Christian Minorities and the Struggle for Nineveh: The Assyrian Democratic Movement in Iraq and the Nineveh Plains Protection Units

Author: Gregory J. Kruczek

Publisher/Publication: Virgina Tech University Ph.D


The dissertation examines the Assyrian Democratic Movement’s (ADM) response to the Islamic State, analyzing the ADM’s creation of a self-defense force, the Nineveh Plains Protection Units, and how the party positioned itself for the post-conflict state. Data generated through ethnographic fieldwork conducted in northern Iraq combined with existing primary and secondary sources reveals a detailed process whereby security threats shaped mobilization. Homeland claims and distrust of both the central government and KRG were the central factors driving this process. Second-order minority status meant the ADM had no choice but to pick sides between Baghdad and Erbil. The party eventually aligned with Baghdad. However, it was left alone to navigate Nineveh Plain’s position within the Kurdistan independence referendum.