Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

Undergraduate Course: Iraq: From 'Republic of Fear' to the Islamic State (IMES10102)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course explores the modern history and politics of Iraq from the mid-twentieth century to the present day. Students will gain in-depth knowledge of the main developments of this period and the various political, economic, societal, and ideological forces at work in shaping them. The course addresses several key issues of general relevance to Middle Eastern politics which students will be able to engage with through the specific Iraqi case. The course draws on a range of scholarship from various disciplines. Learning activities will include introductions by the lecturer, discussions and other learning activities, as well as independent reading and writing.
Course description Organised chronologically, the course covers the 1958 revolution and the following "decade of revolutions", the thirty-five years of Ba'thist rule, including the Iran-Iraq War and the 1990-91 Gulf War, as well as post-2003 developments such as regime change, civil war, the challenge of the Islamic State, and grassroots protests. Students will gain in-depth knowledge of the various political, economic, societal, and ideological forces at work during these periods. The chronological approach adopted by the course should also help students appreciate not only patterns of continuity and change, but also the role of historical memory in the shaping of today's Iraq. Key topics will be examined within this timeframe, such as state- and nation-building, authoritarianism and democratisation, political economy, state-society relations, the impact of wars, identity politics (e.g. tribalism and sectarianism), and gender politics. Students will thus be exposed to several issues of general relevance to Middle Eastern politics and be able to engage with them on the basis of a solid understanding of the specific Iraqi case. This course draws on a range of works produced by scholars from different disciplines - historians, Islamic and area studies scholars, political scientists, and anthropologists. The field of Iraqi studies is continuously growing, with works tapping into recently available archives and some possibilities for conducting fieldwork in Iraq.

Student learning experience:

Students are expected to engage with their learning through:
* Introductions by the lecturer.
* Independent reading and reflection through the preparation of the assigned readings.
* Engagement with and use of the course content and material in the learning activities and the preparation of a learning portfolio.
* Independent research for the preparation of the essay assignment.

This UG course is taught jointly with PG students.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 courses in a suitable subject area at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Identify, describe, and contextualise the main political, economic, and societal developments of modern Iraq.
  2. Explain key features of Iraqi politics.
  3. Critically evaluate scholarly and other writings on modern Iraq, including their sources and methodologies.
  4. Apply the above for independent research related to the topics and themes of this course.
Reading List

Dawisha, Adeed. Iraq: A Political History, with a new afterword by the author. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013.

Marr, Phebe, and Ibrahim al-Marashi. The Modern History of Iraq. 4th ed. Boulder: Westview Press, 2017.

Tripp, Charles. A History of Iraq. 3rd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.


Abdul-Jabar, Faleh, ed. Ayatollahs, Sufis and Ideologues: State, Religion and Social Movements in Iraq. London: Saqi Books, 2002.

Al-Ali, Nadje, and Nicola Pratt, What Kind of Liberation? Women and the Occupation in Iraq. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009.

Ali, Zahra. Women and Gender in Iraq: Between Nation-Building and Fragmentation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018.

Baram, Amatzia. Saddam Husayn and Islam, 1968-2003: Ba'thi Iraq from Secularism to Faith. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014.

Batatu, Hanna. The Old Social Classes and the Revolutionary Movement of Iraq: A Study of Iraq's Old Landed and Commercial Classes and of its Communists, Ba'thists and Free Officers. London: Saqi, 1978.

Bengio, Ofra. Saddam's Word: The Political Discourse in Iraq. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Blaydes, Lisa. State of Repression: Iraq under Saddam Hussein. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2018.

Davis, Eric. Memories of State: Politics, History, and Collective Identity in Modern Iraq. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005.

Dodge, Toby. Iraq: From War to a New Authoritarianism. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2012.

Farouk-Sluglett, Marion, and Peter Sluglett. Iraq Since 1958: From Revolution to Dictatorship. 2nd ed. London: I. B. Tauris, 2001.

Faust, Aaron M.. The Ba'thification of Iraq: Saddam Hussein's Totalitarianism. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2015.

Franzén, Johan. Red Star Over Iraq: Iraqi Communism Before Saddam. London: Hurst, 2011.

Graham-Brown, Sarah. Sanctioning Saddam. London: I. B. Tauris, 1998.

Haddad, Fanar. Sectarianism in Iraq: Antagonistic Visions of Unity. London: Hurst, 2011.

Helfont, Samuel. Compulsion in Religion: Saddam Hussein, Islam, and the Roots of Insurgencies. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018.

Isakhan, Benjamin, ed. The Legacy of Iraq: From the 2003 War to the 'Islamic State'. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015.

Isakhan, Benjamin, Shamiran Mako, and Fadi Dawood, eds. State and Society in Iraq: Citizenship under Occupation, Dictatorship and Democratization. London: I. B. Tauris, 2017.

Khoury, Dina Rizq. Iraq in Wartime: Soldiering, Martyrdom, and Remembrance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.

Long, Jerry Mark. Saddam's War of Words: Politics, Religion, and the Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait. Austin, University of Texas Press, 2004.

Al-Marashi, Ibrahim, and Salama, Sammy. Iraq's Armed Forces: An Analytical History. Oxon: Routledge, 2008.

Al Qarawee, Harith. Imagining the Nation: Nationalism, Sectarianism and Socio-Political Conflict in Iraq. Rossendale: Rossendale Books, 2012.

Rohde, Achim. State-Society Relations in Ba'thist Iraq: Facing Dictatorship. London and New York: Routledge, 2010.

Sassoon, Joseph. Saddam Hussein's Ba'th Party: Inside an Authoritarian Regime. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.

Sayej, Caroleen Marji. Patriotic Ayatollahs: Nationalism in Post-Saddam Iraq. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2018.

Voller, Yaniv. The Kurdish Liberation Movement in Iraq: From Insurgency to Statehood. Oxon: Routledge, 2014.

Zeidel, Ronen, Amatzia Baram, and Achim Rohde, eds. Iraq Between Occupations: Perspectives from 1920 to the Present. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills * Critical analysis, synthesis and evaluation skills.
* Processing and interpreting information, and presenting it orally, visually and in writing.
* Autonomy and time management.
KeywordsIraq,1958 to present,politics,society,war,ethnic and religious identity
Course organiserDr Elvire Corboz
Course secretaryMs Monique Brough
Tel: (0131 6)50 3618
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information