Dr Gearoid Millar and Moritz Ehrmann's new article 'The Power of Narratives in Conflict and Peace'

Dr Gearoid Millar has published a co-authored, Open Access article, entitled 'The Power of Narratives in Conflict and Peace: The Case of Contemporary Iraq', in Civil Wars.

In the article, Dr Millar and Moritz Ehrmann, Director of the Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution (ASPR), draw on interviews conducted in Iraq between 2013 and 2019 to trace how conflict narratives of the ‘other’ have evolved.

The data was collected in Iraq by Ehrmann, in his capacity as a humanitarian worker and later as a mediation professional in Baghdad and on the borders of Al-Anbar province. 

Focusing on the Sunni community, the authors unpack three escalatory phases (victimhood narratives, divisive narratives, and violent narratives) and three de-escalatory phases (nuanced narratives, reconciliatory narratives, and unifying narratives).

These narratives started to deconstruct the clear ‘us’ versus ‘them’ binary evident in the victimhood, divisive and violent narratives, and instead started recognising that there was some diversity within the Sunni perspective or position regarding the revolution

Reflecting on the journey of Sunni narratives about the conflict, Millar and Ehrmann demonstrate how they move from a focus on victimisation to a disassociation from the Shia community.

The movement resulted in, among other findings, a narrative that ‘openly supported a violent revolution against the Shia government, [and] evidences how such narratives relate to each other and evolve over time’.

To read the full article, visit Civil Wars, here.