Armed Political Orders through the Prism of Arms: Relations between Weapons and Insurgencies in Myanmar And Ukraine


What is the role of arms in insurgency? Despite growing attention to the study of conflict and non-state belligerents, the linkages between weapons and armed conflict have remained under-researched. This paper explores practices and processes of firearms availability and control in insurgencies and argues that these should be understood in mutual relation with the constitution and distribution of authority. The contributions of the article are twofold. By conceptually systematizing recent shifts in the literature on civil wars and elaborating on small arms and light weapons research, it offers a novel heuristic framework to understand weapons-insurgency relations that revolves around the concept of firearms as “meta-resources” and gestures towards non-deterministic approaches. Second, based on empirical analysis conducted through two embedded case studies, it argues that patterns of authority in the insurgencies taken into consideration in Myanmar and Ukraine dialectically emerged with processes of arms acquisition by armed non-state actors.


DOI Code: 10.1285/i20398573v5n1p189

Keywords: Insurgency; Arms; Armed Groups; Armed Politics; Rebel Governance


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