Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Future of Iraq

The Future of Iraq

Dictatorship, Democracy, or Division?

Liam Anderson and Gareth Stansfield

St. Martin's Griffin


Trade Paperback

Reordering Iraq is the lynchpin of America's successful involvement in the Middle East. The challenge may be impossible. The Future of Iraq provides a primer on the history and political dynamics of this pivotal state divided by ethnic, religious, and political antagonisms, and provocatively argues that the least discussed future of Iraq might be the best: Managed partition.

Anderson and Stansfield incisively analyze the dilemmas of American policy. They suggest that even a significant American presence will not stabilize Iraq because it is an artificial state and its people have never shared a common identity. In addition the legacy of tyrannical rule and the primacy of political violence is eroded social bonds and entrenched tribal allegiances, fallow ground for democracy. They provide the basic information and the provocative analysis crucial to informed debate and decision.


Praise for The Future of Iraq

“A well-organized primer....offering some refreshing takes on past events....An excellent volume for Iraq-bound civilians and soldiers seeking to bone up, and for the general reader trying to get a mental toehold in the region.” —Publishers Weekly

“This is a provocative, readable and realistic examination of a country that never worked. Anderson and Stansfield provide an insightful history focused on the core dilemma of Iraq--no one wanted to be an Iraqi, preferring ethnic, sectarian, or tribal identities--and focus on exactly the right prescription for the future: voluntary union or partition. Far from transforming the Middle East, a democratic Iraq could well splinter into its Arab and Kurdish components. The Future of Iraq explains why this is far from the worst outcome. This book should reshape the debate about what to do in Iraq.” —Peter W. Galbraith, Former Ambassador

“This is the book that President Bush and Prime Minister Blair--and everyone else vitally interested in the future of Iraq--should read. Anderson and Stansfield's cogent account of Iraq's bloody history, its failure to create national identity or unity, and the erosion of its governmental institutions under Saddam, supports their skepticism that a democratic, unified Iraq will somehow emerge from the ashes. Given animosities among Kurds and Arabs, Shi'a and Sunnis, and a Hobbesian world of revived tribalism, the authors offer the sobering suggestion that a unified Iraq may be untenable and that the country might better be partitioned. This provocative perspective will surely generate a much needed debate.” —Robert Springborg, MBI al Jaber Professor of Middle East Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

“Moving at a cracking pace, with some trenchant indictments of scheming imperialists and a chilling analysis of Saddam's Baathist order, this account lays bare the faultlines that now threaten Iraq with disintegration. No one who played a role in the evolution of this fractured polity escapes unscathed, except possibly the beleagured Kurds and disaffected Shia. Anderson and Stansfield offer an important perspective on how we reached this point, and a thoughtful set of possible alternatives of the country's future.” —Dr. Rosemary Hollis, Head of Middle East Programme, Royal Institute of International Affairs (London)

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Liam Anderson and Gareth Stansfield

Liam Anderson is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio.
Gareth Stansfield is Reader in Middle East Politics at the University of Exeter, and Associate Fellow of the Middle East Program at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, London.

Liam Anderson

Liam Anderson

Gareth Stansfield

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Griffin

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