AbstractsPolitical Science

Government and administration of Iraq: A study in political development.

by Philip Willard Ireland

Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom)
Year: 1936
Record ID: 1567265
Full text PDF: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/1994/


The aim of the thesis is to examine the forces which, since 1914, have operated in bringing 'Iraq from a neglected and maladministered portion of the Ottoman Empire to its present position as a political unit among the nations. The establishment and development of its political institutions are traced and evaluated from the standpoint of their contribution to this evolution and in their relation to British policy: the safeguarding of the frontiers of find the routes to India. This policy is conceived to have remained the same during the period under review, as in the previous 150 years, the history of which is briefly sketched. The early administration, 1914-1917, characterized by expediency and the application of Indian methods, is shown to have been dominated by military considerations and political motives which envisaged "Mesopotamia as an appendage of India." The divergence of opinion between the so-called "Indian" and "Sharifian" schools of Arab politics is revealed to have been, in reality, the more fundamental conflict between the traditional the ory of the duty of advanced nations to backwards peoples and the theory of self-determination, of nationalism and of democratic consent. The influence of this conflict is indicated on the creation of administration, particularly between 1917- 1920, and on the constitutional proposals put forward from Baghdad during that period. The growth of 'Iraqi nationalism is traced from hitherto unutilized sources. The influence of war-time promises and encouragement by the Allies, of the Arab movement elsewhere and of the impact of Western ideas is analysed. The view that it had no local origins is rejected. New light from official sources is given on the creation of Arab Government, the Provisional Council of State, the accession of King Faisal, the drafting of the Treaty of 1922 and the Organic, which are analysed, and on the passing of the Treaty by the Constituent Assembly. The positions of the King and of the British Advisers are examined. The evolution of King Faisal's position as a tool of British policy to that of a point of balance between the nationalists and the Mandatory Power is indicated. The development of administration is reviewed, and reasons suggested for the progressive curtailment of British responsibilities, The conclusion is reached that, in spite of the theoretical triumph of nationalism and democratic consent, Great Britain has achieved practical recognition of her special interests. While fundamental indigenous problems will long prevent Iraq from becoming the fully modern state she now claims to be, her national existence is assured as long as she facilitates the development of petroleum deposits, maintains the safety of international air communications and safeguards the Middle Eastern approach to India.