TITLE

How to Build a Democratic Iraq

AUTHOR(S)
Dawisha, Adeed; Dawisha, Karen
PUB. DATE
May 2003
SOURCE
Foreign Affairs;May/Jun2003, Vol. 82 Issue 3, p36
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This article explores postwar Iraq and suggests that the job of building a democratic system in Iraq, although difficult, may not be quite as hard as many critics of the war have warned. The authors suggest that Iraq today possesses several features that will facilitate the reconstruction effort. Despite Saddam's long repression, the authors point out that democratic institutions are not entirely alien to the country. Under the Hashemite monarchy, which ruled from 1921 until 1958, Iraq adopted a parliamentary system modeled after the United Kingdom. The authors make clear that Iraq's history--both under the Hashemite monarchy and especially after the 1958 coup--has been filled with authoritarianism, tribalism, and ethnic and sectarian violence. However, they suggest that the postwar reconstruction of Germany and Japan, and the more recent transitions from communism in eastern and central Europe, all testify to the way in which democratic political institutions can change such attitudes in a country. The authors present ideas of what a blueprint for a future democratic Iraq should look like, emphasizing that it must reflect the unique features of Iraqi society. They suggest that democratic Iraq must have a federal system of government. Furthermore, the authors explore both advantages and disadvantages of executive branches of government for Iraq, the type of elections that Iraqi's should use, and the importance of a fully developed middle class for an effective and sustainable democracy.
ACCESSION #
9516271

 

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