Class, State, and NGOs in post-2003 Iraq

Wednesday 23 October 2019, 4.00PM to 6.00pm

Speaker(s): Mehiyar Kathem

This lecture examines the evolution of the Iraqi NGO Sector after 2003. It tracks the major changes happening in the country under the conditions of international statebuilding, post-dictatorship, occupation and heightened levels of violence.

The NGO Sector was a platform for the projection of the occupation’s changing priorities and a site of political competition over the nature of the statebuilding process. This presentation examines the ways in which Iraqi NGOs negotiated US-European interventions designed to shape state and society and bring a semblance of peace to the country. It argues that whilst Iraq was the largest recipient of aid in recent history, international programmes were renegotiated and funds reallocated by local NGO leaders to address class, group and other contestations in Iraqi society.

Specifically, this presentation shows that there is an urgent need to view domestic NGOs and existing civil society through a class and group analysis which can help better understand the outcomes of and the ways in which aid and international programmes are negotiated.

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Location: W/N/222