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Right-sizing the StateThe Politics of Moving Borders$
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Brendan O'Leary, Ian S. Lustick, and Thomas Callaghy

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199244904

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199244901.001.0001

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Manufacturing Identity and Managing Kurds in Iraq

Manufacturing Identity and Managing Kurds in Iraq

(p.253) 9 Manufacturing Identity and Managing Kurds in Iraq
Right-sizing the State

Denise Natali

Oxford University Press

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

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