Counterinsurgency's Impact on Transitions from Authoritarianism: The Case of South Africa

Daniel Douek
2013 Politikon  
Counterinsurgency's impact on transitions from authoritarianism remains poorly understood and undertheorized by the insurgency, civil war, and democratic transitions literatures. Using archival sources and interviews with ex-rebels, this paper examines the apartheid counterinsurgency program's hidden history. A program of clandestine violence and intelligence operations orchestrated at the regime's highest military and political echelons, it intensified during the 1990-94 transitional period.
more » ... is paper analyzes its impacts on the state and its security sector during and after the negotiated transition. By marginalizing former rebels with high popular legitimacy, counterinsurgency disables security sector reform, while preserving entrenched criminal networks and racist tendencies within the police and army. This perpetuates institutional illegitimacy and corruption, and weakens security sector responses to post-transition violence, thereby distorting democratic outcomes. It also leaves lasting impacts at the social capital and participatory levels.
doi:10.1080/02589346.2013.798459 fatcat:cnxyclu6lrfktbenmm5t6iem3m