Applying Machiavelli to Iraq

Posted: 4 Feb 2010


Our paper will explore how Machiavelli’s political thought can be applied in class to a case study of Iraq. This lesson provides an opportunity to combine topics often discussed separately in political theory, comparative politics, and international relations. The invasion of Iraq and removal of the Baathist regime provides an opportunity to apply the political thought to a situation of new state formation and internal conflict. The key themes that are illustrated are political order and the establishment of a republican form of government. We also incorporate the use of a student response system (Turning Point) in our lecture to stimulate student interest and participation. This allows for the use of a problem-solving approach that allows students to step into the shoes of Iraqi leaders and founding fathers.

Keywords: Machiavelli, Iraq, Student Response Systems, Political Instability

Suggested Citation

Boehmer, Charles, Applying Machiavelli to Iraq. APSA 2010 Teaching & Learning Conference Paper. Available at SSRN: or

Charles Boehmer (Contact Author)

University of Texas at El Paso ( email )

500 W. University Ave.
El Paso, TX TX 79968
United States

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