Understanding the Drivers of Conflict in Iraq

Hosted by the Middle East Centre

Wolfson Lecture Theatre, New Academic Building, 54 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3LJ


Dr Renad Mansour

Dr Renad Mansour

Chatham House

Dr Jessica Watkins

Dr Jessica Watkins

LSE Middle East Centre

Dr Zeynep Kaya

Dr Zeynep Kaya

LSE Middle East Centre


Professor Toby Dodge

Professor Toby Dodge

LSE Middle East Centre


Listen to the podcast of this event here

It has now been over a year since the liberation of Mosul by Iraqi government forces in July 2017. This victory marks a new stage in the violent conflict that has destabilised Iraq since at least regime change in 2003. In some ways, the breakthrough in July 2017 can be compared firstly to the initial aftermath of the invasion in April 2003 until the insurgency transformed itself into a civil war in 2005, and then secondly to the period following the US-led surge that started in February 2007 until the reconstitution of ISIS and the fall of Mosul in 2014.

However, as all these examples indicate, if the underlying drivers of instability are not properly identified and mediated through accurately targeted policy interventions, then a return to the levels of organised violence that have dominated Iraq for the majority of the last fifteen years is likely. This event marks the launch of the Conflict Research Programme (CRP) Iraq.

Funded by UK DFID, the Conflict Research Programme (CRP) is a three-year programme designed to address the drivers and dynamics of violent conflict in the Middle East and Africa and to inform the measures being used to tackle armed conflict and its impacts.

Zeynep Kaya (@zeynepn_kaya) is Research Fellow at the LSE Middle East Centre and the LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security. She is also Lecturer at the Pembroke-King's Programme, University of Cambridge. Zeynep’s current research interests focus on displacement, gender, conflict and the implementation of the WPS agenda in Iraq.

Renad Mansour (@renadmansour) is Research Fellow in the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House (@ChathamHouse). His research explores the situation of Iraq in transition and the dilemmas posed by state-building. Prior to joining Chatham House, he was an El-Erian fellow at the Carnegie Middle East Centre, where he examined Iraq, Iran and Kurdish affairs. 

Jessica Watkins is Research Officer at the Middle East Centre, currently working on a DFID-funded project looking at regional drivers of conflict in Iraq and Syria. The project ties in with Jessica’s previous research at the Rand Corporation into Iraqi and regional security issues. Her PhD at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, was on policing and dispute management in Jordan.

Toby Dodge (@ProfTobyDodge) Toby is Kuwait Programme Director, Kuwait Professor and Professor in the International Relations Department. He also serves as Iraq Research Director for the DFID-funded Conflict Research Programme (CRP). In 2013–18, Toby was Director of the Middle East Centre.

Join the conversation on Twitter using #LSEIraq


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Image: An Iraqi Bazaar. Photo: serkansenturk.