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Is there an 'emboldenment' effect: Evidence from the insurgency in Iraq

Monten, J; Plumb, RI; (2020) Is there an 'emboldenment' effect: Evidence from the insurgency in Iraq. Journal of Strategic Studies 10.1080/01402390.2020.1711740. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Does wartime debate in democracies during counterinsurgency campaigns embolden insurgent adversaries? Despite the historical frequency of this claim, there is little direct evidence assessing this ‘emboldenment’ hypothesis. This paper develops a novel test of this argument during the US counterinsurgency campaign following the invasion of Iraq in 2003. We find that following spikes in US domestic debate over the Iraq war, there is no evidence that insurgent attacks on military or civilian targets increased in regions of Iraq with greater access to US news compared to regions with less access. Overall, these results offer no support for the emboldenment claim.

Type: Article
Title: Is there an 'emboldenment' effect: Evidence from the insurgency in Iraq
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/01402390.2020.1711740
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/01402390.2020.1711740
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Democracy, insurgency, resolve
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10090056
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