What Lies Beneath: Saddam's Legacy and the Roots of Resistance in Iraq
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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Saddam Husseins patrimonial coercive rule reshaped major aspects of the Iraqi state and society, providing structures and motivations that have fueled resistance in the wake of regime change. By linking literature describing the effects of Baath rule on the Iraqi state, society, and individual to the characteristics and motivations of the resistance, a more nuanced understanding of the complex landscape of Iraqi transition is possible. Repressive regimes produce a lasting and complex legacy in the structures of state and society that they leave behind. This legacy is often contentious and unpredictable, complicating efforts toward a democratic transition. This thesis concludes that, in the case of Iraq, patrimonial coercive rule produced a set of Sunni sub-state power structures that coveted the state and personal powers enjoyed under the old system. This sub-state landscape has proven to be difficult terrain for a successful transition, producing a network of actors that resist for varied motives. Exploration of the case of Iraqi transition reveals a demand for balanced political and military policies that address the sociopolitical roots of the resistance as well as the violent symptoms. Military initiatives alone cannot produce a solution to the problems in Iraq.
- Government and Political Science