South Kurdistan: Factors of the Iraqi Kurds’ national identity

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Abstract


The article considers factors determining the peculiarities of the integration processes in Iraqi Kurdistan. The formation of Iraqi Kurdistan as a social-political community was determined by the growth of national consciousness of the population of the autonomy, and by accelerating processes of self-determination under the influence of a number of external and internal reasons. The national identity of the Iraqi Kurds as a part of the Kurdish people is based on the same historical background, language, and culture, on the mental attribution of the Kurds to the single group, which is explained not only by historical facts, but also by a specific worldview and myths sometimes divorced from reality but rooted in the collective representations. The external pressure of direct aggression and political enforcement to the assimilation plays a key role in the consolidation of the Iraqi Kurds and in the growth of their national self-determination: the resistance to the common enemy strengthens the national identity of the Iraqi Kurds. The author examines factors both general for all the Kurds and specific for Iraqi Kurdistan, i.e. the strengthening of the common form of language through the education, literature and media institutions, and the development of economic relations and civil and political institutions, which is due to the autonomy status of Iraqi Kurdistan. The article identifies and examines objective reasons preventing intensive integration processes in the community of Iraqi Kurds, which are, on the one hand, the influence of the external forces including neighbor states, transnational corporations, the authorities of Baghdad, and the growing military aggression of the armed terrorist groups; on the other hand, the slowdown of integration processes inside Iraqi Kurdistan are due to the internal contradictions in the autonomy determined by the features of the social and political structure of the Kurd society, such as tribalism, immaturity of the political system, and ethnic and religious diversity.


About the authors

Hawlla Hawlla Khoshawi

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)

Author for correspondence.
Email: xoshawi82@yahoo.com
Miklukho-Maklaya St., 6, Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation

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