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9 - The Politics of Cultural Pluralism.docx

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McGill University
Political Science
POLI 227
Rex Brynen

The Politics of Cultural PluralismTerminologyEthnocultural markers o Nationality o RaceTroubling to define scientificallyIn South Africa they had tests if it was questionablevery defined pencil test o Religion o Tribeo Language Varying terminology ethnicity communalism sectarianism minorities etcEthnicity as a social construct o Theyre a group because they think theyre a group Eg Palestinians and Israelis are very close genetically o a group of people united by a common error in their ancestory and a common dislike of their neighbor Cultural PluralismCountries vary widely in terms of ethnic religious or other cultural pluralism IraqPopulation potentially divided along religious and ethnic lines o Sunni muslimShiite muslim arabKurdish o Split based on regions Baghdad is mixed o 60 is arab Shiite 20 is arab sunni 20 kurd mostly sunni but identify in KurdishPolitical effects o Severe repressive order w Saddam Hussein o Kurdish selfgovernment post 1991 felt displaced because Iraq identified as arab Under protection of US no fly zone able to attain autonomy o Sectarian violence following US intervention in 2003 o 2005 constitutionquasidemocratic quasifederal slightly consociational political system o Continued ethnosectarian tensionsSunnishiite arabkurd territorialNo evidence of Saddam Hussein ever mentioning Sunnis and Shiites he thought it terms of whos for me and whos against me o More regional bias rather than religious
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