Iraq, a Failed State?

By Ahmed Mousa Jiyad.

Anatomy of Perceived Failed States in MENA Region: The Case of Iraq

The latest and severest manifestation of resource curse attacks in MENA region is the potential threat of dismantling the “nation state” model through a transitional phase of creating the conditions of a “failed state”.

This could be the case for Iraq, which has been perceived as a failed state for the entire decade 2004-13; and the double-whammy effects, of Da’esh (ISIS/ISIL/IS) on one hand and the collapse of oil prices on the other, since mid-2014, could exacerbate the situation even further for the next few years.

This contribution aims at establishing what constitutes a failed state and whether this applies to Iraq, at what degree or extent and what are the indicators; and this could, hopefully, facilitate addressing related questions of why and how and identify areas for policy interventions.

The paper is based on my research on the issue for my participation in NRGI’s MENA Strategy Meeting focusing on “Failed States and Uncertain International Promises: Navigating Precarious Environments in Seeking to Anchor Extractive Industries Governance” that was held in Beirut, Lebanon, on 15 June 2015.

The paper begins with brief review of the structure of Failed States Index (FSI) and its indicators, followed by a methodology note on Iraq’s SFI assessment; then it offers brief analysis on Iraq’s Scores and Ranks over the covered ten year period. The scores for each of the main indicators are evaluated to identify whether there was improvement or deterioration in their annual patters; and their implications for the next few years.

A brief review of FSI in MENA countries is included to provide the regional aspects of the topic.

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