Jan 5, 2023

The Bedouin and the Formation of Iraq's National Borders

An interview with Carl Shook

New Books Network 2022

The British occupation of Iraq after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire led to the creation of Iraq's national boundaries, a process with profound and long-lasting implications for the inhabitants of Iraq's border regions. In his dissertation, "The Origins and Development of Iraq's National Boundaries, 1918-1932: Policing and Political Geography in the Iraq-Nejd and Iraq-Syria Borderlands" (University of Chicago, 2018), Dr. Carl Shook examined how Iraq's modern national borders were formed in relation to the Bedouin and to the policing of Bedouin tribes. In this episode he joins me to discuss the history of Iraq's southern border with Saudi Arabia, the role of Bedouin tribespeople within the border formation process, and the effects of transnational borders on nomadic peoples. Follow Dr. Shook on Twitter.

Music in this episode: Desert City by Kevin MacLeod. License.

Listen to more episodes on:

Your Host

Maggie Freeman

Maggie Freeman is a PhD student in the School of Architecture at MIT. She researches uses of architecture by nomadic peoples and historical interactions of nomads and empires, with a focus on the modern Middle East.

Learn More