Nearly two decades since the U.S. invasion of Iraq, democratic consolidation is still elusive. From the start, the revival of civil society and NGOs in Iraq was promoted as a means of sustaining democracy through social capital. However, even in areas that enjoyed stability, homogeneity, and prosperity, the political environment has been fraught with public anger and protest. What role has Iraqi civil society played in the path towards democratization and how has it developed? What is the relationship between civil society and democracy in Iraq? Can the U.S. today support democratization through civil society?
On February 7, the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings convened a panel to discuss these questions and the related themes explored in the recently published report, “Postwar development of civil society in Iraq’s mid-Euphrates region”, written by Marsin Alshamary.
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