Bargains, deals, and tacit understandings between states and insurgents are common in civil wars. This fascinating mix of conflict and cooperation shapes patterns of politics, governance, and violence. Building on recent findings about state formation, this article offers a conceptual typology of political orders amidst civil war. Wartime political orders vary according to the distribution of territorial control and the level of cooperation between states and insurgents. Orders range from collusion and shared sovereignty to spheres of influence and tacit coexistence to clashing monopolies and guerrilla disorder. Examples from contemporary South Asian conflicts illustrate these concepts, which are scalable and portable across contexts. Scholars need to think more creatively about the political-military arrangements that emerge and evolve during war. A key policy implication is that there are many ways of forging stability without creating a counterinsurgent Leviathan.
From a new article (ungated) by former Monkey Cage guest-blogger Paul Staniland. See also his post at Foreign Policy and his posts for us on counterinsurgency. Paul tells me that the article grew out his blogging. Which is a good reason that more political scientists should blog.