A History of Violence: Ethnic Group Identity and the Iraqi Kurds: Ethnic group identity and the Iraqi kurds

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    1 Scopus citations


    One of the more interesting aspects of world concern during "Operation Iraqi Freedom" was how to incorporate Iraq's Kurdish population into an American military strategy. Furthermore, as the war was winding down, and the United States and Iraq began to construct a new Iraqi state, government, and Constitutional regime, the focus shifted on what role would the Kurds play in the new government, or even if they should be included in a government. But for most policy-makers, it was unclear who were the Kurds. How were they different than the other ethnic and religious populations of Iraq and the region generally? What was their history with the Iraqi regime under Saddam Hussein? The purpose of this paper is to provide answers to these most important questions through the lens of Political Science. As Iraq continues to form its new identity, it is important to understand what constitutes the identity of one of its most prominent ethnic groups, the Kurds. In tracing and describing Kurdish ethnic attributes, it is also important to delineate the history between the Iraqi government under Saddam Hussein, how Iraqi identity was constructed in opposition to Kurdish identity (often oppressing it), and to understand the tense relationship between the two, a relationship that is most aptly described as having a history of violence.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)215-234
    Number of pages20
    JournalIran and the Caucasus
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Dec 1 2013


    • Ethnic Identity
    • Ethnic Violence
    • Ethnonationalism
    • Iraqi Kurds
    • Kurdish Identity

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Cultural Studies
    • History


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