Are Insurgents Any Different from Counterinsurgents? A Systematic Integration and Validation of Motivational Studies from Colombia

Forthcoming in Análisis Político

29 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2013 Last revised: 13 Nov 2015

See all articles by Enzo Nussio

Enzo Nussio

Center for Security Studies, ETH Zurich

Juan Ugarriza

Universidad del Rosario

Date Written: August 16, 2013

Abstract

Are combatants from insurgent and counterinsurgent groups the same people? Evidence suggests that they go through different war experiences and socialization processes and may also behave differently after demobilization. In this study, we demonstrate that members of guerrilla and paramilitary groups in Colombia were already driven by clearly distinguishable motivations in their decision to join the respective groups, beyond contextual constraints. This implies that the insurgent-counterinsurgent cleavage does not only stem from macro-level conditions, but is also situated in the minds of potential recruits since before they join. Our analysis is based on a systematic integration of relevant hypotheses extracted from earlier studies and a validation of their findings with a survey database of 1,485 ex-combatants in Colombia.

Keywords: Insurgency, counterinsurgency, war motivations, conflict, Colombia, research synthesis, validation

Suggested Citation

Nussio, Enzo and Ugarriza, Juan, Are Insurgents Any Different from Counterinsurgents? A Systematic Integration and Validation of Motivational Studies from Colombia (August 16, 2013). Forthcoming in Análisis Político. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2311442 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2311442

Enzo Nussio (Contact Author)

Center for Security Studies, ETH Zurich ( email )

Haldeneggsteig 4
Zurich, Zurich 8006
Switzerland

Juan Ugarriza

Universidad del Rosario ( email )

Calle 12 No. 6-25
Bogota, DC
Colombia

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