Any attempt at predicting a very specific outcome for Iraq’s future would be rash and little more than speculation. Instead, what can be identified are general themes which are focal points of conflict and cooperation. The themes explored in this chapter could be tied together into two competing scenarios, with a long-term pattern of ethno-sectarianism, violence and poverty set against an alternative future of programmatic politics, peace and prosperity, with each element of the two scenarios being mutually reinforcing. This is a possibility, but reality is already rather messy in terms of there being elements of both in play. There are elements of historical continuity and change, ethno-sectarianism and programmatic politics, violence and peace, and poverty and prosperity. Furthermore, it is not necessarily the case that violence and poverty are strongly associated with each other. In armed conflict, there can be winners as well as losers in material terms, and peace can be a product not of prosperity but of acquiescence in poverty through lack of ability to effectively take up arms to challenge it.
|Translated title of the contribution||The Future of Iraq|
|Title of host publication||Beyond Iraq: The Future of World Order|
|Editors||A Acharya, H Katsumata|
|Publisher||World Scientific Publishing Co.|
|Pages||1 - 20|
|Number of pages||20|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|