With the defeat of the so-called Islamic State (IS) on the battlefield looking imminent, Iraq is confronting a monumental challenge: to repair a deeply fractured society fraught with ethno-religious, geographic and socio-economic divisions. It must end infighting within its political power blocs, and navigate the dangers of assorted regional conflicts. The state must also earn legitimacy among traumatised people, liberated from the areas formerly held by IS, many of whom felt disenfranchised even before the group took hold in 2014. Some estimates say that at least 3.1m people – 10% of the population – are displaced, while 11m need humanitarian assistance.
Bibliographical notePamela Abbott received funding from the European Union 7th Framework Programme for the research on which this article draws
Andrea Teti receives funding from the European Commission 7th Framework Programme.
Kevin M. DeJesus received funding from the Johnson and Wales Faculty Development Fund for his recent visit to Iraqi Kurdistan. The author was also supported by a Faculty Research Fellowship from the Faculty Center for Academic Excellence & Innovation and the Provost’s office at Johnson & Wales University while working on this project.
- Middle East
- Middle Eastern politics