Shi'i Separatism in Iraq:
This research paper concentrates on how ultra-radical Shi'is since 2004 have used the Internet to proliferate separatist ideas for an Iraqi Shi'i audience. In these circles, visions of a breakaway Shi'i state from Samarra (north of Baghdad) down to the Gulf circulate. But the paper also highlights the relative weakness of this new current. Only on certain conditions – directly related to the ongoing constitutional process in Iraq and the federal constitutional design chosen for the new political system in the country – does any widening of the separatist agitation among the Shi'is in the country seem probable.
"A very serious piece of research [which] lays out the details of an important but little-examined political movement in the south [of Iraq]"
— Juan Cole, professor of Middle Eastern and South Asian history at the University of Michigan, U.S.A., author of the weblog Informed Comment.
Full details of publication:
Reidar Visser, "Shi'i Separatism in Iraq: Internet Reverie or Real Constitutional Challenge?" (NUPI Paper no. 686, Oslo: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, August 2005, 18 pages).
FULL TEXT OF PAPER (PDF file, 320 KB, download may take a few minutes)