Shades of Sovereignty: Variable State-Building and Insurgency in South and Central Asia
38 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2011 Last revised: 13 Aug 2013
Date Written: 2011
How do we understand the nature of state-society breakdown at the heart of insurgencies? I argue that accounting for the origin and maintenance of insurgent conditions involves bringing state formation traditions into the study of civil conflict to understand how the state expands unevenly across its territory and how it manages relationships with populations beyond its coercive monopoly. I develop the concepts of cost-effective state formation and heterodox governance to explain the process by which states formed institutional arrangements with populations in these territories, forming a set of mutual expectations. I argue that insurgencies arise when the state violates these expectations are abrogated. I test the utility and applicability of this conceptual framework through in-depth research on two disparate cases in South Asia – the Taliban-centered insurgency in northwestern Pakistan and the Maoist insurgency in central and eastern India – using a variety of different methods, and discuss the general applicability of these concepts beyond the region.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation