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).

The contentious life of Basij revolutionary politics in poor neighbourhoods of Iran

Ahmad Moradi

This policy piece explores the political paradox vis-à-vis the state of the Basij in Iran, especially in poor urban settings.

Ahmad Moradi’s PhD project explores Iran’s revolutionary politics and state-like interventions in urban low-income neighbourhoods, with a focus on the paramilitary organisation of the Basij.His monograph titled Politics of Persuasion is under contract with Edinburgh University press. Ahmad received his PhD from the University of Manchester in 2019, has completed a postdoc at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, Paris, and is a visiting scholar at Freie Universität Berlin (2021—2023).

Gendering the Revolution: Analysing Women’s Role in Sudan’s Revolutionary Transition

Miriam Aitken

This policy piece explores the different ways in which men and women experienced the 2019 Sudanese Revolution, by analysing gender politics in Bashir’s Sudan and women’s role in the Sudanese revolution and beyond. The piece argues that, for women, the revolution is incomplete.

Miriam Aitken is a graduate student at the School of International Affairs of Sciences Po Paris. Miriam is studying towards a Master of Arts in Human Rights and Humanitarian Action with a concentration in Middle Eastern Studies. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from King’s College London in 2020.