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Social Order in the Colombian Civil War

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Part of Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics

  • Author: Ana Arjona, Northwestern University, Illinois
  • Date Published: December 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107126039

$ 132.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Conventional wisdom portrays war zones as chaotic and anarchic. In reality, however, they are often orderly. This work introduces a new phenomenon in the study of civil war: wartime social order. It investigates theoretically and empirically the emergence and functioning of social order in conflict zones. By theorizing the interaction between combatants and civilians and how they impact wartime institutions, the study delves into rebel behavior, civilian agency and their impact on the conduct of war. Based on years of fieldwork in Colombia, the theory is tested with qualitative and quantitative evidence on communities, armed groups, and individuals in conflict zones. The study shows how armed groups strive to rule civilians, and how the latter influence the terms of that rule. The theory and empirical results illuminate our understanding of civil war, institutions, local governance, non-violent resistance, and the emergence of political order.

    • Sheds light on how war can transform communities, local governance, and political order
    • Challenges the popular perception of war zones being chaotic and anarchic
    Read more


    • Winner, 2018 Book of the Year Prize, Conflict Research Society

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2016
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107126039
    • length: 430 pages
    • dimensions: 236 x 158 x 28 mm
    • weight: 0.71kg
    • contains: 47 b/w illus. 5 maps 20 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Table of contents
    List of tables and figures
    Abbreviations and glossary of terms
    1. Introduction
    2. Wartime social order: what is it and how does it vary?
    3. A theory of social order in civil war
    4. Research design: conflict zones in Colombia
    5. The determinants of social order
    6. Creating rebelocracy, aliocracy, and disorder
    7. How local institutions matter: a process-driven natural experiment in Viotá
    8. Testing the microfoundations: social order and recruitment
    9. Conclusion.

  • Author

    Ana Arjona, Northwestern University, Illinois
    Ana Arjona is an Assistant Professor in Political Science at Northwestern University, Illinois. She is the co-editor of Rebel Governance in Civil War (Cambridge, 2015). Her work has been funded by the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, SSRC, the United States Institute of Peace, Yale University, Connecticut, Columbia University, New York, the International Development Research Centre, Canada, the Folke Bernadotte Academy, Sweden, and the Department for International Development and the Economic and Social Research Council, UK.


    • Winner, 2018 Book of the Year Prize, Conflict Research Society

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