The reformation of Iraq's foreign relations: new elites and enduring legacies
Article first published online: 3 NOV 2010
© 2010 The Author(s). International Affairs © 2010 The Royal Institute of International Affairs.
Volume 86, Issue 6, pages 1395–1409, November 2010
How to Cite
STANSFIELD, G. (2010), The reformation of Iraq's foreign relations: new elites and enduring legacies. International Affairs, 86: 1395–1409. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2346.2010.00950.x
- Issue published online: 3 NOV 2010
- Article first published online: 3 NOV 2010
Iraq has not enjoyed regular foreign relations since 2003, and arguably for several years before. Looking ahead, Iraq is now in a position to develop its foreign relations fully, yet how these relations will be constructed remains unclear. As with all states, Iraq's foreign policy remains conditioned by geopolitical factors— and in particular control of resources, access to waterways, and its geographical location between the Arab world, Turkey, and Iran. There are also the legacies of the Ba'athist regime to consider—and especially the way foreign policy was constructed, and how ‘foreign’ was defined in terms of foreign to the regime, rather than to Iraq. Layered on top of these geopolitical determinants and legacies is the reality of the post-2003 state. With the removal of the structures of the Ba'athist regime and the emergence of new political elites under the guidance of the US, Iraq's foreign relations are now clearly different, yet some of the patterns of the past still remain very much in place.