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World Affairs: The Journal of International Issues
Year : 2011, Volume : 15, Issue : 3
First page : ( 48) Last page : ( 70)
Print ISSN : 0971-8052. Online ISSN : 0974-0937.

The failure of Nation-Building in Iraq

Scholvin Soren

Online published on 24 November, 2011.

Abstract

The reasons for Iraq's current instability may be traced back to the country's foundation as a nation-state and the multiple failures of nation-building from then on. As Iraqi history from the British Mandate through numerous oppressive national systems to the post-2003 order shows, no ruling elite has ever managed to overcome the deep confessional, ethnic and social divisions of the country. On the contrary, politics and especially acquiring political power in Iraq involve playing-off one part of the people against another. After the 2003 invasion, the United States and its allies did not learn from Iraq's history of failed nation-building but rather repeated the mistakes of those that had shaped the country since the First World War.

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