The socio-political discourse about civil society inclines to use Western models in coneptualising civil society both in Western and non-Western societies. Iraq is one of those countries where civil society is mostly discussed the formally organised type. This paper critiques the disengagement of literature and empirical studies with exploring social structures like tribe within the civil society arena. It contends that civil society organisations should be understood based on their functions rather than forms. This paper argues that studying civil society should be comprehensive by studying other non-Western theories like 14th century Ibn Khaldun’s Muslim/Arab theories in its indigenous Arab and Muslim societies. On the premise of two factors: the Khaldunian asabiya or olidarity concept and the function of tribes in peace-building, policy formulation and democratisation, this paper uncovers how tribes in Iraq can be regarded civil society organisations.
Field of Research
160609 - Political Theory and Political Philosophy