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Baghdadee بغدادي

Iraq’s Development Road: Geopolitics, Rentierism, and Border Connectivity

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Iraq’s Development Road: Geopolitics, Rentierism, and Border Connectivity - Carnegie Middle East Center - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (carnegie-mec.org)



  • The Development Road is an Iraqi project seeking to create a road and railway infrastructure connecting the Persian Gulf with Türkiye through Iraq, thereby benefiting from Iraq’s geography and multiple borders.
  • The Development Road is an attempt to introduce a new development model to stabilize Iraq politically and mitigate the harmful consequences of its rentier economy.
  • The main hinderances to the project’s success are the difficulty of securing sustainable funding for such a megaproject and rampant inefficiency and corruption in Iraqi state institutions.
  • The potential for insecurity and instability may discourage investors in the Development Road and countries seeking to benefit from it.
  • Iraq must find a place for the project amid regional geoeconomic and geopolitical rivalries and as competing trade connectivity projects are being put forward.
  • Several countries have the ability to disrupt Iraq’s plans to implement the project, notably Türkiye, Iran, and Kuwait.
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