Reevaluating Iraq's political history : the culture of the state institution and the political elites : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Politics at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand

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As Iraq continues to see mass protests today that are similar to those throughout Iraq’s monarch period, this thesis looks to reevaluate this disjuncture between the people and the state. This is done by assessing the way in which the elites have historically perceived the political world, such as their conceptualisations of the state institution, the intricacies of its functionality and its role towards the nation. Institutional culture, that is built on the interpretations and conceptualisations of those within and creates unwritten rules of an institution, creates the framework for this thesis’ reevaluation of Iraq’s political history. Through contrapuntal analysis of memoirs of Iraqi political elites, namely: Tawfiq al-Suwaydi; Ahmad Mukhtar Baban; and Hani al-Fkeki; I uncover the institutional culture of Iraq during the time in which Iraq’s political system attempted to consolidate after Iraq’s inception in 1920 and up to the Ba’ath uprising of 1963. What this thesis shows is that Iraq’s political elites at the time understood the polity as comprising separate factions, such as the people and the military, all in a fight for power within an anarchic system. Through the memoirs we will see the ability of Iraq’s state institutional culture to be powerful enough to withstand system change, and instead react to change by reverting back to its original form. The separation between this culture of operation and the democratic constitutional monarchy political system, points to the need to incorporate institutional culture into Political Studies, due to its ability to overrule structures and systems.