Iraq

Iraq map
Expansion of the cellphone network in Iraq 2004-2009, for one provider. The circles show the approximated coverage areas of cellphone towers. The color shading indicates timing (darker is earlier). Background image from Natural Earth.

Iraq Overview

Country Lead: Jacob N. Shapiro

Following the U.S. invasion in March 2003 Iraq suffered a lengthy civil war in which over 100,000 civilians were killed, tens of thousands of combatants died, and millions were temporarily—and sometimes permanently—displaced. The war featured at least three distinct conflicts: a sectarian civil war between Sunni and Shi’ite militias; an insurgency by mostly Sunni militias, some Iraqi and some international, against the government of Iraq and the Coalition forces supporting it; and a communal conflict pitting Kurds against Arabs in Kurdistan. During the period of peak violence in 2006 and 2007, there were over a thousand insurgent attacks per week in Iraq and hundreds of sectarian killings. The country regained a large measure of stability from 2008 through 2010 though political violence in Iraq continues at a substantial pace; 1,547 people were killed or injured in the 1,197 terrorist attacks in 2010.

Studying the war in Iraq provides an opportunity to learn more about a range of conflict processes because precise geo-located data on violence are available for most of the war and because there is a rich set of secondary data sources available, from excellent historical work to the high-quality household surveys conducted by the Iraqi statistical agency and its international partners. ESOC research on Iraq has examined how labor market conditions affect insurgent violence, how people respond to civilian casualties perpetrated by different sides, how changes in communications technologies influence civil conflict, and which (if any) kinds of aid spending serve to enhance stability. ESOC data on Iraq span almost the entire war and include information on different kinds of violence, aid projects, population demographics, public opinion, cellular communications networks, basic infrastructure, hydrocarbon resources, and more.

Data

Demographic/Socioeconomic

Data
Iraq WFP Survey Data (Tabular Data)
Links
Links
Links
UNHCR country operations profile - Iraq (External Data Repositories)

Geography

Data
Data
Data
Data
Iraq Reconstruction Data (Tabular Data)
Links
GADM Database of Global Administrative Areas (External Data Repositories)
Links
Mapping Militant Organizations (External Data Repositories)
Links
Perry/Castaneda Map Collection: Iraq (External Data Repositories)

Infrastructure

Data
Iraq Reconstruction Data (Tabular Data)
Links

Public Opinion

Data
Iraq WFP Survey Data (Tabular Data)
Links

Violence

Links
Harmony Program (External Data Repositories)
Links
Mapping Militant Organizations (External Data Repositories)
Links
RAND Database of Worldwide Terrorism Incidents (External Data Repositories)

News

Press Articles

America's Disappearing War Data
Author(s): Andrew C. Shaver
The National Interest, 8th August 2013
Effective aid in conflict zones
VOX: Research-based policy analysis and commentary from leading economists. May 26, 2013
The Counterinsurgency Debate
Author(s): Andrew C. Shaver
The National Interest, 29th April 2014

Op-eds

Hitting ISIS Where It Hurts: Disrupt ISIS’s Cash Flow in Iraq
Author(s): Patrick B. Johnston
Teh New York Times, The Opinion-Pages, August 13, 2014
How to make surveys in war zones better, and why this is important
Author(s): Andrew C. Shaver
Monkey Cage, The Washington Post, 7th January 2015
Turning the lights off on the Islamic State
Author(s): Andrew C. Shaver
Monkey Cage, The Washington Post, 16th October 2014
Want to defeat ISIS in Iraq? More electricity would help
Author(s): Andrew C. Shaver
Monkey Cage, The Washington Post, 19th June 2014 (Also appears in: Lynch, Marc. “Iraq Between Maliki and the Islamic State.” POMEPS Briefing 24 (2014): 19-21)