The Politics of Education in Iraq: The Influence of Territorial Dispute and Ethno-Politics on Schooling in Kirkuk

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Abstract

The Iraqi Disputed Territories, or Disputed Internal Boundaries, consist of 15
districts stretching across four northern governorates from the Syrian to Iranian
borders. The oil-rich Iraqi governorate of Kirkuk lies at the heart of this dispute and reflects the country’s ethnic and religious diversity. Arabs, Turkmen, Kurds, and Assyrians all claim ancient settlement patterns within the governorate. The symbolic importance of Kirkuk as a homeland to both Kurds and the Turkmen conflicts directly with its strategic importance to Baghdad. While the two linguistically distinct centers of governance vie for control, interethnic communal tensions are rising and questions of identity increasingly overshadow day-to-day life. The existing research on Kirkuk focuses heavily on governance outcomes and possible administrative solutions, but little has been written about the impact of heightened identity politics on the everyday lives of citizens. This paper explores the influence of these conflicts and contests on education in the city of Kirkuk.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-163
JournalJournal on Education in Emergencies
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2018

Keywords

  • identity
  • ethno-politics
  • Iraq
  • territorial dispute
  • education
  • Kirkuk
  • conflict sensitivity

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