Article accepted in AJPS

My study on “Winning Hearts and Minds in Civil Wars: Governance, Leadership Change, and Support for Violent Groups in Iraq” was accepted for publication in the American Journal of Political Science. It argues that leadership transitions that raise popular expectations of government service and security delivery increase government support and sap sympathy for violent opposition groups. To test the argument, the study leverages a unique research design opportunity that stems from the Iraqi prime minister’s unanticipated resignation announcement in 2014 while an original survey was in the field. The article traces the impact of this seminal event on the attitudes of the embattled Arab Sunni minority. Expecting the incoming prime minister to improve on the delivery of public goods and services, many Arab Sunnis realigned away from violent groups like ISIS and toward the government. Effective signals about future service delivery started to change attitudes prior to actual policy changes.