All Counterinsurgency is Local: Counterinsurgency and Rebel Legitimacy [chapter]

Andrew J. Gawthorpe
2018 Rebels and Legitimacy  
Although the concept of legitimacy is central to Western counterinsurgency theory, most discourse in this area black-boxes the concept. It hence remains under-specified in many discussions of counterinsurgency. Fortunately, recent research on rebel governance and legitimacy contributes to our understanding of the problems faced by counterinsurgents who want to boost state legitimacy while undermining that of the rebels. Taken together, this research illustrates that a rational choice approach
more » ... legitimacy is simplistic; that micro-level factors ultimately drive legitimacy dynamics; and that both cooption of existing legitimate local elites and their replacement from the top-down is unlikely to succeed. Western counterinsurgency doctrine has failed to grasp the difficulties this poses for it.
doi:10.4324/9780429467271-9 fatcat:qophby7eyresnlqeehd5aowq4y