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Authority in rebel groups: Identity, recognition and the struggle over legitimacy

Brenner, David (2017) Authority in rebel groups: Identity, recognition and the struggle over legitimacy Contemporary Politics.

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Abstract

This article asks how rebel leaders capture and lose legitimacy within their own movement. Analysing these complex and often uneasy relations between elites and grassroots of insurgency is important for understanding the success or failure of peace processes. This is because internal contestation over authority between rival rebel leaders can drive a movement’s external strategy. Based on ethnographic research on the Karen and Kachin rebellions in Myanmar and insights from Political Sociology, the article suggests that leadership authority is linked to social identification and the claim to recognition among insurgent grassroots. If rebel leaders manage to satisfy their grassroots’ claim to recognition, their insurgent orders are stable. Failing this, their authority erodes and is likely to be challenged. These findings contribute to understanding insurgency and peace negotiations in Myanmar and civil wars more generally by showing how struggles over legitimacy within rebel groups drive wider dynamics of war and peace.

Item Type: Article
Subjects : Politics
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Politics
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Brenner, Davidd.brenner@surrey.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Date : 4 May 2017
Identification Number : 10.1080/13569775.2017.1324235
Copyright Disclaimer : This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Contemporary Politics on 4 May 2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/13569775.2017.1324235
Uncontrolled Keywords : Insurgency, Authority, Legitimacy, Civil War, Recognition Theory, Myanmar/Burma
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 02 May 2017 11:43
Last Modified : 25 Jul 2017 14:21
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/814075

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