The principle of local sovereignty, which was originally established by the Western powers in the Peace of Westphalia, is not easily applicable in the Middle East, given its historical context and current realities.
In fact, the political framework of a neighbouring state, its unique sensitivities, and genuine diplomatic relations, if they exist, may have more influence on the establishment of a democratic structure than internal factors.
A pivotal consideration in this context lies in the calibre of the elite class. Notably, an orchestrated, long-term strategy has been embraced by participants within political Islamic parties, along with their interconnected financial, social, and cultural networks.
An agenda in the works since 2003
Over the years, they have diligently pursued a strategic agenda aimed at eroding the foundational pillars of the democratic and secular state that emerged in Iraq post-2003.
Their unity and unwavering commitment to their ideological campaign and political involvement have propelled them toward their desired goals.
Conversely, the civil and democratic elites harboured the misconception that toppling the former regime would be enough to reform Iraq's political framework, thereby safeguarding its democratic underpinnings without active, sustained effort.
This oversight has led them to neglect the realisation that democracy and its associated prerequisites demand an ongoing struggle for preservation — one that can rapidly unravel in the absence of consistent vigilance.
Iraq's gradual shift towards theocratic governance is intrinsically intertwined with the all-encompassing modern challenges besieging it.
This trajectory is reinforced by the presence of inherent vulnerabilities, including its dependence on an oil-centric economy, a history of internal conflicts, and a multitude of other facets that collectively shape its existence.