Counterinsurgency, Knowledge Production and the Traveling of Coercive Realpolitik Between Colombia and Somalia

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Counterinsurgency witnessed a powerful revival in our post-9/11 world. With its focus on the control of territory, populations and seemingly less kinetic hearts and minds campaigns—as well as a good dose of liberal humanitarianism—contemporary counterinsurgency has become the dominant form of the Western military interventionism. While most of the associated debates focus on the potentials and pitfalls of Western counterinsurgency approaches, the role of South-South cooperation in the making of ‘Global Counterinsurgency’, and the related emerging geopolitical convergences of interest between Western and non-Western elites in counterinsurgency, has received little attention. In focusing on counterinsurgency-related forms of knowledge production, and by analyzing the role of transnational military knowledge entrepreneurs promoting a form of coercive Realpolitik that supports ‘locally owned’ elite-driven counterinsurgency efforts in the field of South-South military cooperation between Colombia and Somalia, this article addresses this void. We show that conventional North/South divides no longer capture the realities of counterinsurgent warfare going global and call for a de-centering of the study of military interventions that is sensitive to how knowledge production in regards to ‘Global South’ contexts not only makes them legible, and thereby more governable, but also how this knowledge production informs ongoing reconfiguration of interventions themselves.
TidsskriftCooperation and Conflict
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)193-215
Antal sider23
StatusUdgivet - 2018
Udgivet eksterntJa

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