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Heritage Destruction and Spikes in Violence: The Case of Iraq

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Chapter Summary

This chapter uses Iraq as a case study to investigate the complex inter-relationships between cultural and historical destruction on the one hand, and identity politics and sectarian violence on the other. It begins by briefly detailing the role that Iraq's cultural heritage has played in building national identity and social cohesion since 1968. It then catalogues some of the more significant cultural and historical destruction that has occurred in Iraq since 2003. Finally, the chapter tentatively examines the extent to which this destruction has had implications for the rise of ethno-religious sectarianism and violence. The destruction of Iraq's cultural heritage has provided fertile ground for exclusive models of identity to be promulgated, creating a rise in ethno-religious sectarianism and violence.

Keywords:cultural heritage; ethno-religious sectarianism; heritage destruction; Iraq; violence



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