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Britain's democratic vision for Iraq: strategic interest or contingency?

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The British government claimed that one of the objectives of the Iraq war 2003 was to establish democracy and to protect human rights. This article tracks the manner in which Iraq features in successive Foreign and Commonwealth Office annual Human Rights Reports, before and after the war. British initiatives at the United Nations were carefully choreographed so that British policy on Iraq would appear consistent with the international community. After the war, Britain's commitment to building a human rights culture in Iraq was much trumpeted but its actual policies were thin on the ground. This was a war in which both Iraqis and human rights were to be the losers.
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Keywords: United Nations; democracy; human rights; military action; rule of law

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of East London.

Publication date: February 1, 2009

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  • The International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies is a new peer-reviewed, tri- annual, academic publication devoted to the study of modern Iraq. In recognition of Iraq's increasingly important position on the world stage, the time is right for a new journal dedicated to scholarly engagement with the country.
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