From Green to Blue? Local Policing in Iraq After ISIL

Conflict Research Programme

Principal Investigator: Dr Jessica Watkins 
Duration: April 2020 – February 2021
Supported by: UK Department for International Development (DFID)

A member of the community police in Mosul, July 2020. Photo: Tahreer Association. 

This project seeks to contextualise internationally-backed centralised efforts to demilitarise the local Iraqi police post-2017, by examining the current conditions under which local police forces operate in areas of Iraq liberated from ISIL. The project takes a case-study approach, using key informant interviews in four districts in Anbar and Ninawa, to map the local police vis-à-vis other security, justice and dispute resolution providers, and to assess how different local stakeholders understand ‘community-oriented policing’ and their potential role within it. 

This project highlights challenges in common across the case studies and illustrates how specific local circumstances affect how centralised reform efforts are interpreted. 

The project is being undertaken by the Middle East Centre in collaboration with researchers at the University of Anbar’s Centre for Strategic Studies (CSS) and with Al-Tahreer Association for Development in Ninawa. It 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.

Project Outputs

Research Team

Jessica Watkins

Dr Jessica Watkins | Principal Investigator 

Jessica 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.


Dr Mahdi Al-Delaimi | Researcher 

Mahdi is a Professor at the College of Arts at Mosul University and a researcher in armed conflict. He has a PhD in Military History and Strategic Studies, and his thesis was on the US role in NATO.

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Dr Abdulkareem al-Jarba | Researcher 

Abdulkareem has a PhD in Business Administration from Baghdad Technical College. He works as a researcher and consultant in peace for the Al-Tahreer Association.

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Professor Thaer Shaker Mahmud | Anbar Research Supervisor 

Thaer is Director of the CSS. He has a doctorate in urban and regional planning, specialising in sustainable development planning in Iraqi desert cities. 

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Dr Falah Mubarak Bardan | Researcher 

Falah is a researcher in the Department for Future Studies at the CSS, specialising in strategic studies and international relations. 

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Dr Moataz Ismail Khalaf | Researcher 

Moataz is Chairperson of the Department of Future Studies at the CSS. He researches political systems and public policies. His doctoral thesis focused on building the civil state in Iraq post-2003.

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Dr Dhair Faysal Bidewi | Researcher 

Dhair is a researcher at the CSS. He has a Doctorate in Philosophy, specialising in Islamic Sharia. His thesis was on Ibn Hazem's studies of Imam Abu Hanifa and family rulings in Fiqh.

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Dr Abdulazez Abbas Al-Jassem | Researcher 

Abdulazez is Chairman of the Antiquities and Civilisation Department at the CSS. He has a Doctorate in Philosophy from the University of Baghdad focusing on Islamic history. 



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