About the Author
Reidar Visser is a research fellow at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs. He has a background in history and comparative politics and holds a doctorate in Middle Eastern studies from the University of Oxford. He has published extensively on the history of southern Iraq and issues of decentralization and federalism relating to Iraq. His two previous books were Basra, the Failed Gulf State: Separatism and Nationalism in Southern Iraq
(2005) and (co-edited with Gareth Stansfield) An Iraq of Its Regions: Cornerstones of a Federal Democracy?
Many of Visser's writings are available from his Iraq website, www.historiae.org. He blogs regularly about Iraq at Iraq and Gulf Analysis.
Veteran Washington-based military analyst Tom Ricks has written, "Reidar Visser continues to produce some of the most insightful analyses of Iraqi politics. I first came across him three or so years ago when a member of Petraeus's staff said, "Don't ask me! If you want to understand Basra, read Reidar Visser."