Author

Niederer

Date of Award

4-2008

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Mahendra Lawoti

Second Advisor

Dr. James Butterfield

Third Advisor

David Ede

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

This thesis evaluates democracy in Iraq and determines if the current institutions are fostering democracy. When the institutions in place are not fostering democracy, I evaluate why they are not and how they could promote democracy. I employ a case study approach of Iraq by first looking at the region's history. I then analyze the works of leading experts of democracy in divided society theory to develop a democratic framework for Iraq. Finally, I focus on the Iraqi government's institutions and the Iraqi Constitution to evaluate their effectiveness.

The purpose of this thesis is two-fold. First, as a deeply divided society, the lessons learned in Iraq are valuable for other democracies emerging in divided societies. The framework for democracy in divided societies that I developed may be applicable in other countries. Secondly I show how Iraq's past history of authoritarian rule followed by rebellion and chaos and the eventual emergence of a dictator that can be avoided through a framework for democracy in its divided society.

In the democratic framework I developed, I determined that autonomy/federalism, power sharing, proportionality and minority rights are important criteria for a divided society to maintain democracy. Based on these criteria I conclude that with its current Constitution and formal institutions Iraq is heading in the wrong direction for creating a stable democracy.

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