|dc.description.abstract||ISIS attacked Ramadi and Fallujah in the early days of January 2014, and while Fallujah fell
at once with no visible resistance, it took protracted fighting and a three-day surge by ISIS
before Ramadi fell on May 17 the same year. Through the application of social movement
theory to the cases, I argue that it is possible to provide an understanding of the processes that
led up to the two different outcomes, by looking at the Sunni Protest movement in Anbar
throughout 2013. I argue that to understand the rise of ISIS, it is important to look beyond the
group itself. It is necessary to include environmental dynamics, intramovement relations and
the influence of outside actors in the analysis.
This study finds that internal competition of frames caused Ramadi and Fallujah to develop
differently. Fallujah was more receptive to extremist frames, while moderate frames resonated
best in Ramadi. State repression and violence confirmed the dominant and extreme frames in
Fallujah perfectly. The repression also affected Ramadi negatively, but not as much as in
Fallujah. The radical flank effect increased the difference by affecting how the government
handled the movement in general and how the government handled the cities specifically.
As the Iraqi security forces pulled away from the cities after clashing with protesters in late
December, the local councils inserted themselves as the governing bodies of Ramadi and
Fallujah. Because Ramadi had remained relatively moderate, it was not in its interest to
cooperate with ISIS, thus siding with the Iraqi security forces in fighting the extremists.
Fallujah, on the other hand, which had been increasingly radicalised throughout the year, had
no problem cooperating with ISIS. Fallujah let ISIS into the city, and that is why ISIS was
able to enter unopposed in January 2014.||eng