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The territorial aspect of sectarianism in Iraq

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This article examines the territorial aspect of sectarian relations in Iraq. The main argument is that such a territorial component is largely missing in Iraq and that historically, there have been very few attempts to connect sectarian identity in Iraq to specific, more restricted territories of the country. The article reviews the limited attempts in such a direction, both historically and in the post-2003 atmosphere. Today, federal options exist for governorates to merge into sectarian regions if they prefer to do so. So far, however, neither Sunnis or Shi'ites have demonstrated any great interest in the creation of such sectarian regions, which can be explained with the historical durability of the Iraq concept as a proto-region in late Ottoman times and the concomitant need to revise the near-omnipresent cliché of Iraq as a completely 'artificial' product lumped together solely thanks to the actions of industrious British imperialists.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2010

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  • The International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies is a new peer-reviewed, tri- annual, academic publication devoted to the study of modern Iraq. In recognition of Iraq's increasingly important position on the world stage, the time is right for a new journal dedicated to scholarly engagement with the country.
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