Rebellion and Authority

An Analytic Essay on Insurgent Conflicts

by Nathan Constantin Leites, Charles Wolf, Jr.

Download

Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 6.6 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 7.0 or higher for the best experience.

Purchase

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback186 pages $35.00 $28.00 20% Web Discount

Abstract

Economic reasoning applied to an analysis of rebellion and authority yields some new conclusions about both. Fundamentally, the struggle for popular support is not exclusively or primarily a "political" contest as these terms are usually understood. People act rationally, calculate costs and benefits, and choose sides accordingly. Successful rebels act on this assumption, applying discriminate force, coercing the populace into cooperation or compliance, and "proving" authority to be not merely unjust, but a certain loser. Rebellion is a system and an organizational technique. It can be countered, but not with rhetoric aimed at winning hearts and minds, and not necessarily with economic pump-priming. What is needed is organizational techniques to match the rebel drive -- effective intelligence coupled with a discriminating use of force capable of obtaining compliance from the population. One major caveat: authorities are not invariably worthy of support from within or without, and careful calculation of ultimate interests should guide U.S. policy on this point. (Also published by Markham Publishing Company, 1970.)

This report is part of the RAND Corporation report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.