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The idea of legislative budgeting in Iraq

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In spite of Iraq’s ample natural wealth, its people have in large part remained bereft of the benefits of these extractive endowments, and insufficient legislative oversight of the extractive industries has been partly responsible for this unrealized potential. This article focuses on the importance of parliamentary oversight of Iraq’s extractive industries, and considers the broader evolutionary history of budgeting in Iraq, including the difficulties and setbacks that the budget process has faced both prior to and after the American invasion. The article identifies a mismatch between American budgeting in their local context, which advocates a strong role for Congress in the budget process, versus budgeting in an Iraqi context, where they had advocated alarmingly non-democratic arrangements, including an ‘Economic Czar’. The article finally assesses how legislative oversight can serve to address the longterm budget challenges of Iraq, particularly with respect to its extractive wealth.
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Keywords: Parliamentary Budget Office; accountability; budget reform; legislatures; natural resources; public finance

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of New South Wales

Publication date: March 1, 2016

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  • The International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies is a new peer-reviewed, tri- annual, academic publication devoted to the study of modern Iraq. In recognition of Iraq's increasingly important position on the world stage, the time is right for a new journal dedicated to scholarly engagement with the country.
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