Foreign Impacts revisited: Islamists' struggles in post-war iraq

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A great number of scholarship has been devoted to examining the impacts of domestic politics to foreign policies. Many studies have also examined the impacts of international politics to domestic politics, focusing on democracybuilding or constructing political institutions within the framework of the statebuilding. However, such scholarship has not focused enough on the impacts of international politics to opposition forces and their relationship to political conflict in the post-conflict era. In countries that have experienced regime change the formerly exiled opposition forces that became the ruling parties had changed their policies under the influence of the host country and other foreign actors in international politics during their exile. This paper sheds light on the two main Iraqi Islamist parties, the Da'wa Party and the SCIRI, and clarifies their changing policies under the influence of the host countries and international politics. It also makes clear how these changes were reflected by the political conflict in post-war Iraq. Scholars of Iraqi politics have discussed the reasons of political conflict in post-war Iraq as following: (1) sectarian conflicts as a result of the artificiality of the Iraqi state; and (2) struggles for the mobilization of votes in elections. Against these arguments, this paper considers the historical and international impacts on the formerly exiled Islamist ruling parties as a more significant factor in explaining the reasons for political conflict in post-war Iraq. By analyzing primary sources on segments of the Da'wa Party and the SCIRI after their exile, the following two facts are clarified: First, the two Islamist parties came to have differing ideology as well as policy as a result of the influences from the host country and international politics, which reflected the political conflict in post-war Iraq. The SCIRI maintained good relations with the host country, Iran and had its original Islamist ideology, while the Da'wa Party, not being able to maintain cooperative relations with the host country, consequently changed its Islamist ideology to a more nationalist ideology under the direct influence of Western society. In the post-war era, the SCIRI attempted to construct a regional government in the south based on a transnational Islamist ideology, while the Da'wa Party attempted to construct a centralized government based on a nationalism that aimed to strengthen national unity. Second, the international societies' intervention into the Iraqi opposition forces created mutual distrust, which in turn prolonged political conflict in post-war era. Therefore, an analysis of the historical and international impacts on opposition forces is necessary to understand the reasons for the political struggles in the post-conflict countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-172
Number of pages18
JournalWorld Political Science Review
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2013

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political conflict
International Politics
Iraq
ideology
opposition
Islamist party
exile
politics
national unity
political institution
Iran
foreign policy
nationalism
mobilization
voter
election
regime
society

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Political Science and International Relations

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Foreign Impacts revisited : Islamists' struggles in post-war iraq. / Dai, Yamao.

In: World Political Science Review, Vol. 9, No. 1, 01.04.2013, p. 155-172.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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