EXPLORING TRENDS IN THE TARGETING OF VIOLENCE IN IRAQ THROUGH THE LENS OF CONFLICT THEORY: MARCH 2003 TO MAY 2006
Foster, David Robert
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Elements from Weber's Conflict theory are combined with a focus on legitimacy in order to predict the effects that major social and political events have on political violence in the Diyala province of Iraq. Using 39 months of time-series data from Diyala in an ARIMA analysis, this research determines the effects of eight major events on the targeting of violence across Diyala as well as against four specific target sectors: law enforcement, government, military and civilian. This research finds mixed support for conflict theory, although a clearer picture emerges when findings are summarized by target sector, hypothesis and by event. This model is particularly effective at explaining trends in political violence directed against civilian targets. Despite the suboptimal data used, this research provides support for conflict ability to offering insight into the causes and course of political violence in a nation undergoing rapid social and political change.