Post-Saddam Iraq: deconstructing a regime, reconstructing a nation

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The reconstruction of Iraq, following its invasion and occupation by the USA and its allies in 2003, presents a challenge to the consensus view of post-war reconstruction that has emerged in the wake of the Cold War, in that in Iraq reconstruction is being seen as integral to a military strategy and external strategic interest. Iraq itself also presents a very different context in terms of its human and economic development, resources and recent history compared with other nations that have been the subject of reconstruction interventions. This paper draws on four key tenets of post-war reconstruction: understanding the context ( historical, cultural, regional); developing a shared national vision of the future; developing collaborative governance; and inducing development as a framework for analysing the nature of the reconstruction attempted in Iraq. It traces the difficulties of effecting a peaceful transition to the failure to understand the implications of attempting to impose a predetermined plan in the fragile conditions of Iraq, post-Saddam. Nevertheless, despite these many mistakes, the paper concludes by suggesting that a way forward can still be found.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-591
Number of pages21
JournalThird World Quarterly
Issue number4-5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005

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