Bound Volume Number
Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Seth Jolly, Assistant Professor of Political Science
Hossein Bashiriyeh, Professor of Political Science
Arts and Science
Sunni, Shiite, conflict studies, Middle East, Islam
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
International Relations | Near and Middle Eastern Studies
The Iraqi state has a long history of division between Sunnis and Shiites. This conflict has often been violent and continues even today. Ultimately, this division dates back to the seventh century after the death of Muhammad. In order to better understand why there is a conflict between Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq and not other countries, it is essential to understand the similarities and differences between their ideologies but also how they have been rooted against each other throughout history. Therefore, I begin with a description of the similarities and differences between Sunnis and Shiites to show the common beliefs of both Sunnis and Shiites regarding the Islamic religion and why it is important to respect their differences. Then, it is necessary to determine how the conflict between Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq began and why it continues today. Lastly, using this knowledge, I will make recommendations to improve the current Iraqi government through a revised consociational democracy model in order to resolve conflict between Sunnis and Shiites.
Modica, Kelsey L., "A Path to Peace: Reconciling the Sunni-Shi’a Conflict in Iraq" (2015). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 841.
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