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Kirk Sowell

Kirk H Sowell is the principal of Utica Risk Services, a Middle East-focused political-risk firm. He is a specialist in Arabic-language research, and aside from consultancy work he regularly publishes on topics related to politics, political economy and Islamist movements in the region.

Iraq’s Budget Stalemate and the Danger this Poses to Future Stability By Kirk H Sowell - Dec 11, 2018

Iraq’s prime minister, Adil Abdul-Mahdi, is just two months into his job, but already has had to make his first major policy retreat – over the upcoming year’s budget. Abdul-Mahdi’s position of weakness derives from the fact that because he did not participate in the May parliamentary elections, he has no legislative base. Furthermore, although … Continue reading “Iraq’s Budget Stalemate and the Danger this Poses to Future Stability”

Despite Claims of a Governing Bloc ‘Nucleus,’ Iraq’s Crisis in Government Looks Set to Continue By Kirk H Sowell - Aug 26, 2018

The efforts of Iraq’s current prime minister, Haider Al Abadi, to secure reelection kicked into high gear last Sunday when the Supreme Court announced it had completed reviewing all appeals related to the May 12 election. Later that day, Al Abadi and a group of other leaders met to try to form a coalition, but … Continue reading “Despite Claims of a Governing Bloc ‘Nucleus,’ Iraq’s Crisis in Government Looks Set to Continue”

Protests Force Iraq to Deepen Its Debt Undertaking By Kirk H Sowell - Aug 6, 2018

Iraq’s prime minister, Haider Al Abadi, has had it hard lately. A poor electoral showing for his party at national elections in May was followed by allegations of shambolic electoral organization, with fraud alleged across the field. Now, protests that already have resulted in over a dozen dead have marred his previously clean record for … Continue reading “Protests Force Iraq to Deepen Its Debt Undertaking”

Jordan Needs Deep, Structural Reforms to the Economy. Can the New Prime Minister Deliver? By Kirk H Sowell - Jun 25, 2018

On June 5, Jordan’s King Abdullah II appointed Omar Al Razzaz to head a new government, a day after Prime Minister Hani Al Mulqi resigned. The decision came following a week of protests over austerity measures imposed by Al Mulqi’s government, mostly in the form of subsidy cuts and a tax law. Clearly, one of … Continue reading “Jordan Needs Deep, Structural Reforms to the Economy. Can the New Prime Minister Deliver?”