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From Muhasasa to Mawatana: consociationalism and identity transformation within the protest movement in Federal Iraq, 2011–2019

Alkhudary, Taif ORCID: 0000-0003-0844-6456 (2023) From Muhasasa to Mawatana: consociationalism and identity transformation within the protest movement in Federal Iraq, 2011–2019. Nationalism and Ethnic Politics. ISSN 1353-7113

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Identification Number: 10.1080/13537113.2023.2230712

Abstract

This article uses Margaret Somers’ and Charles Tilly’s work on discursive approaches to identity to argue that failures in Iraq’s sectarian power-sharing system, Al Muhasasa Al Ta’ifia, have led to the transformation of identity in the country. This is demonstrated by the emergence of a unitary nationalist protest movement, which has called for a civic state, as captured by the idea of Mawatana. This alternative system would represent Iraqis based on their citizenship as opposed to their sect or ethnicity. By tracing how and why a new shared identity emerged within the protest movement in Federal Iraq between 2011 and 2019, I demonstrate that conflict does not inevitably harden identities, as assumed by some scholars of consociationalism, but that it can also soften them and allow shared formulations to emerge. In addition, I examine how three of the main principles of consociationalism—proportionality, veto power, and elite pacts—contributed to the demobilization of this movement, preventing changes in identity from translating into a profound transformation of the Muhasasa system itself.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/journals/fnep20
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author
Divisions: Middle East Centre
Subjects: J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
J Political Science > JC Political theory
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2023 16:09
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2024 18:15
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/119484

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