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Untangling the Mayhem: Crises and Prospects of the Middle East

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Edited By Radka Havlová

The volume discusses the recent developments in selected countries of the Middle East and North Africa. Theoretical chapter presents the internal and external factors influencing the development and democratization processes. Based on these factors the authors analyze in depth the recent development in Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Syria, Turkey and Yemen. The authors demonstrate that the recent development in these countries varied significantly, mostly due to the difference of the historical, political, economic, security or religious conditions in the relevant countries.

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Iraq (Aneta Hlavsová)

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Aneta Hlavsová

Iraq

This chapter covers Iraqi democratization efforts since the US-led invasion of 2003; nonetheless, given the devastated state of the country’s economy and society at that time, it is of absolute necessity to illustrate which foreign policy and political decisions led to such a gruesome situation. Additionally, even though Iraq experienced the Arab Spring, it is not a “textbook” case such as, for instance, Egypt, and therefore, the chapter closely follows certain indicators since the 1990s in order to fully analyse the roots of the current disintegration of the country.

The chapter mainly focuses on the internal factors which mostly damaged Iraq’s democratization process. In fact, the country’s history is a list of one catastrophe succeeding another – from Saddam Hussein’s militarization of the economy in 1980s and his subsequent decision to invade Kuwait, the ruthless coalitional Operation Desert Storm and the corresponding UN sanctions regime which decimated Iraqi infrastructure and caused a severe humanitarian crisis; to the miscalculated political decisions of the post-2003 governments which increased sectarianism, corruption, and allowed for the so-called Islamic State (IS) to spread.

1.  Internal institutional factors

1.1  Economic factors

The economic factors directly related to Iraq’s democratization efforts are threefold: the state’s overall levels of GDP will be analysed as the main internal economic factor; the world’s oil price development as the external one; and lastly, the international community’s sanctions against Iraq will be reviewed because...

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