July 20, 2010, July 20-21, 2010
On July 20-21, 2010, Hudson Institute co-organized what is planned to be the first in a series of Iraqi-U.S. roundtable discussions on Iraq's political culture and its long-range transformation.
The conference, which was held in Erbil, Iraq, was organized jointly by the Najaf-based Iraq Centre for Research and Studies (ICRS), the International Republican Institute, and Hudson Institute.
Iraqi participants in the roundtable included leading Iraqi ministers, members of parliament, scholars, and civil society leaders. Noted officials included Iraq's Minister for Human Rights, Wejdan Mekail; the Speaker of the Parliament of the Kurdish Regional Government Kamal al-Kirkuki; the Kurdish Regional Minister for Youth and Culture Kawa Mahmoud; and Dr. Alaa Makki, M.P., the outgoing Chairman of the Education Committee of the Iraqi Parliament. Hudson Fellow Eric Brown co-chaired the session. Senior Fellow Abram Shulsky and CEO Kenneth Weinstein participated.
The centerpiece of the inaugural roundtable was an essay entitled "Democratic Transition Obstacles in Iraq," written by Dr. Neama Al-Ebadi, the chairman of ICRS. The essay examines how the experience of living under the Saddam Hussein tyranny continues to shape Iraqi political life.
The roundtable also featured a presentation on tribal politics by ICRS researcher Dr. Ali Witwit, a paper by ICRS scholar Dr. Hassen Latif Al-Zubaidi on the crisis of Iraq's political parties, and a paper on economic reform by Dr. Ali Abdul Hadi Salim of the Economic and Management College-Al-Anbar.
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