The New Iraq: The Uses of Historical Memory

Issue Date July 2005
Volume 16
Issue 3
Page Numbers 54-68
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This article examines the idea that historical memory can assist democratic transitions, delving into how this idea applies to the case of Iraq. “Historical memory” is defined as the collective understanding that a specific group of people shares about past events which this group perceives as having shaped its current economic, cultural, social, and political status and identity. How this memory shapes Iraq’s democratization is important not only in understanding Iraq, but in understanding the conditions under which democracy prospers.

About the Author

Eric Davis is professor of political science and former director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University. His books include Challenging Colonialism: Bank Misr and Egyptian Industrialization, 1920–1941 (1983), Statecraft in the Middle East: Oil, Historical Memory, and Popular Culture (1991), and Memories of State: Politics, History, and Collective Identity in Modern Iraq (2005).

View all work by Eric Davis