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The Legacy of IraqFrom the 2003 War to the 'Islamic State'$
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Benjamin Isakhan

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748696161

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748696161.001.0001

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The Contested Politics of Iraq’s Oil Wealth

The Contested Politics of Iraq’s Oil Wealth

(p.36) Chapter 2 The Contested Politics of Iraq’s Oil Wealth
The Legacy of Iraq

Philippe Le Billon

Edinburgh University Press

The Iraq War of 2003 set in motion a series of events that was to have enormous consequences for Iraq's oil sector, its use by political factions, and the distribution of its revenue to populations. The United States destroyed much of the Iraqi state, turned the country towards ill-defined constitutional federalism, failed to provide a stable security environment, and pushed hard for a liberalisation of the oil sector. This chapter discusses how a foreign take-over of Iraq's oil wealth and the application of neo-liberal policies — premised on the failure of statist policies, the inefficiency and corruption of the public sector, and the need for foreign capital — are at the core of the contested politics of Iraq's oil wealth.

Keywords:   Iraq War, oil industry, oil sector, oil wealth

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