The subject of this thesis is the establishment and development of a professional middle class in Iraq, during the period from the foundation of the new state 1921 to the last revolution of 1968. In less than fifty years this new stratum was instrumental in transforming the character of the country from a traditional, religious, to a modernizing secularizing society.
The main focus of the study is on the process whereby members of the professions used their key position to achieve and consolidate political power, in other words to enter the governing elite. The rise of the professions was heavily dependent on the introduction of a Western system of secular education to underpin the process of social, economic and political change inaugurated under the British mandate, and therefore particular attention is paid here to the creation of various institutions of higher education.
The indicator selected is cabinet membership, and an analysis is provided of the changing pattern of representation of the various professions in successive governments. The professions considered are, in order of importance, lawyers, doctors, engineers, university teachers, secondary school teachers, civil servants as well as military class respectively. Each of these professions is examined in detail on the basis of a standardized scheme to enable comparisons to be made as regards for example entry requirements, training, political activities, professional ethics, organization. The data have been drawn from official statistics and records, from professional governmental sources, and from observation.
An attempt has also been made to relate fluctuations in numbers, of different professional groups to changes in social economic and political conditions in the country, and to consider the possible basis for more national professional manpower planning in the future.
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