Understanding the cause of Iraq’s ‘October Revolution’ during the Adil Abdul-Mahdi administration

Zainab Mehdi

This policy paper offers an overview of post-2003 Iraq and of the Muhasasa Ta’ifa, and explains how this ethno-sectarian quota system has hindered the democratisation process. Using two examples of the overlooked needs of protesters during the Adil Abdul-Mahdi administration in particular, this policy piece then demonstrates that state ineffectiveness, deriving from the Muhasasa, caused the 2019 protests, also known as the ‘October Revolution’. 

Zainab Mehdi is a Researcher and Freelance Journalist specialising in governance and development in the MENA region, especially in Iraq. Zainab has previously worked at the London School of Economics’ Middle East Centre, British Red Cross in London, and Center for Arab-West Understanding in Cairo. Zainab holds a BSc in Modern History and International Relations from the University of Essex and an MA in Near and Middle Eastern Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).