Professor Gareth Stansfield

Read Professor Stansfield's latest article on the Iraq elections in The World Today magazine.

Read Professor Tim Dunne's latest article about the Iraq Inquiry in the Times Higher Education

Exeter academic gives expert advice to The Iraq Inquiry

The Government's Iraq Inquiry conducted to identify lessons that can be learned from the Iraq conflict officially opens on 24 November.

Professor Gareth Stansfield, the University of Exeter’s Director of Research in Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, was one of a few academic experts who was asked to provide a briefing to the Inquiry.

With Professor Tim Dunne, Head of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Exeter, Professor Stansfield attended two expert seminars and presented a research paper on 'The Causes and Consequences of Iraq's Descent into Violence'

Professor Stansfield said, ‘I am very pleased to have been given the opportunity to present my thoughts to the inquiry. With UK forces now in Afghanistan, it is imperative that the lessons of Iraq are not forgotten. The involvement of Exeter staff in the inquiry emphasises the prominence of the University in debates concerning UK foreign policy towards the Middle East and Islamic world.’

The seminars reflected the Iraq Inquiry committee member’s desire to hear a wide range of views on the UK’s involvement in Iraq 2001 -2009. Also, to get to the heart of complex issues involved.  The experts contributions will help inform the committee’s approach to the public hearings which have just began.

A report of the Inquiry's findings will be published at the end of this process, but as the Inquiry has such a complex task ahead of it the report is unlikely to be ready for publication before summer 2010. The Inquiry committee intends to include in the report all but the most sensitive information essential to UK national security. The report will then be debated in Parliament.

Date: 24 November 2009

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