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Mapping Iraq’s Political Organizations Ahead of the National Elections


Iraq’s political landscape has experienced tremendous changes since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. After transforming from a dictatorship into a democracy, Iraq’s political environment is dynamic and ever-changing. While sectarian interests have dominated Iraqi politics in the past 15 years, attributing all post-2003 politics to sectarianism oversimplifies the complex web of players, historical rivalries, regional interference, religion, violence and personal animosities. Ahmed Ali, an expert on Iraqi political affairs, maps in this KAS publication the political landscape of Iraq. more…

May 2, 2018

Event Series on the Reform of the Iraqi Electoral System

KAS and IHEC highlight the relevance of the elections in Iraq

Iraq has lived through politically and economically turbulent times since its last parliamentary election in 2014. After the rise and fall of the Islamic State (ISIL), the displacement and flight of millions of Iraqis, and the impact of the fall of the oil prices on the Iraqi economy, about 12 million citizens are now asked to vote in the upcoming elections on May 12. The Syria/Iraq Office and the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) support this process in Sulaymaniyah, Erbil, Basrah and Baghdad. more…

Nils Wörmer, Szabina Altsach, Nauel Semaan | Event Reports | April 10, 2018

Militant Islamism and Jihadism after the End of the ‘Caliphate’

International conference on the future of the Islamic State and AL Qaeda

In 2017, the Islamic State was defeated militarily and lost its major strongholds in Syria and Iraq. The group and its extreme ideology, however, continue to destabilize great parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia. In fact, the Islamic State is currently undergoing a process of transformation – from a quasi-state actor and service provider to a terrorist group that operates from the underground and in provinces around the world. The same is true for Al Qaeda: While the Islamic State dominated the world’s attention, Al Qaeda has quietly regrouped and expanded its transnational network. more…

Nils Wörmer, Hannes Pichler | Event Reports | March 20, 2018

Establishment of an Iraqi National Center Against Hate Speech

KAS and Masarat hold interreligious and interethnic founding workshop

On March 15 and 16, the KAS Syria/Iraq office and Masarat for Cultural and Media Development (MCMD) held a two-day workshop in Beirut to establish and launch an Iraqi National Center Against Hate Speech. It brought together dedicated Iraqi journalists, religious clerics of different faiths and sects, civil society activists, bloggers, academics and social media activists, who signed a joint declaration to launch the Center for Countering Hate Speech in Iraq on March 16 in Beirut. more…

Nils Wörmer, Maha Haddad | Event Reports | March 16, 2018

Tribalism and Jihadist Movements

KAS and IFI hold a workshop on relations of tribes to jihadist groups

Tribes are of crucial importance in the societies of the Middle East. They are a socio-political unit that is powerful in exerting control over communities, land and resources. It is for that reason that authorities have, for centuries, been keen on gaining the loyalties of tribes and integrating them into their own power structures. This remains true for states in the Middle East, but also for non-state actors such as jihadist groups. On March 12th 2018, KAS and the Issam Fares Institute held a closed-door workshop in Beirut to analyze the relationship between tribes and jihadist groups. more…

Nils Wörmer, Hannes Pichler | Event Reports | March 13, 2018