Since its inception as a nation-state in the wake of World War I, Iraq has been burdened with a number of acute problems, the most important of which, though interrelated, may be divided into two main categories: issues concerning Iraq’s borders, and those associated with its political community.


Arab World Party Membership Historical Setting Nationalization Policy Arabic Speaking 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Unless otherwise stated, the discussion of Iraq under the monarchy is based mainly on the following sources: Hanna Batatu, The Old Social Classes and the Revolutionary Movements of Iraq (Princeton, 1978), pp. 13–106;Google Scholar
  2. Phebe Marr, The Modern History of Iraq (Boulder, Colorado, and London, 1985), pp. 29–151;Google Scholar
  3. Peter Sluglett, Britain in Iraq, 1914–1932 (London, 1976), passim;Google Scholar
  4. Marion Farouk-Sluglett and Peter Sluglett, Iraq Since 1958, From Revolution to Dictatorship (London and New York, 1987), pp. 1–45.Google Scholar
  5. 4.
    Ernest Main, Iraq From Mandate To Independence (London, 1935), p. 165.Google Scholar
  6. 11.
    Elie Kedourie, ‘The Iraqi Shi‘is and their Fate’, in Martin Kramer, Shi‘ism, Resistance, and Revolution (Boulder, Colorado, and London, 1987), pp. 152.Google Scholar
  7. 13.
    See, for example, the speeches made by Faysal after his arrival in Iraq in 1921, Philip Willard Ireland, Iraq, A Study in Political Development (London, 1937), pp. 465–9.Google Scholar
  8. 14.
    See, for example Yehoshua Porath, ‘Nuri al-Said’s Arab unity programme’, Middle Eastern Studies, vol. 20, no. 4, October 1984, pp. 76–98;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Reeva Simon, ‘The Hashemite “Conspiracy”: Hashemite Unity Attempts 1921–1958’, IJMES, vol. 5, 1974, pp. 314–27;Google Scholar
  10. Khaldun, Sati al-Husri, ‘King Faysal I and Arab Unity 1930–1933’, Journal of Contemporary History, vol. 10 no. 2, April 1975, pp. 331ffGoogle Scholar
  11. 16.
    Reeva Simon, Iraq Between the Two World Wars: The Creation and Implementation of a National Ideology (New York, Columbia Univ. Press, 1986), pp. 75–126.Google Scholar
  12. 17.
    Kedourie, ‘The Iraqi Shi‘is and their Fate’, pp. 153–4; Kedourie, ‘The Break Between Muslims and Jews’, in Mark R. Cohen and Abraham L. Udovitch, Jews Among Arabs: Contacts and Boundaries (Princeton, 1989), p. 26. And see Kedourie, ‘The Iraqi Shi‘is and their Fate’, pp. 145–7, for the mixed position of the mujtahids immediately following World War One. In 1941 a few mujtahids supported the anti-British pan-Arab revolt of Rashid ‘Ali al-Kaylani but their support could stem from their anti-British sentiment and not necessarily from whole-hearted support for pan-Arabism, and, anyway, it came only after the revolt won the day (eventually to be crushed by the British). Also, the revolt’s leadership was entirely Sunni-Arab.Google Scholar
  13. See Hasan al-‘Alawi, Al-Shi‘a wal dawla al-qawmiyya fi al-‘iraq (Paris, 1989), pp. 181–6.Google Scholar
  14. 20.
    Samir al-Khalil, Republic of Fear, The Politics of Modern Iraq (London, 1989), pp. 214–15.Google Scholar
  15. See also Ernest Main, ‘Iraq: a Note’, Journal of the Royal Central Asiatic Society, vol. 20, July 1933, p. 434.Google Scholar
  16. 22.
    King Faysal I also based some of his legitimacy on his sharifi descent. This seems to have been a political asset before he became King. See for example, the letters from the would-be Chief Mujtahid, Muhammad Taqi al-Shirazi, and from other Shi‘i leaders, to the Sharif of Mecca and his son Faysal in 1919–20, Muhammad ‘Ali Kamal al-Din, Thawrat al-‘ishrin fi dhikriha al-Khamsin (Baghdad, 1971), pp. 78–9, 81, 135, 181–3, 211–12, 328, 333–4, 338. Elie Kedourie on a similar approach by groups of activist Shi‘i notables in Baghdad, Kazimiyya and Karbala, ‘The Iraqi Shi‘is’, ibid., p. 146;Google Scholar
  17. Amal Vinogradov, ‘The 1920 Revolt in Iraq Reconsidered: The Role of Tribes in National Polities’, IJMES, vol. 2, April 1972, p. 135. When he became King, however, his pedigree notwithstanding, his support for the British and for Sunni-Arab rule turned the mujtahid against him. Kedourie, pp. 149–51.Google Scholar
  18. 28.
    See, for example, their demands of Faysal I to reserve half of the places in his cabinet and in the government administration to Shi‘is, Peter Sluglett, Britain in Iraq, 1914–1932 (London, 1976), p. 306; and in the mid-1930s, Hasan al-‘Alawi, p. 183. And some Shi‘i support for the Rashid ‘Ali revolt see ibid., pp. 181–6.Google Scholar
  19. 29.
    See Hanna Batatu, ‘Iraq’s Underground Shi‘a Movements …’, Middle East Journal, no. 4, vol. 35, Autumn 1981, pp. 578–94.Google Scholar
  20. 31.
    For additional details on the genesis of the Ba‘th party in Syria, see: Kamel S. Abu Jaber, The Arab Ba‘th Socialist Party: History, Ideology and Organization (New York, 1966);Google Scholar
  21. John F. Devlin, The Ba‘th Party, A History from it Origins to 1966 (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford Univ., 1979);Google Scholar
  22. Patrick Seale, The Struggle for Syria: A Study of Post-War Arab Politics 1945–58 (London, 1965) (henceforth: Seale, The Struggle for Syria).Google Scholar
  23. As for Iraq, unless otherwise stated, the following summary is based on Majid Khadduri, Republican Iraq (London, 1969), (henceforth: Khadduri, 1969) pp. 10, 189ff.; Devlin, pp. 106–12, 231ff.;Google Scholar
  24. Hanna Batatu, The Old Social Classes and the Revolutionary Movements of Iraq, (henceforth: Batatu, 1978); pp. 722ff.; The Arab Ba‘th Socialist Party, the Pan-Arab Leadership, The Reasons for the Disintegration of Party Rule in Iraq [in 1963] (submitted to the Eighth Pan-Arab Congress in Damascus, April 1965; translated into Hebrew and annotated by Ofra Bengio, Tel-Aviv Univ., 1981) (henceforth: ABSP, Reasons).Google Scholar
  25. There are minor differences between the various sources. For the party line on religion, see, for example, Michel ‘Aflaq, Fi sabil al-ba‘th (For the Sake, or On The Road of Resurrection) (Beirut, 1974) (henceforth: ‘Aflaq, Fi sabil), pp. 122–34, 168–78, 201–17;Google Scholar
  26. Saddam Husayn, Fi al-din wal-turath (On Religion and Heritage), (Baghdad, 1977) (Henceforth: Husayn, Fi al-din).Google Scholar
  27. 35.
    Uriel Dann, Iraq Under Qassem (Jerusalem, 1969) (henceforth: Dann, 1969) pp. 40, 42, 71.Google Scholar
  28. 36.
    See ‘Aflaq’s hind-sight severe denouncement of this anti-Communist campaign, blaming it conveniently on Sa‘di’s faction, Jubran Shamiyya (ed.), Silsilat Sijill al-Ara (Beirut), January–February 1966, pp. 90–1.Google Scholar
  29. 37.
    For his version of these years, that is fairly accurate in many details, despite its attempt to glorify Husayn, see his semi-official biography, Amir Iskandar, Saddam Husayn, the Fighter, the Thinker, the Man (Paris, 1980), pp. 94ff.Google Scholar
  30. 38.
    Majid Khadduri, Socialist Iraq (Washington, D.C., 1978), pp. 18–19.Google Scholar
  31. 43.
    Amazia Baram, ‘The Ruling Political Elite in Ba‘thi Iraq 1968–1986, the Changing Features of a Collective Profile’, International Journal of Middle East Studies, vol. 21, no. 4, November 1989, pp. 447–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 46.
    See Amazia Baram, ‘Ideology and Power Politics in Syrian-Iraqi Relations 1968–1984’ in Moshe Ma‘oz and Avner Yaniv (eds), Syria Under Assad: Domestic Constraints and Regional Risks (London, 1986), pp. 125–39.Google Scholar
  33. 47.
    Ofra Bengio, The Kurdish Revolution in Iraq (Tel-Aviv, 1989), p. 27; and interviews.Google Scholar
  34. 49.
    See Fouad Ajami’s analysis, ‘The End of Pan-Arabism’, Tawfic E. Farah (ed.) Pan-Arabism and Nationalism (Boulder, Colorado and London, 1987), pp. 96–114.Google Scholar
  35. 50.
    Compare, for example, The National Bureau of Culture, Political Report The Tenth National Congress (Baghdad, March 1970), pp. 18–38, 74–8, 80–1, 85–7;Google Scholar
  36. Ahmad Hasan al-Bakr, Masirat al-thawra fi khutab wa tasrihat al-ra‘is (Baghdad, 1971), pp. 231–2;Google Scholar
  37. Saddam Husayn, al-Jumhuriyya, 13 May 1969; with Thawrat 17 tammuz al-tajriba wal afaq (The Resolutions of the Eighth Regional Congress, Baghdad, January 1974), pp. 124–31, 167–70; also 121, 222, 224, 162–6; Michel ‘Aflaq, Baghdad Observer, 10 October 1977; Typically the most central reason given to the Iraqi public by the Ba‘th party for the failure of unity talks with Ba‘thi Syria in 1978–79 was that the Syrian regime in fact coveted Iraq’s oil riches but was not willing to pay for it the political price that Iraq demanded, namely, Iraqi hegemony within the future union (Al-Taqrir al-markazi lil-mu‘tamar al-Qutri al-tasi‘, haziran 1982, The Central Report of the Ninth Regional Congress of June 1982 [Baghdad, January 1983], pp. 323–5.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Amatzia Baram 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amatzia Baram
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of the History of the Middle EastHaifa UniversityIsrael

Personalised recommendations