Date of Degree

9-2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

History

Advisor

Beth Baron

Committee Members

Samira Haj

Simon Davis

Orit Bashkin

Sara Pursley

Subject Categories

Islamic World and Near East History | Near and Middle Eastern Studies | Social History

Keywords

Baghdad, Iraq, development, Doxiadis, housing, public health

Abstract

This dissertation examines the production of space in Baghdad during the monarchical and early republican eras (1921 – 1963). As the capital of the new nation of Iraq following the First World War, Baghdad expanded along the banks of the Tigris River into new residential and commercial spaces, establishing schools, boutique stores, sporting venues, electricity and running water that transformed how Iraqis conceived of the mundane activities associated with daily life. Employing a theoretical framework drawing on Henri Lefebvre’s production of space, I argue that participation in the creation of new neighborhoods and streets was uneven across differences of class, national origin, and generation. In a sharp departure from previous scholarship, my research indicates that such cleavages began as early as the paving of Rashid Street in the 1920’s, three decades before the national development projects of the late monarchical period exposed the limitations of the state to meet all of its citizens’ basic needs for housing, employment, and healthcare. These cleavages were reflected in the susceptibility of utility and road networks to strikes and boycotts in the 1930’s, the range of health outcomes across the city’s hospitals, and the mounting housing inequalities of the Second World War that arose from an influx of rural migrant laborers and their families.

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