Chapter

Manufacturing Identity and Managing Kurds in Iraq

Denise Natali

in Right-sizing the State

Published in print November 2001 | ISBN: 9780199244904
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600050 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199244901.003.0009
 Manufacturing Identity and Managing Kurds in Iraq

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Denise Natali analyses 20 years of state‐reshaping projects in Iraq as an attempt by the Iraqi elite to draw Kurds into the state and to recognize the existence of a Kurdish ethnicity and region, while maintaining the idea of Kurds as ‘Iraqis first’ and of ‘Kurdistan’ as an internal part of sovereign Iraq. The author traces Iraq's transition from a colonized country to a modern welfare state to a military dictatorship, and shows how centre–periphery relations swung as a result of elite politics in Baghdad. The author unearths the complexity behind the national identity formation process, particularly under the uncertainty of economic transition and the centre's asymmetric relations with different ethnic groups at the periphery.

Keywords: Baghdad; centre–periphery; elite politics; ethnicity; identity formation; Iraq; Kurds; Denise Natali

Chapter.  13403 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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