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Kurdish History Textbooks: Building a Nation-State within a Nation-State


This article reviews the history and social studies textbooks used in Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) schools in terms of their contribution to the construction of the Kurdish/Kurdistani national identity. The article also examines how the KRG’s views of the Other are expressed in these textbooks in order to reveal the discourses, categories of differences, assumptions, and views about these concepts, as well as the attempts made through the textbooks to answer the question of what it means to be a Kurd or a Kurdistani. As with nation-building projects elsewhere, KRG school textbooks are part of a strategy to create an “imagined community,” and are intended to strengthen the process of creating a Kurdish/Kurdistani nation-state within an Iraqi nation-state.

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