Iraq in 2003 toppled Iraq’s long ruling dictator, Saddam Hussein, promising to import democracy to a country whose history had been shaped by both religious and secular totalitarianism. Lack of deep-understanding of the Iraq’s culture had led to the former US administration to equate the demise of Saddam with the demise of totalitarianism. The presence of Saddam was a great obstacle of democracy, but his removal changed little. Saddam and his former like-minded people created a culture capable of producing as many dictators as it wants. This essay argues that Iraq’s political culture is highly undemocratic; and thus the future of democracy in the country is bleak. It proves so by highlighting the most important incompatible elements of Iraq’s culture with democracy.

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