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The Lights of Iraq: Electricity Usage and the Iraqi War-fare Regime

Cerami, Alfio (2018): The Lights of Iraq: Electricity Usage and the Iraqi War-fare Regime.

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Abstract

This article explores the lights of Iraq, Iraq's variety of capitalism (VoC) and its system of public and fiscal governance. The first section examines Iraq's VoC, which I define oil-led state-captured capitalism with associated oil-led state-captured war-fare regime. In formerly ISIS-occupied territories, war developments turned the system into an Insurgent ISIS-captured capitalism with associated Insurgent ISIS-captured war-fare regime. The second section investigates electricity usage. The nighttime lights analysis is based on near real-time big data. It includes high-resolution remote-sensing and satellite imagery from the NASA Earth Observatory. I use the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) sensor on the Suomi NPP satellite. Data on greenhouse gases are obtained through the AQUA and TERRA satellites derived from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) and Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensors. I also use the AURA satellite with the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) sensor, as well as the TERRA satellite with the Measurements of Pollution in the Troposphere (MOPITT) sensor. The third part discusses the repercussions of electricity usage for good governance, for good regulatory and for good fiscal practices, as well as for development and growth. The concluding part briefly discusses the “taxman approach” and the introduction of a new fiscal contract necessary to resolve negative incentives in oil-led war economies.

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