The Road to Democracy in Iraq

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The Road to Democracy in Iraq

The road to democracy in Iraq is a long, hard-fought journey. To understand why and how this journey is so difficult, we must look at Iraq from the beginning. We must look at the beliefs and background of Iraq to understand the country’s mindset as well as what they are doing to change how they are seen throughout the world. Iraq has been a country fraught with turmoil from within. From quarrels between feuding religious groups to dictators with an agenda of power, Iraq’s journey toward democracy has not been easy. By learning from past mistakes, Iraq is well on the way to building a democratic state that will illuminate the way for other countries in the Middle East to follow suit.

To look forward, we must first look to the past. We must see what influenced Iraq in the past to what influences on Iraq today. By doing this, we can understand, or hope to understand, why Iraq is the way it is, and headed in what direction. First, considered a state, not a nation, Iraq only existed as such since 1920 when its formation from three former provinces of the Ottoman Empire became reality. Having no borders truly defined, Iraqi citizens, and citizens of countries surrounding Iraq, constantly challenge Iraqi borders. As Phebe Marr (2004, pp.8-9) states in The Modern History of Iraq, “Its borders are for the most part artificial, reflecting the interests of the great powers during the First World War rather than the wishes of the local population.” Looking at this statement, we see that as the powers shift in Iraq, so, it seems, does the Iraqi borders.

The lack of defined borders has not been the only problem for Iraq on its way to democracy. The ethnic, tribal, economic, and sectarian divisions...

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...ot only exists but also abounds.

Works Cited

Anderson, Liam, & Stansfield, Gareth. (2004). The Future of Iraq: Dictatorship, Democracy, or

Division? New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan.

Bremmer, Ian. (2006). The J Curve: A New Way to Understand Why Nations Rise and Fall. New

York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

Fast, April. (2005). Iraq the People. New York, NY: Crabtree Publishing Company.

Fossella, Vito. (2003). The United States Is Successfully Establishing Order in Iraq. In Iraq:

Opposing Viewpoints. Farmington, MI: Greenhaven Press.

Marr, Phebe. (2004). The Modern History of Iraq (2nd ed.). Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Milton-Edwards, Beverley. (2006). Contemporary Politics in the Middle East (2nd ed.).

Cambridge CB2 1UR, UK: Polity Press.

Wagner, Heather Lehr. (2003). Iraq: Creation of the Modern Middle East. Philadelphia, PA:

Chelsea House Publishers.

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