GIGA Forum

Iraq 20 Years after the US Invasion: Domestic Politics and the Role of Civil Society




07:00 p.m. (CET)


08:30 p.m. (CET)

Image Iraq Conference 2023
© Reuters / Mohamed Ameen
Image Iraq Conference 2023
© Reuters / Mohamed Ameen

  • The US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003 was a watershed moment in recent history. It ended the reign of one of the most brutal ancien régimes in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Together with the invasion of Afghanistan two years earlier, these developments marked the beginning of American “forever wars,” split Europe into “old” and “new,” and strengthened Iran’s position as regional power. Within Iraq, a hybrid political system has emerged that combines formal democratic features with authoritarian and sectarian overtones. This GIGA Forum sheds light on the often-overlooked domestic transitions occurring since the invasion in 2003, and the role of Iraqi civil society in shaping them.

    Key note: Prof. Dr. Nadje Al-Ali is a Robert Family Professor of International Studies and Professor of Anthropology and Middle East Studies at Brown University, USA.

    Speakers: Bernd Erbel is a former German Ambassador to Iraq.

    Christoph Reuter is a Journalist at the German news magazine Der Spiegel.

    Dr. Ula Abd Al Khalel Merie is a Principal Architect at the University of Babylon, Iraq and a Visiting Fellow at the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA).

    Moderator: Prof. Dr. Eckart Woertz is Director of the GIGA Institute for Middle East Studies (IMES) and a Professor for Contemporary History and Politics of the Middle East at the University of Hamburg.


    GIGA, Neuer Jungfernstieg 21, 20354 Hamburg, Germany (Room 243), and online



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    Democratization | 2021

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