Abstract The paper aims to delineate the evolution of the Iraqi socio-political scenario after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime and the end of the Coalition Provisional Authority experience. In doing so the research attempts to pinpoint key actors in the Iraqi political system and the degree of popular support they were able to muster both on the local (2005, 2010 and 2013 provincial elections) and national (January -December 2005 and 2010 voting) levels. The final part of the paper examines the political dynamics that emerged during al-Maliki’s second term. Particular attention has been given to the heightening political infighting seen since the withdrawal of US troops in December 2011 and to the apparent fragmentation of the Iraqi political arena attested to by the results of the recent provincial elections.
The invasion of Iraq in 2003 inaugurated a new phase, marked by fierce sectarian division, which strongly questioned the pillars on which the Iraqi ‘national’ community was built. Examining the dynamics and factors that led to these consequences will help us to understand these events within their historical context rather than viewing them as part of an endless phenomenon. The so-called ‘sectarian conflict’ in Iraq was not ‘sectarian’ because rooted only in different religious doctrines. It was a clash largely shaped along sectarian lines because of the lack of inter-communal communication and effective means of mediation. The paper focuses on the internal dynamics that led to heightened sectarianism in Iraq, starting with the historical background of political sectarianism in the first part, followed by inter-communal relations in post-2003 Iraq in the second part and concluding in the third part with recent dynamics.
Harith Hasan Al-Qarawee, Contributor to al-Monitor and Foreign Affairs and author of Imagining the Nation: Nationalism, Sectarianism and Socio-political Conflict in Iraq
Sino-Indian relations have been marred by their territorial disputes in the past decades. Tensions and disputes in the border region are likely to continue to occur from time to time in the foreseeable future, but the two countries have demonstrated strong political will and incentives not to allow the disputes to hijack their bilateral ties.
To what extent has the French intervention weakened the African Union leadership on the Malian crisis?
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The rhetoric on the sovereignty over the Falkland Islands (or Malvinas), an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom disputed by Argentina since the XIXth century, has recently grown up as the 30th anniversary of the war of 1982 approaches. In February, the Argentinean Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hector Timerman, asserted that the defence of British sovereignty is «the last refuge of a declining power». Last year, the President at Casa Rosada, Christina Fernandez de Kirchner, stated that Britain «continues to be a crude colonial power in decline».