The Iraqi government, the Peshmerga, the international coalition and a consortium of militia have been winning the war against ISIS in Iraq. The concern moving forward is whether Iraq’s state institutions have what it takes to prevent ISIS from reemerging in a new, and more deadly form after the current conflict is over. What does recent history, the current military campaign, and the Donald Trump administration’s current trajectory tell us about Iraq’s prospects?
Zaid Al-Ali is the Senior Adviser on Constitution-Building for the Arab Region at International IDEA and an independent scholar. In his work, Al-Ali focuses on constitutional developments throughout the Arab region, with a particular focus on Iraq and the wave of reforms that took place in Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Jordan and Yemen following the start of popular uprisings in December 2010. Al-Ali has published extensively on constitutional reform in the Arab region, including on process design issues and the impact of external influence. He is the author of The Struggle for Iraq’s Future: How Corruption, Incompetence and Sectarianism Have Undermined Democracy (Yale University Press 2014). Prior to joining International IDEA, Zaid worked as a legal adviser to the United Nations in Iraq, focusing on constitutional, parliamentary and judicial reform. He also practiced international commercial arbitration law for 12 years, representing clients in investment and oil and gas disputes mainly as an attorney with Shearman & Sterling LLC in Paris and also as a sole practitioner. He holds an LL.M. from Harvard Law School, a Maitrise en Droit from the University of Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne) and an LL.B. from King’s College London. He was a Law and Public Affairs Fellow and Visiting Lecturer at Princeton University in 2015-2016. He is the founder of the Arab Association of Constitutional Law and is a member of its executive committee.