Off-campus UNL users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your NU ID and password. When you are done browsing please remember to return to this page and log out.

Non-UNL users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Insurgency after war explaining how failed expectations led to violence in Iraq

Michelle Black, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


In order to counter insurgency, we have to understand how it begins. We have to identify why groups initiate violence in the first place, and the individuals conducting the violence. Have they always been violent individuals, or did circumstances push them to accept violence as an acceptable means in order to fulfill their unmet needs? Insurgencies in the Middle East are common events these days. In fact, insurgencies happen in many countries across the globe, and people rebel either against their government or an invading force. This inductive and deductive generated research uses the ideas of relative deprivation by Ted Gurr (1970) and Contentious Politics by Charles Tilly (2003) with the US-led invasion of Iraq (2003-2011) to understand both why, but more importantly, how insurgencies happen. This paper argues that insurgencies develop when expectations are unmet after international intervention, and violent agents exploit those failed expectations and encourage and train people to conduct acts of violence. This paper goes against the conventional argument that after an international invasion, there must be security first and foremost. Instead, through a mixture of qualitative analysis (collection of ethnographic interviews, surveys, and government data) this paper empirically demonstrates that many Iraqis became angry when there were a lack of services immediately following the US-led 2003 invasion, prompting them to join violent groups.

Subject Area

Asian Studies|International Relations|Political science

Recommended Citation

Black, Michelle, "Insurgency after war explaining how failed expectations led to violence in Iraq" (2016). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI10104375.