Questions about Authoritarianism. The Case of Iraq. Map of Iraq. Background on Iraq: Four Points To Remember. Iraq did not exist as a state prior to 1921. Created from 3 Ottoman provinces of Mosul, Baghdad, & Basra Diverse Population Religious divisions: Sunnis, Shiites (& Christians)
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Questions about Authoritarianism
The Case of Iraq
Why did Iraq’s constitutional monarchy collapse?
Faisal I, 1st king of Iraq
Photos from Iraqipages.com
Iraq as Constitutional Monarchy: Formal Institutions of the State
How politics really worked: actual power
“If the writ of King Faisal runs effectively throughout his kingdom it is entirely due to British aeroplanes. If the aeroplanes were removed tomorrow, the whole structure would invariably fall to pieces.”
- British Secretary of State report on Iraq, 1925
Abd al Karim Qasim, President of Iraq, 1958-1963
Iraq as a single-party oligarchy
Rule by the Ba’ath Party, 1968-1980s
How did the Baath Party assert
and maintain power?
reduction of taxes
Subsidies for basic food
Free, high quality health care
No university tuition fees
Improvements in status of women (In ’82 more than 30 % univ. students were female)
Extensive literacy campaigns
new highway systems & better infrastructure
Subsidies of ordinary consumption items
Land ownerships & no taxes for many Shiite peasants living in the south
Extensive reforms in the countryside; new land distributed to farmers
between 1970 and 1982 264,400 farmers received grants of land.
Saddam Hussein visiting homes, 1980s
What accounts for Iraq’s highly authoritarian politics? Why have Iraq’s political systems been so undemocratic for so long?