"It is hard to think of a more compelling issue in the international arena today than the question of who exactly is carrying out the suicide attacks in Iraq that have done so much to turn the country into a failing state. Mohammed Hafez has done the world a favor by producing this balanced, clearly written, and well-argued account of who the suicide attackers in Iraq are and why they are carrying out their deadly missions."


Peter Bergen, author of The Osama bin Laden I Know

 

"Rich in information and balanced in its comments, this volume helps us understand how terrorism and repression feed each other, reducing the chances for a peaceful evolution in Iraq. Hafez applies social movement theories to help interpret radicalization processes by focusing attention on the interaction between direct experiences with violence and sentiments of victimization. He combines the analysis of macrohistorical conditions, inter-organizational competition and individual paths into the underground, without losing sight of the diverse strategies of both oppositional groups and state agencies."

Professor Donatella della Porta, European University Institute

 

"Suicide Bombers in Iraq makes a signal contribution to the literature. Hafez has written what is the most detailed and authoritative account to date of suicide terrorism's impact on Iraq, along with its broader international implications. The book is especially noteworthy for its combination of meticulous research and incisive analysis. Suicide Bombers in Iraq is required reading for anyone seeking to understand the dynamics of the conflict in Iraq and the concomitant rise of this devastating tactic."

Professor Bruce Hoffman, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, and Senior Fellow, Combating Terrorism Center, U.S. Military Academy

 

"Brilliantly considered, crisply written, unsparing in its conclusions, Suicide Bombers in Iraq is an absolutely essential contribution to understanding the factions that are warring over the future of that shattered country, the region, and Islam." 

Lawrence Wright, author of The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11

 

"Mohammed Hafez has produced a compelling book, which is both wide-ranging in debating the phenomenon of suicide bombing in Iraq and pertinent in terms of the future of this pivotal state in the Middle East. The work combines a forensic approach to the reasons why suicide bombings occur with an analysis of the myriad motives of the suicide bombers. This is a trenchant text for all who wish to understand the complex politics of Iraq." 

Professor Beverley Milton-Edwards, Queens University Belfast

 

"No better or more detailed analysis exists in making sense of the raging violence within Iraq and the nature of the terrorists. Mohammed Hafez’s mastery of the Iraqi insurgency and the forces behind it is unrivaled. No one better explores in detail the issue of foreign fighters in Iraq and the local forces of the insurgency. This seminal work is essential reading for anyone wanting to truly understand what is going on in Iraq and why the conflict is so intractable."

Dr. Magnus Ranstorp, Research Director, Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies, Swedish National Defense College

 

Latest Publications

In Nicaragua, Crackdown on Religious Actors Further Imperils Return Democracy

In Nicaragua, Crackdown on Religious Actors Further Imperils Return Democracy

Friday, October 7, 2022

By: Maria Antonia Montes ;  Savarni Sanka

In recent months, Nicaragua’s government has escalated its effort to silence dissent by waging a systematic campaign of repression against the Catholic Church. Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo’s crackdown on clergy and church-affiliated organizations critical of their authoritarian regime not only threatens Nicaragua’s religious freedom but also erects significant roadblocks to the country’s return to peace and democracy.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & GovernanceReligion

42 Months on, How Does Sudan’s Democracy Movement Endure?

42 Months on, How Does Sudan’s Democracy Movement Endure?

Thursday, October 6, 2022

By: Jawhara Kanu;  Jonathan Pinckney, Ph.D.

Three and a half years after Sudan’s military deposed the authoritarian ruler, Omar Bashir, in response to massive protests, the current military leadership and divisions among political factions are stalling a return to elected civilian government. This year has brought a deepening economic crisis and violent communal clashes — but also a new wave of nonviolent, grassroots campaigns for a return to democracy. As Sudanese democracy advocates and their international allies seek ways to press the military for that transition, all sides should note, and work to sustain, Sudan’s nonviolent civic action.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & GovernanceNonviolent Action

Behavioral Science and Social Contact Peacemaking

Behavioral Science and Social Contact Peacemaking

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

By: Josh Martin;  Meghann Perez;  Ruben Grangaard

Although social contract theory—the idea that encountering someone with a different group identity can lead to greater understanding, empathy, and trust—has become a bedrock of most peacebuilding initiatives in recent decades, doubts remain about whether such initiatives prevent violence. This report provides practical insights and recommendations for improving peacebuilding efforts by more effectively factoring an understanding of human behavior into the design, implementation, and evaluation of social contact interventions.

Type: Peaceworks

Nonviolent Action

Xi Kicks Off Campaign for a Chinese Vision of Global Security

Xi Kicks Off Campaign for a Chinese Vision of Global Security

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

By: Carla Freeman, Ph.D.;  Alex Stephenson

Earlier this month Chinese leader Xi Jinping made his first foreign trip since the coronavirus outbreak, joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. The summit was Xi’s first in-person opportunity to win support outside of China’s borders for his new Global Security Initiative (GSI), which he launched in April. While the GSI remains notional and somewhat vague, Xi is on the offensive, seeking to position his vision of a new global security architecture as an alternative to the Western-led security order. In an era of heightened strategic rivalry between Washington and Beijing, Xi’s GSI campaign could amount to yet another challenge to the U.S.-China relationship and the two countries’ ability to peacefully manage differences.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

Is Russia Escalating to De-Escalate?

Is Russia Escalating to De-Escalate?

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

By: Mary Glantz, Ph.D.;  Mona Yacoubian

Vladimir Putin is under increased pressure as Russia continues to lose ground inside Ukraine. Faced with the prospect of stark losses — potentially leaving Russia in a worse position than before its February 24 invasion — Moscow may be embarked on an “escalate to de-escalate” strategy. By raising the specter of a nuclear confrontation twice in recent weeks, Putin may in fact be seeking a way out of his dilemma marked by Russia’s strategic failure in Ukraine. The coming weeks will be critical as Putin pursues nuclear brinksmanship — possibly even repositioning tactical nuclear weapons — while actually seeking an exit.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

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