College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

Dr. Marc Scarcelli explores Iraqi civil war in new manuscript for Civil Wars

Congratulations to Dr. Marc Scarcelli who recently had his work published in Civil Wars. Civil Wars publishes original scholarship on all aspects of intrastate conflict, including its causes and nature, and the factors which help to explain its onset, duration, intensity, termination and recurrence. It also publishes work which explores the epistemology of scholarship on intrastate conflict and contributes to debates about the politics, sociology and economics of civil wars, and the significance of intrastate conflict for international relations.

Dr. Scarcelli explores the label of "Civil War" as applied to Iraq:

Many scholars and policy practitioners believe that the US invasion of Iraq triggered a civil war. Several major scholarly data-sets, however, do not code a civil war, due to the challenge of coding multiple simultaneous patterns of violence. Further, many political actors have resisted the term, due to obvious political and public relations concerns. This paper analyses these discrepancies in the use of the label, arguing that, for scholars, the coding problem could limit or even bias models of civil war, while for policymakers, the failure to see Iraq’s civil war as such has contributed to major policy failures, from the Bush administration’s state of denial early in the war to the Obama administration’s withdrawal and the subsequent reescalation of violence.

Check out the article here. Congratulations once again to Dr. Scarcelli!