Challenging the anocracy model: Iran’s foreign policy in Iraq as an obstacle to democracy?

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Since America’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the consequent partial collapse of the state Iraq has been undergoing a process of deterioration and disintegration mainly because America’s vision of establishing a new, more democratic political order there encountered a lack of readiness to understand what the structure of a democratic state should be. The political process that Iraq has been going through–that is the transition from autocratic dictatorship to adopting a kind of democratic system is called anocracy, which means a political system that is neither fully democratic nor fully autocratic. Furthermore, the Iranian intervention into Iraqi politics that took place after 2003 has led to the creation of a virtually imperial model of regional power (Iran’s) that has turned Iraq into a kind of informal protectorate in ethnic and religious issues. This article wishes to offer a better understanding of the anocratic political shift that Iraq has been going through by adding the component of Iran’s influence and foreign policy upon it as an ambivalent factor that is both accelerating yet also preventing the process of democratization from properly establishing itself in Iraq.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-205
Number of pages14
JournalBritish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 14 Mar 2020


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