Importing the ‘West German model’: Transnationalizing counterinsurgency policing in Cold War Costa Rica

Fabian Benneweitz, Markus-Michael Müller

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


In analyzing West German police assistance for Costa Rica,we uncover the transnational dynamics of Cold War counterinsurgency policing during the Central American conflicts of the 1980s. We scrutinize West Germany’s engagements with Costa Rica, demonstrating how technical police-assistance by the self-fashioned West German ‘civilian power’ fed into a wider counterinsurgency turn in Costa Rican policing. Highlighting the role of local agency and transnational context conditions, we point towards the interest of the Costa Rican government in reaching out to West Germany to demonstrate its neutrality within the ongoing conflicts while simultaneously bolstering the counterinsurgency capacities of its police forces.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSmall Wars and Insurgencies
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Cite this