What lies beneath Saddam's legacy and the roots of resistance in Iraq
Munson, Peter J.
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Saddam Hussein's 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 Ba'ath 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.
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