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Democracy and monarchy as antithetical terms?: Iraq's elections of September 1954

[journal article]

Bishop, Elizabeth

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Abstract Was Iraq's heritage British, or Turkish? Between 1922 and 1958, the country was a constitutional monarchy under Hashemite rulers; external observers considered its organic law one of the most advanced among all the Arab states, and its diplomats to have exercised an independent foreign policy unmatched in the region. On such a basis, Bernard Lewis observed that democracy fared well under the region's constitutional monarchies established under British guidance. The elections of September 1954 to Iraq's Chamber of Deputies provide the means to assess Lewis’s observation. Three factors are considered (the electoral law, the status of the opposition political parties, and status of Kurdish populations) in a general discussion of Britain's influence on political modernity in the Middle East. The data consulted includes government documents, memoirs, and transcripts of contemporary radio broadcasts; as an alternative to Lewis, Rashid Khalidi's description of 1912 elections to the Ottoman Chamber of Deputies is presented as an explanatory model.
Keywords democracy; Iraq; monarchy; republic; historical development; election; representative; political influence; Great Britain; Kurd; electoral law; opposition
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture; General History
Document language English
Publication Year 2013
Page/Pages p. 313-326
Journal Studia Politica : Romanian Political Science Review, 13 (2013) 2
ISSN 1582-4551
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works