Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Josef Korbel School of International Studies

First Advisor

Nader Hashemi, Ph.D.


United States intervention, Iraqi democracy, Ethnic conflict


Many theorists have posited that democratic transitions in states divided along ethnic, racial, or religious lines are accompanied by violent conflict and thus unlikely to succeed. The end of authoritarian rule in Iraq and the introduction of democracy by the United States has been followed by many such challenges, and it has been argued that the artificial Iraqi state and its Kurdish, Sunni, and Shia communities does not possess the unity as required by democratic government. However, an informed analysis of Iraqi democracy requires attention to the role of its authoritarian leaders and war and economic hardships in making Iraq's ethnosectarian communities largely competitive and conflictual. Furthermore, it is possible that continued participation in democratic institutions and processes, though imperfect, may build support for the system and legitimize it as the means to make political decisions. As a consequence, Iraqis may increasingly identify with the state and its democratic system rather than their more rigid, and at times conflicting, ethnosectarian identities.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Kara Leigh Kingma


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

142 p.


Middle Eastern studies