Comparative Politics Workshop with Lisa Blaydes
DateFebruary 9, 2015
4357 Bunche Hall
Belinda SunnuPhone firstname.lastname@example.org
Presenter:Lisa Blaydes, Stanford UniversityTitle: “Compliance and Resistance in Iraq under Saddam Hussein: Evidence from the Files of the Ba`th Party”Abstract:What explains patterns of compliance with and resistance to autocratic rule? This paper provides a theoretical framework for understanding how individuals living under dictatorship calibrate their political behaviors. Using data from documents captured by U.S. forces during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, I use unanticipated political shocks to examine over-time discontinuities in citizen behavior in Iraq under Saddam Hussein during two distinct periods – before and after the First Gulf War and the associated Kurdish and Shi`a anti-regime uprisings. Prior to 1991 and the establishment of a Kurdish autonomous zone in northern Iraq, severe repression and widespread use of collective punishment created the conditions for Iraqi Kurds to engage in a widespread anti-regime rebellion. Before 1991, Shi`a Iraqis were able to express limited forms of political discontent; after 1991, however, Shi`a were forced to publicly signal compliance while shifting to more private forms of anti-regime activity. While Iraqis living in and around Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit almost universally self-identified as Ba`thists and enjoyed privileges as a result of close ties to the regime, Sunnis living in areas distant from Tikrit became increasingly estranged from the regime as international sanctions closed off economic opportunities.
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