Reporting the Iraqi Federal Elections

Principal Investigator:
Christine van den Toorn
Duration: March 2018 – March 2019
Supported by: UK Department for International Development (DfID)


A man in Baghdad shows his ink-stained finger after voting.

Over the past year, some analysts and academics have observed that Iraq is moving from identity to issue based politics. Others have argued that election campaigns in fact show that not much has fundamentally changed about Iraqi politics. The reality may be somewhere in the middle.

This project examined the mobilisation strategies and results of the 2018 Iraqi elections to identify change and continuity among elites and on a popular level. It looked at what the results mean for the reform agenda, governance, and conflict dynamics in the country. An examination of three types of mobilisation strategies – identity, issues, and patronage – aimed to yield evidence of such a shift in the nature of Iraqi politics, or lack thereof. This project also compared 2018 mobilisation strategies and election results to Iraqi national elections in 2010 and 2014. It examined three provinces of Iraq: Baghdad, Basra and Mosul, and three provinces of the Kurdistan Region: Sulaimaniya, Erbil and Dohuk.

This project formed part of the Conflict Research Programme, funded by the UK Department for International Development to provide research and policy advice on how the risk and impact of violent conflict might be more effectively reduced through development and governance interventions.

Project Outputs

Research Team


Christine van den Toorn | Principal Investigator

Christine is the Director of IRIS at AUIS. She also serves as the Executive Director of External Relations and Policy for AUIS.


Renad Mansour | Researcher 

Renad is Research Fellow in the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House. His research explores the situation of Iraq in transition and the dilemmas posed by state-building.




LSE Middle East LSEMiddleEast

We're sorry to see Jess go, but @GIGA_Institute have gained an exceptional researcher! Best of luck in Hamburg!…

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LSE Middle East LSEMiddleEast

What is Islamic capitalism and why has it become so popular in the #Gulf? Excessive consumption is viewed as damagi……


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