Saddam Hussein and the Sunni Insurgency: Findings from Values Surveys

Publication Abstract

Moaddel M, Tessler M, and Inglehart R. 2008. "Saddam Hussein and the Sunni Insurgency: Findings from Values Surveys." Political Science Quarterly 123(4): 623-44.

Social scientists widely agree that foreign occupation brings about nationalist awareness and the desire for liberation among the members of a community subject to external control. (1) There is, however, little knowledge about the processes and factors that shape the attitudes of the indigenous people toward an insurgency that is directed against the occupying forces. This knowledge is particularly wanting under a social context like Iraq that is sharply divided along ethnic and sectarian lines. This paper focuses on Sunni Iraqi attitudes toward Saddam Hussein as a proxy for attitudes toward the insurgency and assesses its social correlates--attitudes toward the presence of foreign forces, political and religious values, feelings of national pride, social-psychological orientation, and demographics. The assessment of attitudes toward Saddam and its association with critical variables are designed both to increase our understanding of Sunni attitudes under current conditions and to contribute to the social-scientific study of insurgency.

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