Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in South Asia underscores the need for South Asian decision makers and relevant actors around the world to systematically examine the nature of intrastate insurgent movements. Using the "conflict curve" theory of conflict evolution, ten experts native to South Asia consider the trajectories of four of the most salient armed insurgencies in a region that has experienced many such sustained conflicts and the counterinsurgent response to each. Case studies on India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka lend important lessons on the dynamics of each conflict while collectively offering insights into how and why insurgencies occur and transform as well as how they can be prevented or resolved.
Through a peacebuilding lens, the contributors ask, What incentives led resentful groups to resort to armed insurgency? And, once insurgency was under way, how was it managed?
While many studies of insurgency and counterinsurgency emphasize military tactics and terrorism responses, this volume hones in on policy-relevant conclusions pertinent to the peacebuilding field. Detailed maps created especially for this volume illustrate conflict regions. Emphasizing nonviolent means to prevent or mitigate conflict, Yusuf and the contributors highlight the opportunities and constraints in applying peacebuilding approaches across the conflict curve, identifying recommendations for the disputing parties as well as for peacebuilders.
Moeed Yusuf is director of South Asia programs at USIP. He has taught at Boston University and Quaid-e-Azam University, Pakistan and has previously been affiliated with the Brookings Institution and the Harvard Kennedy School.