Intervention, Ethnic Conflict and State-Building in Iraq: A by Michael Rear

By Michael Rear

External intervention by way of the U.N. and different actors in ethnic conflicts has interfered with the state-building method in post-colonial states. Rear examines the 1991 uprisings in Iraq and demonstrates how this intervention has contributed to the issues with democratization skilled within the post-Saddam period. This well timed paintings will attract students of diplomacy and center East stories, in addition to these looking larger perception into the present clash in Iraq.

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Extra info for Intervention, Ethnic Conflict and State-Building in Iraq: A Paradigm for the Post-Colonial State

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1 In its contemporary form, this issue of state-society relations and the question of strong versus weak states can also be approached from a somewhat different angle: the problem of state collapse. Based upon the experience of several post-colonial African states, I. William Zartman comes to a conclusion similar to that of Tocqueville. Building upon the idea that government requires legitimacy in the form of consent in order to be effective and that an excessive reliance upon force or coercion is a sign of state weakness rather than strength, Zartman sees the reliance upon state coercion in many post-colonial African states as both a cause and an effect of state collapse.

Indeed, during the Industrial Revolution, the social fault lines in most industrializing societies were centered primarily around the issue of class Theories of Ethnic Identification and Conflict 13 while during the Cold War, the fundamental social cleavage was arguably ideology rather than ethnicity. Furthermore, the pairing of state or empire collapse and ethnic conflict only serves to beg the question as to the direction in which the causal arrow should point. Joshua Bernard Forrest suggests that the question of whether state collapse produces substate fragmentation or is merely a reflection of it is a complex one with no single answer.

International guarantees of the continued existence of weak states, which thereby prevents their disappearance, has made it unnecessary for these states to develop the empirical attributes of statehood normally associated with strong states. As a consequence of this process, Jackson and Rosberg argue that these states continue to exist but without ever developing the internal capacity to govern or the external capacity to defend themselves. Mohammed Ayoob explores some of the implications of this distinction between juridical and empirical statehood as it relates to post-colonial states.

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