Despite the formation of a new government, Iraq remains at precarious point in its statebuilding process. October 2021’s elections were meant to provide a reset, and to answer calls for change from widespread protests.
In reality, they delivered Iraq’s longest and most protracted government formation process, marred by political infighting, violent attacks, protests and counter-protests, and accusations against a politicized judiciary.
Attempts by election winner Muqtada al-Sadr to form a majority government, then his withdrawal from the process, could indicate the beginning of the end for the status quo of consensus government. Or it may simply signify the deployment of new tactics of competition amongst a fragmented elite.
All the while, Iraq’s booming young population continue to suffer the consequences of a corrupt system that is ill-equipped to cope with looming climate, economic and societal crises.
At Chatham House’s annual Iraq Initiative Conference 2022, policymakers, analysts, academics and activists convened in London and online to discuss the past year’s developments, and explore the potential trajectory of Iraq’s politics, security, and economy in the context of increasing uncertainty and instability.