Iraq’s social and political landscape has continually changed in recent years, worsening long-standing tensions, feeding public distrust in the state, and tribal violence in the south of the country. There has been a failure to assert national cohesion and win citizens’ confidence in government ever since the end of the Iraq War in 2003.
Political deadlock has long been rife, with fiscal pressures, political rivalries, and limited institutional capacity presenting serious hurdles to proper reform to strengthen national governance and tackle corruption - issues that remain critical to long-term stability in Iraq and the wider region.
Poorer and minority communities have been disproportionality affected by this ongoing crisis, creating fresh opportunities for Islamic State and contributing to an internal displacement of more than one million people.
A major project for Chatham House is the Iraq Initiative, which is a fieldwork-based policy programme which rethinks the cycle of failure and repair undermining efforts to build and secure the state in Iraq.