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Multiculturalism and Minority Rights in the Arab World$
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Will Kymlicka and Eva Pföstl

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199675135

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199675135.001.0001

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The Federalization of Iraq and the Break-up of Sudan *

The Federalization of Iraq and the Break-up of Sudan *

(p.219) 10 The Federalization of Iraq and the Break-up of Sudan*
Multiculturalism and Minority Rights in the Arab World

Brendan O'Leary

Oxford University Press

This chapter compares the federalization of Iraq with the break-up of Sudan. Both Sudan and Iraq can be seen as creations of British colonialism, in which sizable and territorially concentrated non-Arab minorities were involuntarily included in a larger Arab-dominated state, and both have witnessed prolonged periods of ethnic conflict. Why has Sudan broken up while Iraq has held together? While some analyses point to differences between the two minorities (e.g. that Kurds are Muslim whereas South Sudanese are predominantly Christian), this chapter argues that the fundamental factor lies in differences between the two Arab majorities. The internal divisions amongst Arabs in Iraq created political possibilities for minorities that were not present in Sudan. This analysis helps us to avoid deterministic assumptions that Arab states are inherently anti-pluralistic, while also helping us to identify the preconditions for a successful multination state.

Keywords:   Iraq, Sudan, Kurds, Arabs, federalization, multination state

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