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Armed Conflict Beyond Insurgency and Counterinsurgency

PI: Paul Staniland, University of Chicago

Year selected for award: 2016

Armed Conflict Beyond Insurgency and Counterinsurgency: Comparative Evidence from Latin America and South Asia

Principal Investigator: Paul Staniland, University of Chicago

Co-Investigators: Benjamin Lessing, University of Chicago

Year of Award: 2017-2021

Managing Service Agency: Army Research Office

Project Description:

Violent conflicts in the 21st century involve an increasingly diverse array of armed groups, from drug cartels and prison gangs to warlords, militias, and armed political parties. Conflicts, whether in Mexico, Iraq, or northwestern Pakistan, have not followed the standard dynamics of insurgency and counterinsurgency; instead, non-state groups both clash and cooperate with governments. Some groups pose dire threats to state-building, democratic stability, and rule of law; others act as useful local partners in areas of unrest; still others slowly corrupt state institutions from within. Yet there is remarkably little research that compares how different types of armed groups form, fund themselves, and interact with state power. This project addresses these deficiencies through the analysis of more than 200 armed groups in South Asia and Latin America. 

Associated Publications:

Lessing, Benjamin, and Douglas Block. Forthcoming. "Does Criminal Governance Increase Electoral Competition In Slums? (And Is That A Good Thing?)."
Lessing, Benjamin, and Graham Denyer Willis.2019. "Legitimacy In Criminal Governance: Managing A Drug Empire From Behind Bars". American Political Science Review 113 (2): 584-606.
Lessing, Benjamin. Forthcoming. "Conceptualizing Criminal Governance". Perspectives On Politics.
Lessing, Benjamin. Criminal Leviathans: How Gangs Govern, Organized Crime, and Challenge the State from Behind Bars.  Book Manuscript.
Lessing, Benjamin. Forthcoming. "Leftist Insurgency In Democracies.
Staniland, Paul. Armed Politics: Violence, Order, and the State in South Asia. Book Manuscript.
Staniland, Paul, and Bryan Popoola. Forthcoming. "“Does Criminal Governance Increase Electoral Competition In Slums? (And Is That A Good Thing?)". APSA 2019.
Staniland, Paul, and Drew Stommes. 2019. "New Data On Indian Security Force Fatalities And Demographics". India Review 18 (3): 288-323.