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The territorial integrity of Iraq, 2003-2007: invocation, violation, viability

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Alison Williams


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This paper considers the ways in which Iraq’s territorial integrity has been invoked by the international community, how it was violated by the US-led coalition between 2003 and 2007, and how these acts have called into question the future viability of the Iraqi state. The paper contends that Iraq provides an instructive illustration of how the international legal term of territorial integrity is being pulled apart; where the spatial extent of the state must be preserved at all costs, yet the sovereignty of the state is rendered entirely contingent. Using interviews with key actors within the British context and documentary analysis, this paper examines the political situation in Iraq and the content of the new Iraqi constitution, the rise of factionalism within Iraq, and the report of the Iraq Study Group. In doing so it considers the impact of key decisions concerning Iraq’s sovereignty upon the future viability of the state.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Elden S, Williams AJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Geoforum

Year: 2009

Volume: 40

Issue: 3

Pages: 407-417

ISSN (print): 0016-7185

ISSN (electronic): 1872-9398

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2008.12.009

Notes: Themed Issue: Gramscian Political Ecologies


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