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From Desolation to Reconstruction

Iraq’s Troubled Journey

Mokhtar Lamani and Bessma Momani, editors

Studies in International Governance Series

Paper 258 pp.

ISBN13: 978-1-55458-229-7

Release Date: May 2010

Online discount: 25%

$42.99  $32.24


eBook availability

Iraq’s streets are unsafe, its people tormented, and its identity as a state challenged from within and without. For some, Iraq is synonymous with internal hatred, bloodshed, and sectarianism. The contributors to this book, however, know another Iraq: a country that was once full of hope and achievement and that boasted one of the most educated workforces in its region—a cosmopolitan secular society with a great tradition of artisans, poets, and intellectuals. The memory of that Iraq inspired the editors of this volume to explore Iraq’s current struggle. The contributors delve into the issues and concerns of building a viable Iraqi state and recognize the challenges in bringing domestic reconciliation and normalcy to Iraqis.

From Desolation to Reconstruction: Iraq’s Troubled Journey examines Iraq’s reality after the 2003 US-led invasion. It begins by relating Iraq’s modern social and political history prior to the invasion and then outlines the significant challenges of democratization and the creation of an Iraqi constitution, which will be necessary for Iraq to become a strong and effective state.

Co-published with the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI).

Mokhtar Lamani is a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), specializing in international affairs and conflict resolution. He is the former Special Representative of the Arab League in Iraq and Ambassador of the Organization of the Islamic Conference to the UN. His most recent publications include the CIGI Special Report: Minorities in Iraq: The Other Victims (2009).

Bessma Momani is an associate professor at the University of Waterloo and Senior Fellow at CIGI, specializing on the Middle East and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). She is the author of Twentieth-Century World History (2007), IMF–Egyptian Negotiations (2005), the CIGI–CIC Special Report: The Future of International Monetary Fund: A Canadian Perspective (2009), and is the co-editor of Canada and the Middle East (WLUP, 2007). Dr. Momani has also published a dozen scholarly articles in numerous political and economic academic journals.


“Mokhtar Lamani and Bessma Momani have assembled a very useful and compelling collection of essays about today’s Iraq. They focus mostly on internal factors that affect national identity and social cohesion—both hard to achieve, given the centrifugal forces always at play in the territory called Iraq. But outsiders are also assessed here, from the donors who are hard at work on reconstruction, the neighbours who threaten and are threatened by events in Iraq, and ideas from the global community that may help Iraqis reinvent their society and politics.”

— Ellen Laipson, President and CEO, and Director of Southwest Asia Project, Stimson Center; Member of President Obama’s Intelligence Advisory Board

“This collection is an informative and timely set of essays concerning political developments in Iraq since the 2003 US invasion.... Several bases are covered in an eclectic group of essays that cohere very well, and deal with many permutations of postconflict politics, including the politics of state building, the Kurdish and other minority populations, and the political economy and development of the nation. Each of the chapters is readable and succinct.... This book is an effective aid for courses at any level on the history and politics of Iraq in the post-2003 era. Summing up: Highly recommended.”

— P. Rowe, Trinity Western University, Choice