'RUDEFOPOS-IRAQ will assess what role food security and rural development have played in the politics of current and former regimes in Iraq, how such politics have played out in the prevalent networks of patronage and rent distribution and how they have affected international relations of the country, most notably during the Oil-for-Food Program episode of the 1990s and in the hydropolitics with Turkey and Syria. Iraq is the only country in the Middle East of which domestic archives exist. The archives of the Iraqi government and the Baath party were brought to the US after 2003. RUDEFOPOS-IRAQ will take advantage of these exceptional sources in addition to newspaper, data by international organizations, grey material and interviews. It will then link back its specific findings with the existing literature about Iraq’s political economy and international relations in general. To examine challenges to food security on a household level comparative surveys in rural and urban communities will be undertaken. Iraq offers an interesting case study in the Middle East, not only because sanctions and war have affected food security and economic development like in no other country in the region. In terms of per capita resource endowments it stands between the oil rich Gulf states and semi-rentier states like Egypt or Syria that have to rely on modest and dwindling oil production and indirect participation in oil rent flows via migrant remittances and aid payments. Iraq is also of great importance to the European Union, not only because of its political instability, but also because of its economic potential. It has the fastest growing oil exports in the Middle East, is a potential source of natural gas for the planned Nabucco pipeline and holds 9 percent of the world’s phosphate reserves.'