Tackling Iraq’s unaccountable state
Think tank: Chatham House
Author(s): Dr Renad Mansour
December 11, 2023
This report from UK think tank Chatham House traces the political dimensions of state capture in Iraq and its consequences for the country’s future stability.
The US-led invasion and occupation in 2003 brought Iraq some of the trappings of a liberal democracy, such as competitive multi-party elections and citizen freedoms, but it did not ensure political accountability. Instead, the country’s post-2003 ethno-sectarian power-sharing system facilitated state capture and corruption on a wide scale.
This paper traces the political dimensions of state capture in Iraq, and explains how vested interests have weaponized the mechanisms of a nominally representative system to maintain elite impunity, stifle reform in all sectors and repress political opponents across society, with consequences for the country’s future stability.