Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Land reform and Kurdish nationalism in postcolonial Iraq

Degli Esposti, Nicola (2022) Land reform and Kurdish nationalism in postcolonial Iraq. Middle East Critique, 31 (2). 147 - 163. ISSN 1943-6149

[img] Text (31.2.Degli-Esposti.Copyedited) - Accepted Version
Download (415kB)

Identification Number: 10.1080/19436149.2022.2055517


Abstract: This article revisits the origins of Kurdish nationalism in Iraq, problematizing the narrative, shared by nationalists and scholars alike, that presents the 1961–1975 insurgency solely as a moment of national awakening. Placing the Kurdish revolt within the social and political conflicts of postcolonial Iraq reveals its strong connection to the Iraqi Revolution of 1958. The early stages of the 1961 revolt must be understood as a reaction of the Kurdish landed class against the post-revolutionary land reform policy and the empowerment of the peasantry. The Kurdish tribal and landowning elite successfully turned its revolt into a national revolution by forcing progressive urban nationalists into a position of subordination and demobilizing the peasantry, formerly the backbone of the anticolonial movement. The hegemonic position of the landed class, won in 1961, had long-term consequences on the development of Kurdish nationalism in Iraq determining its conservative character and the persistent marginalization and depoliticization of the subaltern classes.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 Editors of Middle East Critique.
Divisions: Government
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2022 15:12
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2024 23:23

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics