Inventing Iraq: The Failure of Nation-Building and a History Denied

Inventing Iraq: The Failure of Nation-Building and a History Denied

By: Toby Dodge (author)Paperback

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Never has the old line about those who fail to understand the past being condemned to repeat it seemed more urgently relevant than in Iraq today, with potentially catastrophic consequences for the Iraqi people, the Middle East region, and the world. Examining the construction of the modern state of Iraq under the auspices of the British empire - the first attempt by a Western power to remake Mesopotamia in its own image - renowned Iraq expert Toby Dodge uncovers a series of shocking parallels between the policies of a declining British empire and those of Coalition forces in Iraq since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Dodge shows that the state created by the British held all the seeds of a violent, corrupt, and relentlessly oppressive future for the Iraqi people, one that has continued to unfold. Like the British empire eight decades before, the United States and Britain took upon themselves today the grand task of transforming Iraq and, by extension, the political landscape of the Middle East.

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About Author

TOBY DODGE is Reader in Politics at Queen Mary, University of London, where he specialises in Middle East politics and the evolution of the postcolonial state.


1. Understanding the Mandate in Iraq 2. The Mandate System, the End of Imperialism, and the Birth of the Iraqi State 3. Corruption, Fragmentation and Despotism: British Visions of Ottoman Iraq 4. Rural and Urban: The Divided Social Imagination of Late Colonialism 5. Using the Shaikhs: The Rational Imposition of a Romantic Figure 6. The Social Meaning of Land: State, Shaikh and Peasant 7. The Imposition of Order: Social Perception and the "Despotic" Power of Airplanes Conclusion: Iraq's Past and Possible Iraqi Futures

Product Details

  • publication date: 30/04/2014
  • ISBN13: 9781849040686
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 324
  • ID: 9781849040686
  • ISBN10: 1849040680

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