The future of Iraq: Will it Rise or Fall?

A discussion event on Wed 14. August at 13-15, at Think Corner, Yliopistonkatu 4, Helsinki.

What is taking place in contemporary Iraq? How has the country developed since the US invasion and the following unrest? How safe is it today and what are the prospects for a stable, safe and prosperous Iraq?

The country is in much better shape today than in 2015, when more than 20 thousand Iraqi asylum seekers arrived in Finland. ISIS was effectively beaten in 2017, the country did not split along sectarian lines, overall security situation has improved significantly, parliamentary elections were held in May 2018 and a promising new president and prime minister took office in the fall.

At the same time Iraq needs to overcome major challenges in order to maintain stability: chronic corruption of state institutions, weak military dependent on semi-autonomous militias, lack of public services and jobs for young people, economic dependence on oil, internal displacement and refugees, and of course, the effects of global warming.

You are most welcome to a public discussion event on the contemporary situation in and future of Iraq with prof. Gareth Stansfield and journalist Nina Järvenkylä.


Gareth Stansfield is Professor of Middle East Politics and the Al-Qasimi Chair of Arab Gulf Studies at the University of Exeter, and one of the world’s leading scholars on contemporary Iraq.

Nina Järvenkylä is journalist for Iltalehti, who has written extensively on the Middle East, spent April traveling in Iraq and is currently working on a Finnish-language book on contemporary Iraq and the fears and hopes of Iraqi people.


Sanna Ra is a journalist and a communications specialist who spent over a decade in the Middle East. She worked as an ICRC detention delegate in Iraq 2011-2012.


University of Helsinki, Finnish Institute in the Middle East, Nordic Society for Middle Eastern Studies


Sami Sojonen