Democracy in Post-Invasion Iraq

9 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2014

Date Written: February 11, 2013


In the decade since the U.S. invasion in 2003, procedural democracy was established in Iraq. A new constitution was adopted, creating a federal parliamentary democratic system, and multiple rounds of national and provincial elections have been held. The existence of institutional forms of democracy, however, is not enough to ensure the quality of democracy. This paper evaluates the quality of Iraqi democracy, using indicators ranging from corruption levels to living conditions and political freedoms. Compared to the era of Ba’ath Party rule under Saddam Hussein, Iraqis enjoy greater civic and political liberties and multiple political factions compete for power. However, the democracy that has emerged is limited in significant ways, and it has not brought peace and prosperity to much of the population.

Keywords: Invasion of Iraq, Democracy, Elections, Voting, corruption, Ba'ath Party, Saddam Hussein

Suggested Citation

Cammett, Melani, Democracy in Post-Invasion Iraq (February 11, 2013). Watson Institute for International Studies Research Paper No. 2014-23, Available at SSRN: or

Melani Cammett (Contact Author)

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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