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Durham e-Theses
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Landlords, lineages and land reform in an Iraqi village

Al-Nasiri, K. S. (1978) Landlords, lineages and land reform in an Iraqi village. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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The main theme of the thesis is to analyse the social and political consequences of central government involvement and recent Land Reform in a village in central Iraq. In the first place, it examines the historical background to contemporary political change. Over the past fifty years, there has been considerable political and economic change at both the national and local level. After the registration of the tribal lands in the names of the shaikhs and important landlords, which took place in the 1930's, the political policies of various governments during the period of the Monarchy (1921-1958) became explicitly pro-landlord, thus establishing a form of indirect rule in the countryside. However, after the Revolution of 1958 and the assumption of power by the Ba'thists, some ten years later, there occurred a marked shift in the power structure. These post-Revolutionary governments initiated new policies of direct intervention in the rural areas, through Land Reform programmes and increased political and economic control. Since 1968, the Ba'th Party has assumed a major role in encouraging and controlling various forms of peasant participation in both the political and economic life of the village. The thesis analyses the processes by which the village chosen for detailed study became more integrated into the wider political structure. The study shows how the shaikhs and landlords, who once constituted the political and economic elite, have, in the course of increased external control and the introduction of new economic incentives, begun to lose their basis of prestige and socio-political status. These changes led to the emergence of a much more open field of competition between the new peasant and Party- based leaders and the older pillars of village society. They also reinforced the fragmentation of tribal and lineage organisation leading to the development of smaller kinship groups and to new forms of political alliance and ideology.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1978
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Sep 2013 10:30

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