Working Paper

Mosul and Basra After the Protests

by Mac Skelton, Zmkan Ali Saleem

The Roots of Government Failure and Popular Discontent

The study by the Institute of Regional and International Studies (IRIS) entitled "Mosul and Basra after the protests: The roots of government failure & popular discontent" is based on fifty interviews conducted between March and September 2019. These interviews provided insights into the dissonance between government and the population in the second and third largest cities of Iraq, Basra and Mosul. The systemic dynamics of the struggle for power and resources between competing political groups are cited as the main cause of government failure. This results in dysfunctional institutions that are structurally incapable of implementing urgently needed reforms, providing public services, and coordinating reconstruction.