The Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Institute of International Studies, in cooperation with Council for British Research in the Levant, and as part of the "Advancing Research and Teaching in Political Economy in the oPt" project funded by the LSE, held the second lecture of the lecture series given by Professor Toby Dodge, a professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Director of LSE’s Middle East Center.
In his lecture, entitled "The Birth and Unlikely Death of the Islamic State in Iraq" and held on Nov. 03, 2016, Dodge demonstrated that ISIS "Daesh" has been a violent symptom of much larger structural problems plaguing Iraq at lease since the US invasion and regime change in 2003. Dodge focused on the reasons behind the emergence and the possibilities of the demise of the Islamic State in Iraq, believing that the political and sectarian status of Iraq is the main cause of the expansion of ISIS.
Dodge showed no optimism for ISIS to disappear. “For Iraq to be brought back together, it is the political problems that need to be solved. The corruption and sectarian division is deeply rooted in the government and the military institution”, he said.
The lecturer chronicled the history of ISIS, explaining that the radical group dated back to 2006 and to the bloody civil war in Iraq that followed the US invasion. "If it wasn’t for 2003, and the American Administration mistakes, there would have been no Islamic State,” Dodge insisted.
Agreeing with most experts, Dodge argued that the current crisis in Syria and Libya has been heavily and negatively influenced by the events of 2003 and after.
The lecture series, organized by Ibrahim Abu Lughod Institute of International Studies, in cooperation with the Council for British Research in the Levant, is a result of the partnership between Birzeit University and LSE's Middle East Centre to enhance political economy teaching and research in the occupied Palestinian territory.