Deadringers or antipodes? Practices, forms and ways of insurgency and counterinsurgency

Maria Vivod (UMR 7367 Strasbourg France)
Stefan Khittel (University of Vienna)
Ulrike Davis-Sulikowski
Start time:
11 July, 2012 at 11:30
Session slots:

Short abstract:

We explore the practices and ideologies of insurgencies and counterinsurgencies after the Cold War, including all forms of (counter)insurgency, from 'classic' (armed conflicts) to new models (cyberterrorism). Special attention will be given to exploration of diverse research methodologies.

Long abstract:

After the Cold War societies all across the planet have seen the appearance or resurfacing of "new" or "old" insurgencies to change or to re-establish social realities. At the same time their governments take to counterinsurgency in order to smother these movements. The insurgents' movements as a combination of military actions and social strategies are perceived as dangerous to the governmental authorities since by definition the insurgents' ambition is to destroy or overthrow the established political authority over a population, while the counter-insurgent forces seek to guard or restore this authority. Recent events show that insurgent movements can still deemed to be an effective force to achieve a more just society (e.g. 'Arab Spring'). At the same time new tactics used by these movements shift to other innovative, unconventional forms of struggle such as the use of the cyber-space. There is an uncanny ambiguity in qualifying some of these forms as insurgency because they are always interpreted according to their relation to the already established social order (nation, state, government, ideology, etc.). The aim of this workshop is to explore the practices, forms, manifestations, ideals and interpretations of insurgency movements and counterinsurgency efforts after the demise of the Soviet Union, especially after 9/11. We are interested in all the fields or forms of insurgency and counterinsurgency, from traditional expressions (armed conflicts, popular upheavals, protests) to their new modes (e.g. cyber-attacks). Special attention will be given to the exploration of empirical research methodologies.