1st Edition

Education and Ethno-Politics Defending Identity in Iraq

By Kelsey Shanks Copyright 2016
    172 Pages
    by Routledge

    172 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Iraqi Disputed Territories consist of 15 districts stretching across four northern governorates. While an administrative solution for the disputed territories remains evasive, minority groups across the region have been pulled into a clash over demographic composition as each disputed district faces ethnically defined claims. Meanwhile, inter-ethnic communal tensions are rising and questions of identity increasingly overshadow day-to-day life.

    There has been little research on the impact of heightened identity politics on the everyday lives of citizens. Regardless of the final administrative outcome, the multi-ethnic population of the region requires services and systems of co-existence, and in the fragile ethno-political environment of the disputed territories, the way in which the education system manages ethnic diversity is crucial. It is within this context that Education and Ethno-Politics examines the development of education systems across the region post 2003. Drawing on over 50 interviews with regional education officials and community representatives, the book presents the impact of amplified ethno-politics on the reconstruction of education in Iraq. It provides the first academic exploration into education in the region, exploring the significance of cultural reproduction and the link between demands for ethnically specific education, societal security and the wider political contestation over the territory.

    A comprehensive analysis of the powerful role of education in identity-based conflicts, this book offers a highly insightful examination of Iraq’s past and present, as well as formulating policy recommendations for its future. It is an essential resource for students, scholars and policy makers with focus on the Middle East, specifically Iraqi and Kurdish studies, as well as those interested in Education policy and Conflict studies.

    1. Chapter One: Ethno-politics, the Ba’ath era and the Disputed Territories 2. Chapter Two: Conceptual Framework 3. Chapter Three: Iraqi Education through a Societal Security Lens 4. Chapter 4: Ethnically appropriate education: Threats and Survival 5. Chapter Five: Education’s interaction with conflict 6. Chapter six: Conclusion


    Kelsey Shanks is a Research Fellow at the University of Exeter’s Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies and Research Associate at Ulster University’s UNESCO Centre. She has also worked as an Education Technical Advisor for the United Nations Assistance Mission to Iraq and served as a Peace-building Education Advisor to UNICEF in Iraq. Her research focuses on the relationship between education, youth and conflict in the Middle East.