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The business of recycling war scrap: the Hashd al-Shaʿabi’s role in Mosul’s post-conflict economy

Gotts, Isadora (2020) The business of recycling war scrap: the Hashd al-Shaʿabi’s role in Mosul’s post-conflict economy. LSE Middle East Centre Paper Series (34). Middle East Centre, LSE.

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The modalities of the scrap trade reflect a larger struggle for power in post-ISIS Mosul, and how seemingly marginal processes can and will impact the future balance within the city. On the local level, the scrap trade has become a monopoly, disrupting the ability of residents to profit from this very lucrative material. By co-opting local economic processes, various actors stifled trade and reshaped the very ways in which economic activities are conducted. Reconstruction efforts have suffered as a result, with resources squandered and prices distorted. However, the normalisation of extractive and rent-seeking activities affects more than Mosul’s economy; it disrupts Iraq’s ability to diversify its economy through industrial growth. By co-opting trade networks and controlling mobility, the Hashd al-Shaʿabi (‘the Hashd’, or PMF) has expanded informal systems and processes, strengthening ties between the security, political, and economic elites seeking only to extract wealth. The Hashd’s involvement in the scrap trade, operating in juncture with local political support, are a symptom of a much larger condition – the pervasive culture of corruption in Iraq’s political and economic life. They simultaneously enable and operate in a system that breeds instability, hinders social, political and economic growth, and hinders attempts for recovery.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 The Author(s)
Divisions: Middle East Centre
Subjects: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 28 May 2020 10:03
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 23:50

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