Tribes, Memory and Politics in Iraq

Chokr, Mae Anna 2022. Tribes, Memory and Politics in Iraq. PhD thesis University of Westminster Social Sciences

TitleTribes, Memory and Politics in Iraq
TypePhD thesis
AuthorsChokr, Mae Anna

This research examines how the tribal system has maintained its political interests by engaging with three agents those being, the central political government, religion, namely Islam, and Ibn Khaldun’s concept of asabiyah as a sociocultural bond of cohesion amongst members of a group-forming community. Thus, the research question is as follows, does tribal heritage play a role in Iraq’s politics today? This will require answering, what tribal heritage is, and what the structure and role of the tribal system in Iraq consists of. The hypothesis of the research suggests that asabiyah as a social bond embedded in tribal heritage, plays a role in shaping political dynamics in Iraq.

By researching the history of tribal formation and how it has played a part in religion and religious institutions as well as the Iraqi government, one can understand how and to what extent the tribal system maintains its relations and interests with formal institutions. This includes how it shapes goal-formation processes of political leaderships, framing spaces of political communications which are seen as legitimate, or validating specific spokespersons from constituencies. Therefore, the research will lead to an understanding of how the tribal system as an informal legitimacy and un-institutionalized political entity can be considered as a significant and key shaper of politics in Iraq. Moreover, this thesis explores how the tribal system can define and maintain its own informal spaces of legitimacy by intersecting with religion, the central government and asabiyah.

In the future, this research project can help approach the context of Iraqi politics through the lens of the tribal system and therefore contribute to conflict transformation processes and dialogues by integrating a wider net of legitimate actors such as the tribes.

File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
PublisherUniversity of Westminster
Publication dates
PublishedNov 2022
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Related outputs

The Persisting Past of Iraq
Chokr, M. 2021. The Persisting Past of Iraq. CSS Analyses in Security Policy. 289.

I Discovered Feminism in a Revolution
Chokr, M. 2020. I Discovered Feminism in a Revolution . Al-Raida. 44 (1), pp. 7-14.

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