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Ashes of Co-optation: From Armed Group Fragmentation to the Rebuilding of Popular Insurgency

Brenner, D (2015) Ashes of Co-optation: From Armed Group Fragmentation to the Rebuilding of Popular Insurgency Conflict, Security & Development, 15 (4). pp. 337-358.

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Abstract

This paper argues that attempts to co-opt rebels into peace with economic incentives can buy temporary stability but risk to produce new conflict. This is because it might only work in parts of the movement, while sparking ripple effects in others, including group fragmentation, loss of leadership legitimacy, increased factional contestation and the building of new popular resistance from within. These unanticipated developments result from the interaction of differently situated elite and non-elite actors, which can create a momentum of its own in driving the collective behaviour. This paper explores these processes in the case of the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO). In 2011 a 17-year-long ceasefire between the ethno-nationalist insurgency movement and Myanmar’s armed forces broke down, which resulted in the heaviest fighting the country has witnessed for years. After years of mutual enrichment and collaboration between rebel and state elites and near organisational collapse, the insurgency’s new-found resolve and capacity was particularly puzzling. Based on extensive field research, this article explains why and how the ethno-nationalist rebel group emerged strengthened and willing to fight after years of seemingly successful co-optation.

Item Type: Article
Subjects : Politics
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Politics
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
Brenner, DUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 3 August 2015
Identification Number : https://doi.org/10.1080/14678802.2015.1071974
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2015 King’s College London
Uncontrolled Keywords : Non-State Armed Groups, Insurgency, Counterinsurgency, Conflict Resolution, Myanmar (Burma)
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 07 Mar 2017 10:36
Last Modified : 07 Mar 2017 10:36
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/813702

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