chapter  8
24 Pages

Rentier states at war

ByIrene Costantini

Chapter 8, Rentier states at war takes a political economy perspective and illustrates the developments related to wealth creation and distribution in Iraq and Libya after regime change. Given the centrality of the oil economy in both countries, the concept of the rentier state is fundamental for the analysis. The violence and unpredictability that followed the ousting of Saddam Hussein and Muammar Qadhafi support the argument that rentierism as stability hides a condition of conflict and oppression rather than peace and freedom. In post-2003 Iraq and post-2011 Libya oil revenues have contributed to the continuation and transformation of the respective conflicts. In the two countries the oil economy become intertwined with conflict dynamics: it has sustained competing state projects either by channelling oil rents into neo-patrimonial networks (Iraq) or by keeping oil resources hostage of political actors recusing attempts to build central institutions (Libya).