This is the first comprehensive attempt to describe and analyse the major developments in Iraq from the US-led invasion until 2010. It is the product of specialists in the history of Iraq, the Arab and Muslim world, with a wide range of views of Iraq's past and present. The main focus is the internal political scene -- increasingly developing along ethnic-sectarian and religious lines (Shi'is and Sunnis, Kurds and Arabs) -- discussed in the context of re-emerging Iraqi national identity. Other major developments, not unrelated to politics, are also addressed: women's rights and economic trends. The book provides an important external, international dimension to Iraq's post-war development through discussion of the central role played by the Iranian regime and its deep and multi-faceted involvement in the Iraqi internal scene; the ambivalent relations with Turkey, which concurrently serves as the main terrestrial channel of trade and economic ties with the world; and Iraq's persisting marginal position in the affairs of the Arab world. The political developments within Iraq are discussed up to the most recent events (December 2010), when a new government was set up.
It remains to be seen whether the former centralist policies of the prime minister will prevail in a state which is gradually disposing of the American military presence, assuming command over its unsolved problems of security and daily life as well as of its future stability.
Introduction; The Constitutional Setting; The Shi'is in Post-Saddam Iraq: A Common Political Front, but Different Tactics?; Kurdish Politics & the Shaping of Post-Saddam Iraq; Sunni Discontent in Iraq: An Historical Perspective; Economic Policy in Iraq 2003-2009; Back to Square One: Womens Rights in Post-Invasion Iraq; Grand Ayatollah 'Ali al-Sistani: Ideology, Activities, Proselytizing, Polemics; Iran in Iraq: Between Opportunity & Threat; Neighbor to the Worlds Superpower: Turkeys Challenge in Northern Iraq; Iraq & the Arab System since the 2003 War: A Persistent Marginality; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.