Iraq’s Future: Elections, Corruption and the Struggle for a State

30 May 2018 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm
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Chatham House, London


Professor Toby Dodge, Director, Middle East Centre, LSE
Dr Renad Mansour, Research Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House
Christine van den Toorn, Director, Institute for Regional and International Studies, American University of Iraq, Sulaimani
Chair: Dr Lina Khatib, Head, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House



Fifteen years after the invasion, Iraq remains a fragmented country beset with corruption and institutional weaknesses.Although ISIS has lost the vast majority of its territory - which at its peak encompassed one-third of Iraq and half of Syria - the damaged economies left behind in Iraq and Syria provide a fertile ground for ISIS to financially prosper and fund future insurgencies.At the same time, Iraq has asked affluent allies for more than US$88 billion to fund the rebuilding of the nation in the aftermath of the war against ISIS, and the country desperately requires effective institution-building and improved governance.

Against this difficult backdrop, Iraq has scheduled parliamentary elections on 12 May. Our panellists will discuss the prospects for the future of Iraq. Do these elections present a renewed opportunity to halt the cycle of failure and foster unity and political consensus? Is it likely that any candidate can effectively counter corruption through effective state-building and better governance? And what mechanisms can be put in place to combat ISIS’ illicit financial flows that have made it the richest terrorist group in history?

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