The post-2003 development of Kurdish nationalism in Iraq: a Critical Realist Perspective

Trappelides, Thanos and Mabon, Simon (2022) The post-2003 development of Kurdish nationalism in Iraq: a Critical Realist Perspective. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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The question of whether a fully-fledged Kurdish nationalism does exist has attracted a reasonable amount of attention across recent decades, subject to the increasing appreciation of its modern development having been strongly influenced by distinct contexts experienced across the different states within which Kurds were separated after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Iraq always constituted a distinctively unique case, with nationalistic development coexisting with a processual movement towards a decentralised state inclusive of Kurdish rights. This thesis analyses and explains the post-2003 development of Kurdish nationalism in Iraq to determine the extent to which it has been affected by social, political, ideological and economic factors across time and space, the extent to which it has been enhanced with civic elements subject to the region’s political development and the extent to which the decisions of political elites have been influenced by ethnic structures of nationalism. Kurdish nationalism is defined in accordance with the ethno-symbolist Smithian understanding of nations, demonstrating a case of a modern nation gradually constructed around a pre-modern ethnic core, while nationalistic development across time and space is analysed through the endorsement of the Critical Realist cyclical morphogenetic framework of Margaret Archer. Within a field largely dominated by classic primordial and modernist approaches, the employment of Critical Realism aims at convincingly explaining the interplay between structure and agency and at ontologically defining both observed and unobserved structures within the social world. Thus, appropriately determining their role and influence and explaining how ethnic and civic elements have interacted to generate a distinct sentiment of belonging after the emergence of the post-2003 contextual status across a period during which political elites were engaged in a conscious effort to enrich national identification with civic elements through a state-building process of problematic nature exposed in the aftermath of the 2017 independence referendum.

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Thesis (PhD)
?? kurdistannationalismnationalismiraqinternational relationscritical realismanthony smithethno-symbolismnationalisticethnic nationalismcivic nationalismkurdsiraqikdppukmargaret archer ??
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08 Apr 2022 15:35
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2023 01:05