Neoliberalism versus Peacebuilding in Iraq

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


This chapter broadly endorses critical views on peacebuilding and advances them in a number of ways. First, it shows that building peace through economic means in Iraq continues to be at most a vague, unfulfilled aspiration rather than a serious policy instrument. Second, it argues that, in the case of Iraq, peace is being subordinated by the United States and key institutions of global governance to an attempt to impose a neoliberal political economy, with that attempt experiencing major setbacks. Third, it argues for more of a distinction between liberalism and neoliberalism. While the two are related and indeed overlapping, the most negative – anti-labour, anti-welfare and anti-democratic – aspects of economic policy in Iraq are associated mainly with the latter. Recommendations such as working with, rather than against, organised labour on the grounds that it will contribute more to building a political economy of peace are pointless when the policies are not mistaken and when the goal is not peace but neoliberal ones such as the defeat of organised labour. Fourth, it argues for giving more thought to presenting a dynamic picture of the struggle for and against neoliberal peacebuilding and the inclusions and exclusions which that struggle produces. Finally, it shows that economic peacebuilding is as much about counter-insurgent war as it is about peace.
Translated title of the contributionNeoliberalism versus Peacebuilding in Iraq
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWhose Peace? Critical Perspectives on the Political Economy of Peacebuilding
EditorsN Cooper, M Pugh, M Turner
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Pages47 - 64
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9780230573352
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Bibliographical note

Other: Paperback 2011

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