The territorial integrity of Iraq, 2003-2007: Invocation, violation, viability

Stuart Elden, Alison J. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This paper considers the ways in which Iraq's territorial integrity has been invoked by the international community, how it was violated by the US-led coalition between 2003 and 2007, and how these acts have called into question the future viability of the Iraqi state. The paper contends that Iraq provides an instructive illustration of how the international legal term of territorial integrity is being pulled apart; where the spatial extent of the state must be preserved at all costs, yet the sovereignty of the state is rendered entirely contingent. Using interviews with key actors within the British context and documentary analysis, this paper examines the political situation in Iraq and the content of the new Iraqi constitution, the rise of factionalism within Iraq, and the report of the Iraq Study Group. In doing so it considers the impact of key decisions concerning Iraq's sovereignty upon the future viability of the state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-417
Number of pages11
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Contingent sovereignty
  • Iraq
  • Iraq study group
  • Iraqi constitution
  • Territorial integrity

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