Paper at ISA

Saurabh Pant will present our paper (co-authored with Beza Tesfaye) on Winning Hearts and Minds in Civil Wars: Governance, Leadership Change, and Support for Violence in Iraq” at ISA’s Annual Convention in Baltimore. Our panel is titled “Rebuilding the State after Civil War” and will meet on Thursday, February 22, from 1:45  to 3:30 PM. The paper leverages original data from a national survey in Iraq and an unforeseen leadership transition while the survey was in the field to test the hearts-and-minds model of counterinsurgency. Specifically, the paper shows that the leadership transition led Iraq’s displeased minorities to shift support away from the insurgency to the government. This realignment was due to rising optimism among minorities that the new government would provide basic services and public goods – specifically security, electricity, and jobs.