Evolution of oil politics in Iraq from the 20th century onwards

Akyüz, Zeynep Ceren
The objective of this thesis is to analyze the Iraqi politics of oil in the period from 20 th century onwards. Within this regard, while “rentier state” conception is generally put under consideration to understand the state’s centrality in political, economic and social spheres of oil –producing countries, contrary to this conventional approach,this thesis argues that the key to all achievements and all failures of Iraqi state is related to the status of oil in Iraq’s engagement with the superpowers and the attractiveness of Iraqi oil for other external actors like international non-state actors and multinational companies. In the first instance, the engagement of Britain and later on, the inclusion of the U.S to the national, regional and international affairs of Iraq are discussed within the boundaries of the aforementioned argument. The role of oil in the creation of the state, in its relations with neighbour countries and in relations conducted with the super powers of the international system is analyzed. Within this context, in the aftermath of the September 11, the U.S’s intense desires for regime change in Iraq is analyzed to reveal that the main motivation behind the invasion of Iraq in 2003 is related with the country’s vast oil resources. In the similar vein, the developments in the post- invasion period are analyzed to indicate the prevailing prominent role of oil. Eventually, this thesis states that even though changes and continuities occur in the course of time and accordingly divergences and convergences exist in the implementations of the Iraqi state, the issue of guaranteeing the flow of oil at reasonable price has remained in the focal point of the external interventions to Iraq.


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Citation Formats
Z. C. Akyüz, “Evolution of oil politics in Iraq from the 20th century onwards,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2011.