Iraqi democracy and its practical implications

The problem with democracy is that doing unpopular things can get you thrown out of office.

The New York Times reports that the seige of Fallujah seems to be giving Iyad Allawi a case of political leprosy: nobody else in Iraq wants to touch him. Insfoar as the elections to come are in some sense genuinely democratic, that will be a problem for him, and for the United States as his main backer.

However, under conditions of martial law, it seems unlikely that mere unpopularity will prevent Allawi from staying in power.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: