Policy Brief

Protests in Iraq and the Economic Grounds Behind Them

A new wave of demonstrations has erupted in Iraq. Although the speed of the demonstrations that started on October 1, 2019, stopped within about a week, it seems difficult to say that the problems that led to the protests were solved and it is likely that these demonstrations would continue. In this sense, it can be argued that the Iraqi people have eventually broken their chains. The most prominent feature of the demonstrations is that they are being led by young people. According to the population data in Iraq, considering that the population under the age of 35 is approximately 75 percent of the whole population, it is appropriate to contend that young people have started a new process in Iraq and want change.

It is possible to say that the young population in Iraq has increased their presence in almost every field from politics to social life. It can be seen that the main element in the demonstrations is the opposition to unemployment and corruption in the country. However, it is not right to identify these problems only by looking at the present but rather it can be held that the process which Iraq is going through today is cumulative. In other words, it should be evaluated as a reaction to the new order set in the wake of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 and within the general dynamics of the country.