THE CO-EVOLUTION OF SOCIAL NETWORKS IN INSURGENT WARFARE
Cunningham, Daniel T.
Boger, Dan C.
Everton, Sean F.
Murphy, Philip, Monterey Institute of International Studies
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Extant literature has addressed empirical insurgent networks inadequately, insufficiently accounting for insurgent warfare's unique characteristics. Specifically, existing structural studies of insurgencies—those seeking to understand emergent social system patterns—have failed to capture the overlapping nature of competing, information-sharing networks in such contexts. This study focuses on the ways by which insurgent and authority social networks co-evolve in insurgent warfare. It extends previous research in four ways. First, it addresses empirical insurgent networks explicitly, which the "dark network" literature has largely ignored. Second, it takes a perspective that is consistent with insurgent warfare contexts. Using FARC as a case study, it analyzes two competing information-sharing networks at an operational level. Third, this study extends the application of Monge and Contractor's (2003) multitheoretical, multilevel (MTML) framework to co-evolving social networks in insurgent warfare, which is a perspective that synthesizes complex adaptive systems and social network research around key concepts inherently related to co-evolution and helps address gaps in extant literature. Finally, it identifies several multilevel, co-evolutionary effects between competing social networks in an insurgent warfare context, which challenges approaches that treat insurgents networks as completely external structures onto which counterinsurgents implement strategies.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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