Political Psychological Factors in the Polarization of Iraqi Politics (2003-2006)



A new political structuring took place in Iraq after Saddam Hussein’s regime. During the democratic transition period, sub-national political movements came to the fore along with the United States (USA). Institutions of the Iraqi state after Saddam Hussein were formed in the 2003-2005 transition period. It is understood today that the structuring formed in that period did not make Iraq successful. Iraq is described as an unstable country. The activities of terrorist organizations and social upheavals show that Iraq is an unstable country. However, in the 2005 elections, a large part of Iraqi society cast their votes for sub-national parties. The study aims to analyze the reasons behind the social support of ethnic parties which do not allow Iraq to be a successful state. Vamık Volkan has demonstrated through his studies that under certain conditions subnational groups are polarized and act in line with their own broad group identity. For this purpose, political psychological concepts were used to understand Iraqi society within the conditions of the period. The data reflecting the political psychological attitudes of Iraqis were collected and the reasons for social polarization and support for ethnic parties were analyzed. This study was concluded that when a new situation arises in a country and sub-national groups feel threatened, they tend to polarize and reflect it on their political behavior.
Keywords: Iraq, Security, Social Polarization, Ethnic Conflict, Political Psychology.


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