The Dynamics of Protest in Basra

Conflict Research Small Grants Programme

Principal Investigator: Benedict Robin D'Cruz
Duration: May 2019 – September 2020
Supported by: UK Department for International Development (DfID)

Kuwait Street in Basra. Photo: Ahmad Mahmoud Khodeir, Wikimedia Commons.

This project looks at protests and civil unrest in Iraq’s southern Basra province. There is a lack of granular knowledge about the local conditions shaping protest dynamics and the variety of societal groups involved and their competing claims. The proposed research will address this gap by using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods to build a political sociology of Basra’s protests and show how they intersect with Iraq’s political economy. It seeks to uncover the factors shaping protest dynamics and their relationship with potentially destabilising violence between protesters, the state and non-state armed groups.

This project forms part of the Conflict Research Programme, funded by the UK Department for International Development to provide research and policy advice on how the risk and impact of violent conflict might be more effectively reduced through development and governance interventions.

Research Team


Benedict Robin D'Cruz | Principal Investigator

Benedict is a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh. His research interests focus on social movements and popular politics in Iraq and his PhD thesis is a political sociology of the leftist-Sadrist alliance. He also conducts research and analysis on security and protest dynamics in south Iraq, particularly in Basra. 



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