Interethnic Relations in Northern Iraq: Brokerage, Social Capital, and the Potential for Reconciliation
2011 (English)In: International Sociology, ISSN 0268-5809, E-ISSN 1461-7242, Vol. 26, no 1, 25-49 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Ethnic relations in Iraq have been strained since the collapse of the Baath regime in 2003. Looking specifically at Kirkuk in northern Iraq, ethnic relations have been particularly uncooperative and violent. At the surface level, it is difficult to imagine interethnic reconciliation. The main conflict in the city, between Kurds and (settled) Arabs, goes back several decades. However, in this article it is argued that the situation is not necessary hopeless. Although ethnic groups in Kirkuk are largely separated by mutual distrust, they do not constitute entirely decoupled catnets. Despite residential segregation, there exists considerable room for social meetings across ethnic boundaries. Workplaces and, to some extent, voluntary organizations provide ethnically heterogeneous interaction spaces where interethnic brokerage may evolve. Many of these organizations are structurally constrained, making it likely that people will establish contacts with others sharing the same interaction space. In such settings, casual contacts have a potential to develop into true acquaintance contacts and, thus, into interethnic social capital.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 26, no 1, 25-49 p.
conflict resolution, ethnicity, political sociology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-64787DOI: 10.1177/0268580910380981ISI: 000286421900003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-64787DiVA: diva2:458732