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Changing the system from within? The role of opposition parties in consolidating democracy in Iraq post-2019

Alkhudary, Taif ORCID: 0000-0003-0844-6456 (2023) Changing the system from within? The role of opposition parties in consolidating democracy in Iraq post-2019. LSE Middle East Centre Paper Series (64). LSE Middle East Centre, London, UK.

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This report examines the role that two of the most prominent opposition parties to have emerged out of the October 2019 protests – Al Bayt Al Watani and Imtidad – can play in consolidating democracy in Iraq. To this end, it draws on the work of Vicky Randall and Lars Svåsand to assess both parties’ degree of institutionalisation. It finds that they have developed strong identities based on unitary Iraqi nationalism and civic principles. However, it is also precisely because of this, that they continue to face a backlash from the sectarian post-2003 parties. Both parties also face substantial structural issues. They have been unable to develop common conventions of behaviour or ensure that conduct within their parties is carried out in accordance with democratic principles. The imbalanced nature of Iraq’s party system has also opened up opposition parties to pressures of exclusion from establishment parties, which has sometimes led to violence. This has compromised opposition parties’ decisional autonomy and their ability to develop reformist policies and programmes. Moreover, the political playing field remains deeply unfair with the dominant post-2003 parties’ control of weapons and political money, along with the lack of legal protections offered to opposition parties, hindering their ability to compete effectively in elections.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author
Divisions: Middle East Centre
Subjects: J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2023 13:57
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 12:26

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