The New Social Protection Paradigm and Universal Coverage
Edited by Rana Jawad, Nicola Jones and Mahmood Messkoub
Chapter 10: Social protection, political mobilization and Muslim Shi’a NGOs in Iraq post-2003
This chapter offers a novel insight into the new political settlement that is emerging in Iraq after the demise of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003 through the lens of social welfare and social protection. Its main argument is that the Iraqi experience shows that Muslim Shi’a NGOs are playing an intrinsic role in the development of the new political order of Iraq, whereby social welfare and social protection services remain intrinsic to their identity as political actors. The chapter maps out the role of Shi’a NGOs in Iraq as social protection providers. It critically examines how they are engaged in protecting and mobilizing the Shi’a denomination, through providing social welfare services and consolidating the role of the Shi’a-led government. To this end, Shi’a welfare NGOs in Iraq favour charity- and social assistance-based services which draw upon their religious identity and hence, promote an understanding of Iraqi citizenship that is rooted in Shi’a or sectarian identity. Thus, the subject matter of the chapter also addresses a wider issue about the place of religious groups and which actors are to be involved in social protection in the post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda.
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