The Limitations of the Consociational Arrangements in Iraq

Eduardo Aboultaif* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The political crises in Iraq following the American invasion have triggered the need to revisit the power sharing arrangements established in the constitution and practised at the level of the political system. Since Iraq is a deeply divided society, consociationalism has been the main force of political reconstruction after the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003. However, the
Iraqi constitution and the political system lack genuine consociational practices. The aim of this paper is to study the limitations of the consociational arrangements and offer prescriptions that may help ameliorate the challenges facing the fragile political system. The political system will be analysed within the framework of consociationalism and power sharing agreements. Two of Lijphart’s four conditions are absent in the consociational arrangements in Iraq: grand coalition and mutual veto, while two other characteristics of consociationalism, proportionality and autonomy, are strongly present but are not enough to preserve stability.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalEthnopolitics Papers
Issue number38
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015

Bibliographical note

The author wishes to express his gratitude to Arend Lijphart and Joanne McEvoy who read and commented on an earlier version of the paper.


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