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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98743 Find in a Library
Title: Insurgency - The Context of Terrorism (From Terrorism, Political Violence and World Order, P 173-202, 1984, Henry H Han, ed. - See NCJ-98738)
Author(s): B E O'Neill
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 30
Sponsoring Agency: University Press of America
Lanham, MD 20706
Sale Source: University Press of America
Marketing Director
4720 Boston Way
Lanham, MD 20706
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study reviews the extant knowledge of insurgency (a political legitimacy crisis) in terms of its general characteristics, analytical components, and various strategies.
Abstract: A review of the characteristics of insurgency indicates that it is 'a struggle between a nonruling group and the ruling authorities, in which the former consciously employs political resources (organizational skills, propaganda, and/or demonstrations) and instruments of violence to establish legitimacy for some aspect of the political system which it considers illegitimate.' Six types of insurgent movements can be identified: secessionist, revolutionary, restorational, reactionary, conservative, and reformist. A discussion of the violent aspect of insurgency defines terrorism and guerrilla warfare as the prevalent forms of violence. In considering the analytical components of insurgency, the study advises that to maximize the effectiveness of political techniques and violence, insurgents have devised various strategies which are differentiated by examining the relative importance the insurgents ascribe to six general variables: popular support, organization, external support, cohesion, the environment, and the government's effectiveness. The analysis of insurgent strategies focuses on four general patterns of strategic thought that have attracted many adherents: Leninist, Maoist, Cuban, and urban. The concluding comment dismisses the strategic significance of terrorism in achieving insurgent aims and notes its tactical shortcomings. It is advised, however, that the victimizing qualities of terrorism alone compel governments to develop more effective ways to cope with it. Fifty notes are provided.
Index Term(s): Political impact of terrorism; Terrorist tactics; Urban guerrilla warfare
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