Cover image for Iraq's burdens : oil, sanctions, and underdevelopment
Iraq's burdens : oil, sanctions, and underdevelopment
Alnasrawi, Abbas.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
x, 179 pages ; 24 cm.
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HD9576.I72 A6473 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Oil revenue has been an economic curse for Iraq. In the second half of the 20th century the international oil sector shaped IraQ's economy, forcing it to rely too heavily on revenue brought in by oil production and exports. IraQ's failure to use copious oil rents to diversify the economy has proven disastrous for its people and economy. Its over-reliance on oil revenues coupled with the consequences of its war with Iran, the Gulf War, and the ensuing economic sanctions have led the country to economic destruction, sanctions, and enormous debt.

Iraq is a major oil producing country, a founding member of OPEC, and possesses the world's second highest amount of oil reserves. Yet few studies exist on IraQ's oil industry and its impact on the economic and political fortunes of the country. Alnasrawi remedies this by helping us understand this important Arab, Middle Eastern, oil-exporting country that has been a constant focus of U.S. foreign policy since 1990. Alnasrawi concludes that the availability of capital is an insufficient condition for economic development, and may in fact retard it, as it did in this now reviled and wrecked country.

Author Notes

Abbas Alnasrawi is the John H. Converse Professor of Economics, the University of Vermont.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This is a welcome book by a well-established scholar who has spent decades studying oil markets and OPEC in general, and Iraq in particular. The initial chapter puts Iraq and its oil industry in an international perspective. Chapter 2 discusses the historical evolution of the Iraqi oil industry during three periods: the concession period, the post-1958 overthrow of the monarchy, and UN sanctions after the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Alnasrawi discusses economic conditions that contributed to the invasion of Kuwait in a desperate move to get Iraq out of its economic rut. Subsequent chapters cover the role of oil in Iraq's development efforts; the horrid physical and human destruction of the 1991 war; the evolution of UN sanctions; impacts of sanctions on the economy and Iraqi standard of living; and the bureaucratic quagmire put in place by the UN Security Council to assess, finance by oil exports, and deliver what Iraqi civilians needed for survival. Chapters 8-9 present a snapshot of the economy and recommendations for Iraq's future, which, although written before the second round of devastations in 2003, offer sound considerations. Important reading for understanding wars, sanctions, and particularly the ruinous international neglect of a nation in despair. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. General readers and lower-division undergraduates through professionals. H. Zangeneh Widener University

Table of Contents

Tablesp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
1 The International Context of the Iraqi Oil Industryp. 1
2 The Rise and Decline of a National Oil Industryp. 19
3 Oil and Development in Iraqp. 37
4 Invasion, Sanctions, and Bombingp. 61
5 Sanctions after the Gulf Warp. 79
6 Sanctions and the Economyp. 93
7 Oil under Sanctionsp. 117
8 Burdens in the Futurep. 135
9 Conclusions and Prospectsp. 159
Selected Bibliographyp. 169
Indexp. 177