Oct 24, 2012

“Predation Theory” of Insurgency

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There is a correlation between increased economic activity and increased violence, especially in countries like Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, and the Philippines. Source. [The implication is that, for insurgency, the economic motive might be more important than ideology in these countries].
The paper (Berman et al, September 2012) concludes:
Since the end of the Second World War, numerous governments have faced insurgent violence which threatened their regimes. Some governments, and their allies, have used economic programs alongside other instruments as part of their counterinsurgent strategies. Underlying this strategy is often a vaguely articulated view that once a degree of security and stability is provided, people will become hopeful about the future, making investments that in turn spur economic growth. Growth might become self-reinforcing should it increase the opportunity cost of violence for insurgents and motivate noncombatants to cooperate with counterinsurgency operations. In recent years, studies have attempted to develop the theoretical underpinnings of this political economy of counterinsurgency, along with empirical tests of different theoretical relationships. About half of the empirical studies at the subnational level are inconsistent with the coarse hypothesis that all economic activity will be violence reducing.

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