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Title: The Root of Evil A Quantitative Study of the Origins and Rise of ISIL in Iraq
Authors: Bradley, Carter
Advisors: van der Vink, Greg
Department: Woodrow Wilson School
Class Year: 2015
Abstract: The meteoric rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) over the last few years presents a complex problem for international security. Though the group only gained international renown in the last two years, ISIL’s roots can be traced back to the turn of the century. Thus far, military interventions have failed to permanently defeat ISIL. This thesis seeks to explore, quantitatively, the potential merits of certain “soft” interventions designed to address the underlying societal conditions that may have contributed to ISIL’s rise in Iraq over the last decade. Contrary to many prominent counterterrorism theories, my analysis finds no evidence that educational assistance or economic aid would prove effective in undermining ISIL. Rather, it seems that issues of ethnicity and legal rights may lie at the core of the problem. My analysis suggests that policies focused on increasing the strength and equality of the Iraqi population’s legal rights – particularly across ethnic lines –may be a promising path to peace in Iraq.
Extent: 120 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Woodrow Wilson School, 1929-2016

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