Iraq

  • Iraq's Constitutional Process Goes Awry

    Joost Hiltermann
    August 20, 2008

    After several missed deadlines, Iraq's constitutional process has yet to produce a draft acceptable to Shiites, Kurds, and Sunni Arabs, and prospects are bleak. Both process and content, currently, are highly problematic.

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  • Iraq's Insurgents: What Do They Want?

    Judith S. Yaphe
    August 20, 2008

    Iraq's insurgencies began with the U.S. military invasion in March 2003 and gained momentum after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime when the United States moved to dissolve the Iraqi military and implement a sweeping de-Baathification policy.

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  • Assessing Iraq's National Conference

    Kathleen Ridolfo
    August 20, 2008

    After two postponements, the Iraqi National Conference finally took place in Baghdad from August 15-18. The conference, called for in the Transitional Administrative Law (Iraq's interim constitution) and originally scheduled for July, convened 1,300 delegates to select a 100-member interim national assembly.

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  • Iraq's Electoral System: A Misguided Strategy

    Michael Rubin
    August 20, 2008

    With the conclusion of the Iraqi National Conference last month, the next milestone for Iraqi democracy will be the January 2005 elections for a 275-member Parliament. Already, the electoral system chosen for Iraq could dampen the prospects for a representative and democratic vote.

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  • Iraq's Electoral System: A Strategy for Inclusiveness

    Jeff Fischer
    August 20, 2008

    Against the backdrop of strife that plagues much of Iraq, key political institutions and a legal framework have been established for the country's first democratic national elections, anticipated for January. Voters will select a 275-member transitional national assembly, governorate assemblies, and a Kurdish regional assembly

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  • Kurdistan's Tenuous Model

    Bilal A. Wahab
    August 19, 2008

    Iraqi Kurdistan is the best functioning part of Iraq, an example of what stability and governance could theoretically bring to the rest of the country.

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  • The Paradox of Press Freedom in the Arab World

    Kamel Labidi
    August 19, 2008

    The second of June marked the second anniversary of the assassination of Lebanese writer Samir Qasir, with no indication of who ordered the car bombing that silenced one of the loudest Arab voices criticizing autocratic Arab regimes, particularly the Assad family in Syria.

  • The Da'wa Party's Eventful Past and Tentative Future in Iraq

    Ali Latif
    August 19, 2008

    Founded by Muhammad Baqr al-Sadr and inspired by his ideas of wilayat al-ummah (rule of the community), the Iraqi Da'wa party has evolved from an underground movement espousing Islamic revolution to a major player in an Iraqi democratic government.

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  • Five Myths about Western Political Party Aid in the Arab World

    Until recently Western assistance programs aimed at strengthening political parties were less present in the Arab world than in almost all other areas of the developing world. As part of the heightened U.S. and European interest in promoting Arab political reform, however, such programs are multiplying in the region.

  • Herculean Tasks Ahead in Iraq

    Raad Alkadiri
    August 19, 2008

    The next few weeks promise to be monumental ones in Iraq's modern history. With the December election successfully completed, Iraqi leaders must now focus on making decisions that will determine not just how the country is run over the next four years, but what Iraq will look like in the longer term and whether it can avoid disintegrating into a bloody civil war.

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  • Time to Get Serious about Governance in Kurdistan

    Bilal Wahab
    August 18, 2008

    Virtually autonomous since 1992, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq has followed an uneven path on the road to good governance. Six months have passed since the formation of the current united Kurdish cabinet. While Kurdistan has been increasingly stable and secure, its potential for accountability and clean government has yet to be fulfilled.

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  • Iraq: U.S. Determination without Policy

    August 18, 2008

    The situation in Iraq is bleak and policy is adrift. Constant changes in the nature of the conflict have undermined all measures put in place by the Bush administration. While showing great determination to stay in Iraq until the country is stable, President Bush does not have a policy to address the country's multiple conflicts.

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  • The Politics of Sunni Armed Groups in Iraq

    Muhammad Abu Rumman
    August 18, 2008

    Although there have been ideological and political struggles among armed Sunni factions in Iraq since the beginning of the occupation, they were kept quiet until recently.

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  • Can the Unified Kurdistan Regional Government Work?

    Gareth Stansfield
    August 18, 2008

    After months of negotiations, Nechirvan Barzani announced the formation of a unified Kurdistan Regional Government in Irbil on May 7, two weeks ahead of the announcement by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki that a government for Iraq had been formed. While the world's media remained focused on Baghdad, it largely overlooked the significance of the events in the capital of the Kurdistan region.

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  • Rough Sledding for U.S. Party Aid Organizations in the Arab World

    Dina Bishara
    August 18, 2008

    Foreign democracy assistance organizations working directly with political parties have come into the line of fire as some Arab governments have pushed back against democratization initiatives over the past two years. In Algeria, Bahrain, and Egypt in particular, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI) have been among the first to feel pressure.

  • The Status of Iraqi National Reconciliation

    Ali Latif
    August 13, 2008

    National reconciliation has been a top priority for all concerned with aiding Iraq’s path toward economic and political stability. But what exactly does it mean in the Iraqi context? Since the end of the war, several distinct and sometimes competing issues have developed, requiring meaningful dialogue among all sections of Iraq’s population.

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  • Is Democracy the Problem in Iraq?

    Peter Sluglett
    August 13, 2008

    Although the recently-released Iraq Study Group report avoids passing judgment on the imperative of democracy promotion, the question remains: did the U.S. decision to foster a democratic style of government in Iraq help to bring about the current tragedy?

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  • Shi’i Politics and the Sectarian Crisis in Iraq

    Abd al-Hussein Sha’ban
    August 13, 2008

    The Shi’i political scene is getting nowhere with proposals for the post-occupation phase. The Shi’a jumped enthusiastically into the political process after they received confirmation that they would have a prominent role in the Iraqi Governing Council.

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  • The Private Sector's Take on Iraq's Investment Law

    Muna Musa
    August 08, 2008

    In Iraq, the parliament approved a new investment law in October 2006, which was published in the Official Gazette of Iraq in January 2007. The law aims to facilitate investment by Iraqi and foreign private investors, for example by protecting their rights and property.

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