Chapter 5: Political stability and economic development
Will political instability condemn Iraq to economic collapse, foreign dominance, or even a rupture into three or more states? Or having looked into the abyss of civil war in 2006–2007, will Iraqis find a way to create a peaceful multi-region, multi-religion, multi-ethnic state while peaceably resolving its regional disputes? These political and social challenges have been the subject of several excellent books (see Barkey et al. 2011; Haddad 2011; Visser and Stansfield 2008) as well as a wide range of studies by various governmental, non-governmental, and international organizations (for example, see Cordesman and Khazai 2012). In view of the complexities involved, it is impossible to do complete justice to them in a small space. Therefore this chapter will be limited to a few key issues related to the relationship between internal politics, external relations, and the Iraqi economy.
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