Middle East Studies

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Post-Saddam Iraq

New Realities, Old Identities, Changing Patterns

Amnon Cohen is Eliahu Elath Professor (emeritus) of the History of the Muslim Peoples at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.

Noga Efrati a Research Fellow at the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Post-Saddam Iraq is the first comprehensive attempt to describe and analyze the major developments in Iraq from the US-led invasion until 2010. It is the product of specialists in the history of Iraq, the Arab and Muslim world, with a wide range of views of Iraq’s past and present. The main focus is the internal political scene – increasingly developing along ethnic-sectarian and religious lines (Shi‘is and Sunnis, Kurds and Arabs) – discussed in the context of re-emerging Iraqi national identity. Other major developments, not unrelated to politics, are also addressed: women’s rights and economic trends. Post-Saddam Iraq provides an important external, international dimension to Iraq’s post-war development through discussion of the central role played by the Iranian regime and its deep and multi-faceted involvement in the Iraqi internal scene; the ambivalent relations with Turkey, which concurrently serves as the main terrestrial channel of trade and economic ties with the world; and Iraq’s persisting marginal position in the affairs of the Arab world.

The political developments within Iraq are discussed up to the most recent events (December 2010), when a new government was set up. It remains to be seen whether the former centralist policies of the prime minister will prevail in a state which is gradually disposing of the American military presence, assuming command over its unsolved problems of security and daily life as well as of its future stability.

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-84519-467-3
Hardback Price: £978-1-84519-467-3
Release Date: April 2011
Page Extent / Format: 342 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: No



1. The Constitutional Setting
Amnon Cohen

2. The Shi‘is in Post-Saddam Iraq: A Common Political
Front, but Different Tactics?
Liora Lukitz

3. Kurdish Politics and the Shaping of Post-Saddam Iraq
Michael Eppel

4. Sunni Discontent in Iraq: An Historical Perspective
Ronen Zeidel

5. Economic Policy in Iraq 2003–2009
Joseph Sassoon

6. Back to Square One: Women’s Rights in Post-Invasion Iraq
Noga Efrati

7. Grand Ayatollah ‘Ali al-Sistani: Ideology, Activities,
Proselytizing, Polemics
Isaac Hasson

8. Iran in Iraq: Between Opportunity and Threat
Eldad J. Pardo

9. Neighbor to the World’s Superpower: Turkey’s Challenge in Northern Iraq
Anat Lapidot-Firilla

10. Iraq and the Arab System since the 2003 War:
A Persistent Marginality
Elie Podeh


A new Iraq has been midwifed by the American war in 2003. Professors Amnon Cohen and Noga Efrati, and their contributors, have come forth with a book of genuine authority and learning and fairness on this new Iraq. Their book is unrivalled in its scope, and in the way it depicts Iraq at home and in the region. The chapters exhibit genuine scholarship throughout.
Fouad Ajami, Majid Khadduri, Professor and Director of the Middle East Studies Program, SAIS, Johns Hopkins University, and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and author of The Foreigner’s Gift

“This book edited by Amnon Cohen and Noga Efrati is an outstanding contribution to our knowledge and understanding of ‘Iraq after Saddam’. Many life-changing events and trends have been analyzed by their team of internationally respected researchers, who discuss the political, economic, social, and religious realities in Iraq after the American invasion. It is crucial for decision makers around the world to reflect on the different perspectives and debates herein – questions such as a free Iraq with explosions and road bombs versus dictatorship and silence. Iraqis themselves need to examine the opinions and initiatives put forward in this book when making decisions for a better and brighter future.” Mithal al-Alusi, member of the outgoing Iraqi parliament (2005–2010) and Head of the Iraqi Nation’s party

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