On May 12, Iraq held parliamentary elections in which a coalition of the Islamist Sadrist movement, led by Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, and the Iraqi Communist Party (ICP) secured more seats than any other alliance. It was a shocking victory that left the party of incumbent Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi — the pre-election favorite — trailing in third place.
The Sadrist-ICP electoral pact seemed to mark a transformation in Iraqi politics as two previously antagonistic groups aligned behind a single political vision. But why do such shifts continue to take analysts by surprise? When dealing with Iraq, a focus on political elites and sectarianism has produced an image of a society incapable of collective action against the political class.… Seguir leyendo »