Winter 2017 Publication
By Laura Boyer
Previously home to fertile lands and sufficient water, Iraq is now facing a water crisis. Water supplies are shrinking and contamination is increasing. While environmental factors affect these trends, geopolitical relations and current conflict within the Middle East also provide explanations for the decrease of water supply and quality. By using Iraq as a case study, I examine these political forces in relation to the water crisis. Using qualitative sources and analysis, I find that the international relations between Iraq and Turkey, Saddam Hussein’s political regime within Iraq, and the history of conflict in Iraq all help explain this water crisis. The findings show that in order to reverse these trends, serious attention must be placed on the water politics within the region and conflict surrounding water sources must be avoided.
By Adena Moulton
There is little question that the legal rights of Kurdish women in Iraq gradually improved after Kurdish emancipation at the end of the Gulf War in 1991 and particularly after the American invasion in 2003. In contrast, Arab-Iraqi women’s rights deteriorated after the Gulf War and fell into crisis after 2003. I use statements, laws, and reports published by the KRG and transnational women’s groups to support the theory that the Kurdish government increased women’s legal rights due to the growth of women-oriented civil society, the strength of transnationalism, and Kurdistan’s search for international legitimacy. However some academics and policy leaders overemphasize the importance of transnational feminist movements, international pressure, and Kurdish civil society (as it stands today) in promoting women’s rights because they do not sufficiently address the effects of tribalism, which hinders the implementation of women’s rights legislation. The economic, political, and social instability that has rocked Kurdistan since the Iran-Iraq War strengthened these tribal bonds enough that bonds now undermine the effectiveness of the KRG. I also argue that some academics and policy leaders overemphasize the importance of transnational feminist movements, international pressure, and Kurdish civil society (as it stands today) in promoting women’s rights because they do not sufficiently address the effects of tribalism.
By Kris Summer
This paper will look at two instances when the American government, under Obama, was accused of changing US policy towards Israel and settlement building. There will be a comparison of these instances with previous American president’s statements concerning the same issue in order to determine if the Obama administration followed historical precedent. However, this paper finds that Obama followed historical policy positions rather than changing them.
By Nick Hainsworth
This essay takes a comparative look at Islamic Sufi mysticism and the Mormon methodology of discerning truth. Using Al-Ghazali’s Deliverance from Error as a base, this essay compares and contrasts the place of scripture, prophets, logic, and the exercise of faith in receiving revelation in the Sufi and Mormon traditions, offering insight in how Mormons could look at this topic in a new light.