Iraq Research

Reports, workshops and events 

The LSE Middle East Centre has a long established history of working with local partners to carry out world renowned research on Iraq. This page is an overview of research projects undertaken on the country.



PeaceRep Iraq Projects

PeaceRep is a seven-year research consortium led by the University of Edinburgh Law School. The LSE Middle East Centre is a consortium member, and our research focuses on peacebuilding, conflict and democratisation in Iraq and the regional roles of Turkey and the GCC states. PeaceRep is funded by UK Aid from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), UK.


Protectors of the State? The Popular Mobilisation Forces During the 2022 Post-election Crisis

Principal Investigator: Simona Foltyn

This project examines the PMF’s role during the 2022 post-election crisis in Iraq.

Download the final report in English and Arabic


Changing the system from within? The role of opposition parties in consolidating democracy in Iraq post-2019

Principal Investigator: Taif Alkhudary, LSE Middle East Centre 

This project discusses the impact of opposition parties on strengthening democracy in Iraq after 2019 and the potential for internal system change.

Download the final report. 

Other Projects



 Managing Religious Diversity in the Middle East: Al Muhasasa Ta'ifia in Iraq, 2003-2018. 

Principal Investigator: Professor Toby Dodge 

This project examines the creation and evolution of Al Muhasasa Ta’ifia and its influence on Iraq’s politics.

This research is funded by the Henry Luce Foundation of New York 


Gendered Networks of Power: The parliamentary quota and women’s substantive political representation in Iraq  

Principal Investigator: Taif Alkhudary 

This project examines the effectiveness of Iraq’s gender quota in enabling women’s substantive political representation since 2005. 

This research is funded by the British Institute for the Study of Iraq. 

 Past Projects 

Conflict Research Programme  

The Conflict Research Programme (CRP) ran between October 2017 and March 2021. It addressed the drivers and dynamics of violent conflict in the Middle East and Africa and informed  measures being used to tackle armed conflict and its impacts. The programme focused on Iraq, Syria, DRC, Somalia and South Sudan, as well as the wider Horn of Africa/Red Sea and Middle East regions. 

The LSE Middle East Centre worked closely with local Iraqi organisations to lead research on drivers of conflict in Iraq and the wider Middle East. The CRP funded 24 projects on Iraq.  Publications produced as part of this programme due to be published in the summer of 2021 are listed below. 

This programme was funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

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Patriarchal Norms and Legal Discrimination Against Women  in Iraq

Principal Investigator: Taif Alkhudary, LSE Middle East Centre 

This project examines legal discrimination against Iraqi women.

Download the final report. 

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Undemocratic Parties in a "Democratic" System

Principal Investigator: Omar Al-Jaffal

This project examines the formation and internal functioning of Iraq's political parties.

Download the final report


Disinformation in the Iraqi Media 

Principal Investigator: Aida Al-Kaisey 

This project examines the key narratives of disinformation in the Iraqi media and the impact it has on policy debates. 

Download the final report. 

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After the Uprising: Post-Mobilisation Strategies in Southern Iraq

Principal Investigator: Benedict Robin D'Cruz

This project looks at the tactical and strategic decisions that activists make during mobilisation and after protests abate. 

Download the final report. 

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From Green to Blue? Local Policing in Iraq After ISIL 

Principal Investigator: Jessica Watkins, LSE Middle East Centre 

This project seeks to contextualise internationally-backed centralised efforts to demilitarise the local Iraqi police post-2017.

Download the final report


Water Governance in Basra

Principal Investigator: Michael Mason, LSE Middle East Centre 

This project examines the extent to which water infrastructure interventions are sustainable and meet the expectations of Iraqis.

Download the final report


A Locality in Crisis: A Study of the Local Governance Crisis and Public Protests in Basra

Principal Investigators: Omar Al-Jaffal and Safaa Khalaf

This project examined challenges  local governance in Basra. 

Download the final report in English and Arabic. 

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Insights into the 2021 Iraqi Federal Elections

Principal Investigator: Sajad Jiyad 

This project analysed the upcoming federal elections and their potential impact on the political order in Iraq. 

Download the final report

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Baghdad's Market Spaces and the Politics of Urban "Renewal"

Principal Investigator: Omar Sirri 

This project examined the political economy of space in Baghdad.

Download the final report. 


Understanding the Failures of Decentralisation in Iraq

Principal Investigators: Ali Al-Mawlawi and Sajad Jiyad

This project explored the extent to which decentralisation has been enforced and implemented in Iraq. 

Download the final report.

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Is Demography Destiny? 

Principal Investigator: Alexander Hamilton

This project examines the economic implications of Iraq's fast-expanding demographic profile. 

Download the final report


Conflict Drivers within the KRI: The Role of Patronage Networks

Principal Investigators: Zmkan Ali Saleem and Mac Skelton

This project examined the state of the patronage networks of the two major political parties in Kurdistan.

Download the final report.


The Political Economy of Economic Policy in Iraq

Principal Investigator: Alexander Hamilton

This project examined the impact of the post-2003 political system on the implementation of economic policy.

Download the final report. 


Conflict, Gender and Violence in Iraq

Principal Investigator: Zeynep Kaya, LSE Middle East Centre 

This project examined how gender norms are contested, manipulated, and influence the conflict economy in Iraq.

Download the final report

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Payroll Expansion and the Political Marketplace in Iraq

Principal Investigator: Ali Al-Mawlawi

This project examined Iraqi government corruption by looking at the rapid expansion of payrolls after 2003.

Download the final report.


'Pockets of Media Civicness' in a Conflictual Political Landscape: A Case Study of Iraqi Media

Principal Investigator: Aida Al-Kaisy 

The project examined ‘pockets of civicness' in the Iraqi media. 

Download the final report

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Moral Populism and Satellite Sectarianisation

Principal Investigator: Jessica Watkins, LSE Middle East Centre 

This project re-assessed assumptions about whether and how satellite channels promote sectarianisation in the MENA. 

Download the final report.

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Public Authority and Iraq's Disputed Territories

Principal Investigator: Mac Skelton

This project looked into how the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Government of Iraq drive conflict. 

Download the final report


Reporting the Iraqi Federal Elections 

Principal Investigator: Christine van den Toorn 

This project examined the mobilisation strategies and results of the 2018 Iraqi elections. 

 Download the final report.


Reforming Legal Responses to Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region

Principal Investigator: Güley Bor 

This project analysed the extent to which domestic laws on conflict-related SGBV responses and reparations are being implemented.

Download the final report in English and Arabic. 

 Iraq and its Regions: Iraqi Governance Structures after the Liberation of Mosul 

Following the liberation of Mosul from Islamic State in July 2017 and the Kurdish independence referendum in September of the same year, the LSE Middle East Centre hosted two workshops examining the institutional structures used to govern Iraq and test their sustainability. The workshops brought together Iraqi political analysts, decision-makers and other experts on the country to explore possible alternatives to the status quo.  

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Baghdad–Provincial Relations after Mosul and Kirkuk

This workshop examined the major dynamics that shaped Iraqi politics following the liberation of Mosul and the arrival of Iraqi troops in Kirkuk. 

Read a summary of workshop proceedings in Arabic and English. 


The Future of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq after the Referendum

This workshop examined the major dynamics shaping Iraq-Kurdish politics following the independence referendum held in September 2017.

Read a summary of workshop proceedings in Arabic and English.

Other reports

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The Iraqi protest movement: From identity politics to issue politics

Principal Investigator: Faleh A. Jabar

This project examined the 2015 protest movement in Iraq. 

Read the final report in English and Arabic. 


The Iraqi Constitution: Structural Flaws and Political Implications 

Principal Investigator: Saad N. Jawad

This project examined the flaws and political consequences of Iraq's 2005 consitution. 

Read the final report


Toby Dodge

Professor Toby Dodge

Toby is Research Director of CRP-Iraq and a Professor in the Department of International Relations. 



 Taif Alkhudary 

Taif is an Iraq-focused Research Officer at LSE Middle East Centre.