Paper presentation at ESOC Conference at USIP

My co-authors Saurabh Pant and Beza Tesfaye and I look forward to presenting our paper on counter-insurgency strategy in Iraq at the Annual Meeting of ESOC at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C. Building on the hearts-and-minds model of counterinsurgency, we argue that a major political event that raises popular expectations of future public service and security provision by the government will increase support for the government and decrease sympathy for the insurgency. To test this argument, we leverage a unique research design opportunity that stems from the unforeseen announcement of the resignation of Iraq’s divisive prime minister in August 2014 while an original survey was being administered across the country. We show that the leadership transition led Iraq’s displeased minorities to become more optimistic about future public service and security provision and to shift support away from the insurgency to the government. The paper is available under the Research link on my website.