Networks of Rebellion: Explaining Insurgent Cohesion and Collapse

Networks of Rebellion: Explaining Insurgent Cohesion and Collapse

by Paul Staniland
Networks of Rebellion: Explaining Insurgent Cohesion and Collapse

Networks of Rebellion: Explaining Insurgent Cohesion and Collapse

by Paul Staniland

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Insurgent cohesion is central to explaining patterns of violence, the effectiveness of counterinsurgency, and civil war outcomes. Cohesive insurgent groups produce more effective war-fighting forces and are more credible negotiators; organizational cohesion shapes both the duration of wars and their ultimate resolution. In Networks of Rebellion, Paul Staniland explains why insurgent leaders differ so radically in their ability to build strong organizations and why the cohesion of armed groups changes over time during conflicts. He outlines a new way of thinking about the sources and structure of insurgent groups, distinguishing among integrated, vanguard, parochial, and fragmented groups.

Staniland compares insurgent groups, their differing social bases, and how the nature of the coalitions and networks within which these armed groups were built has determined their discipline and internal control. He examines insurgent groups in Afghanistan, 1975 to the present day, Kashmir (1988–2003), Sri Lanka from the 1970s to the defeat of the Tamil Tigers in 2009, and several communist uprisings in Southeast Asia during the Cold War. The initial organization of an insurgent group depends on the position of its leaders in prewar political networks. These social bases shape what leaders can and cannot do when they build a new insurgent group. Counterinsurgency, insurgent strategy, and international intervention can cause organizational change. During war, insurgent groups are embedded in social ties that determine they how they organize, fight, and negotiate; as these ties shift, organizational structure changes as well.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801479298
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 04/18/2014
Series: Cornell Studies in Security Affairs
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 312
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Paul Staniland is Assistant Professor of Political Science and Codirector of the Program on International Security Policy at the University of Chicago.

Table of Contents

1. Organizing Insurgency
Part I. Theorizing Rebellion
2. Insurgent Origins
3. Insurgent Change
Part II. Comparative Evidence from South Asia
4. Azad and Jihad: Trajectories of Insurgency in Kashmir
5. Organizing Rebellion in Afghanistan
6. Explaining Tamil Militancy in Sri Lanka
Part III. Extensions and Implications
7. "Peasants and Commissars": Communist Tides in Southeast Asia
8. Insurgency, War, and Politics

What People are Saying About This

Ashutosh Varshney

Can one understand the effectiveness of insurgent organizations without analyzing the social ties in which they are embedded? This question lies at the heart of this book. Drawing primarily on new research materials from Kashmir, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, Paul Staniland builds an account that is thought-provoking, closely reasoned, and truly enlightening.

Stathis Kalyvas

Rebel groups vary considerably, yet systematically, both vis-à-vis each other and over time. As a simple observation this may sound trivial until one realizes that it tends to be overlooked both in academic research and policy analysis. In contrast, Staniland tells us exactly how these groups vary, by exploring the organizational dimension of rebel groups in a way that seamlessly integrates prewar social structure and wartime dynamics, theory and empirics, abstract intuition and historical texture. Extremely insightful and an exemplar of clarity, this book is likely to spur a new research program in the study of civil wars.

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