The common consensus amongst political scientists on democratization is that it is a long process with an unpredictable timeline for each individual case study. However, with regards to the democratization of Iraq, there is a commonly held belief that it has failed within the span of a decade and there is little hope of improvement in the near future. This thesis seeks to show that using an internationally recognized standard index to measure democratic features in Iraq, with other theories related to democracy and democratization, including democratic peace theory and state-to-nation balance theory, there is substantial evidence to suggest that while democracy is still in a nascent phase, it has by no means failed.
The following thesis is comprised of five chapters. The first chapter will deliver a brief history of Iraq, highlighting specific elements of its past evolution as a state. These are essential to providing a balanced assessment of Iraq’s democratization – its journey through various forms of government, including autocracy, to where it currently stands. The second chapter will analyze arguments presented, by various sources, as proof of democratization failing in Iraq. Counterarguments will be provided for each claim. The third chapter will give a detailed account of the democratic façade Saddam Hussein was orchestrating and the genuine democracy building which ensued after his overthrow in 2003. These will all be relevant to the main thesis, as the penultimate chapter will provide an assessment of Iraq’s democratization based on Polity’s data series, democratic peace theory and state-to-nation balance theory, before concluding.