The Power of Narratives in Conflict and Peace: The Case of Contemporary Iraq

Moritz Ehrmann, Gearoid Millar* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

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Presenting original data from interviews conducted in Iraq between 2013 and 2019, this paper charts the evolution of conflict related narratives of the ‘other’ among members of the Sunni confession immediately prior to, during, and after the rise and fall of the Islamic State (IS). It charts the evolution of these narratives through three escalatory phases (victimhood narratives, divisive narratives, and violent narratives) and three de-escalatory phases (nuanced narratives, reconciliatory narratives, and unifying narratives). It concludes with reflections on the lessons this case can provide for identifying the best moments for Conflict Resolution actors to intervene in such violent conflicts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)588-611
Number of pages24
JournalCivil Wars
Issue number4
Early online date20 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

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  • Iraq
  • Islamic State
  • Ethnic Conflict
  • Reconciliation
  • Narratives
  • Otherizing


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