This public sociology case study is based on an experimental survey conducted with Iraqi judges during the early military occupation of Iraq. The US effort to force democracy by reforming the Iraqi judiciary produced unintended and inconsistent results in the normative judgments of Iraqi judges. Torture was both an instrument and symbol for forced democracy in Iraq, and the question was whether Iraqi judges would punish this offense consistently. We found that these judges responded in a disparate and polarized way to the indeterminacy of torture law and the hierarchical power of Coalition guards torturing Al Qaeda suspects. Our analysis of forced democracy and rule of law in Iraq broadly illustrates the potential relevance and importance of the theory and practice of public sociology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Social Sciences