This article criticizes the way in which the concept of ‘tribalism’ has been used by Western policy-makers and media in post-2003 Iraq. It has been commonplace to see tribalism as yet another symptom of the supposed ‘fragmentation’ of Iraqi society, and there has been a debate about ways in which a tribe-oriented policy might bring about national reintegration and political progress. Using the case of Banū Mālik – the ‘tribe of Prime Minister Nūrī al-Mālikī’ – it is demonstrated that tribalism is a poor predictor of political behaviour in Iraq and that basic ‘bread-and-butter’ issues are of far greater importance to the population of the country, just like in most other countries in the world.
Skip Nav Destination
Research Article| October 01 2010
Tribalism in Iraq: resurgent force or anachronism in the modern state?
Contemporary Arab Affairs (2010) 3 (4): 495–502.
- Views Icon Views
- Share Icon Share
- Search Site
Reidar Visser; Tribalism in Iraq: resurgent force or anachronism in the modern state?. Contemporary Arab Affairs 1 October 2010; 3 (4): 495–502. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/17550912.2010.519162
Download citation file: