By situating our analysis of the occupation of Iraq within the changing nature of international relations this article intends to enhance our understanding of why the occupying powers sought so aggressively to reconstruct Iraq upon a liberal democratic basis, particularly since such alterations were manifestly inconsistent with the international law of belligerent occupation. It will be suggested that there has been a progressive yet profound shift in the normative basis of legitimate statehood within the world order. Whilst historically international society regarded all states as legitimate equals, as distinct sovereign entities enjoying absolute legal protection from external interference, in the post-Cold War world order an international community of liberal states has emerged which considers only those states that embrace liberal democracy as legitimate. Motivated by the theory of liberal peace, international community has engaged in a global campaign for the liberal reformation of non-liberal states and it is within this theoretical framework that the occupation of Iraq will be assessed.
Journal Article. 12545 words.
Subjects: Public International Law
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