The role of the Shi'i religious establishment in the Iraqi transition since 2003 has been the subject of considerable research. To have clearer insight, the present research places this topic within the context of two critical frameworks: the doctrinal and structural aspect of the jurist's guardianship and the religious-political potentials of the conflict between the Iranian walayat al-faqih and Ayatollah al-Sistani's neo-quietist approach. In addition, it sheds light on al-Sistani's influence over three areas: the constitution-making process, rule of law, and the issue of having clerics running in elections. The analysis presented in this paper examines how this Ayatollah's views could affect the ideology and practice of Iraqi Shi'i political movements regarding the role of religion in the state. It analyses the role of the religious networks in shaping the prospective outcomes of this hidden dispute between the Iranian Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, and the Shi'i supreme marja', Ali al-Sistani.


Public Policy & Administration Department

Graduation Date


Submission Date

May 2010

First Advisor

Bremer, Jennifer



Document Type

Master's Thesis


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

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