The scene in Iraq is most troubling; and further failure therein - especially failure in sustainable reconstruction - will compound the tragedy and bring grievous harm to too many: in Iraq, the United States, the Middle East and the Western world. ...
Yet, the current efforts at reconstruction cannot succeed - as we seem to be making many of the same mistakes that were made post-invasion. Simply put, a national occupying power cannot reconstruct a massive societal vacuum by working only top down. Reconstruction is not the simple reversal of destruction. Sustainability requires serious localized reconstitution of localized community infrastructure.Accordingly, in order to explore how Iraqi communities could be rebuilt in a manner that promotes social justice, economic and political sustainability, and the full participation of all stakeholders, the Center for Rebuilding Sustainable Communities after Disasters at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, USA, hosted a four-day international conference of Iraqi and international scholars and practitioners in July 2007. This volume collects some of the papers that were presented at the conference.Amongst the topics that the contributing authors have explored are the following: the role of organizations and institutions in defining strategies for sustainable rebuilding of community; rebuilding the Iraqi Oil Industry; and, successful project strategies in Iraq's Kurdistan region. The book concludes with a presentation of a number of international perspectives and their lessons for Iraq. These studies spring from Afghanistan, the United States of America and Africa.