chapter  4
16 Pages

Limited statehood in a shattered state

Territorial and economic challenges to the construct of the Iraqi state
WithIrene Costantini, Adriano Cozzolino

Critically drawing on scholarship advancing the limited statehood framework, this chapter explores the Iraqi case and its post-2014 governance configurations. More specifically, in 2014, the country experienced a threefold challenge to its statehood. Conflicts concerned political authority, territory and/or policy-making involving the government of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Islamic State. Accordingly, such triple-pole conflict triggered three types of governance configurations: from above (IMF), from beside (KRI) and from below (the Islamic State). Finally, after showing how each of these represents a challenge to the hierarchical steering capacity of the Iraqi government, we discuss the strengths and limitations of the limited statehood framework.