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Poli sci professor writes about all things Iraq in an upcoming book

September 27, 2011

MEDIA CONTACT: Hilary Dickinson at or 608-363-2849

Do you know who Iraq’s political figures are? What about how many international airports it has?

Readers can find out everything there is to know about the Middle Eastern country when Beth Dougherty’s second edition to A Historical Dictionary of Iraq is expected to hit shelves next year.

The Manger Professor of International Relations spent the last 18 months researching and writing entries for what she describes as a library reference book. Topics include everything from treaties and transportation to the economy and banking. This newest dictionary was co-authored by Edmund Ghareeb, as was the first edition, which was named a Best Reference Source in 2004 by Library Journal. 

Though Dougherty has traveled extensively in the Middle East and Africa, she has not been to Iraq yet because it has been too dangerous to visit, especially to do research. Instead, she conducted all the research for her two books on Iraq online, requiring lots of cross-referencing to ensure accuracy.

Dougherty said people should know about Iraq because well over 100,000 troops have been deployed there and also because Iraq has been central to American foreign policy since the mid-1980s.

“As a good citizen, you should at least be familiar with the basics, be able to follow it in the news, and find it on a map,” Dougherty said. “You can’t adequately support the troops if you don’t know anything about the conflict they were deployed to.”

Source: Beth Dougherty is a professor of political science and Manger Professor of International Relations with research focuses on transitional justice mechanisms such as international criminal tribunals and truth and reconciliation commissions. She teaches a broad range of international politics courses, including Middle East politics, African conflicts, human rights, and U.S. foreign policy. She has published on a wide range of subjects, including Iraq, transitional justice in Sierra Leone and Iraq, ethnic conflict, and pedagogy. Dougherty can serve as a media resource on topics related to her research and teaching interests. A full bio and vitae are available at