Civilian Cooperation and Non-Cooperation with Non-State Armed Groups: The Centrality of Obedience and Resistance

Ana Arjona*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


Terms like ‘support’ and ‘collaboration’ are often used interchangeably to denote a loose set of acts or attitudes that benefit non-state armed groups (NSAGs). However, these terms are seldom defined, and the alternatives available to civilians are rarely identified. Moreover, existing approaches overlook that the interaction between civilians and NSAGs is often one between ruler and ruled, which makes obedience and resistance central. This paper proposes to conceptualize the choices available to civilians as forms of cooperation and non-cooperation, offers a typology, and discusses the implications for theory building on civilian and NSAG behavior, and on the functioning of armed social orders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)755-778
Number of pages24
JournalSmall Wars and Insurgencies
Issue number4-5
StatePublished - Sep 3 2017



  • Non-state armed groups
  • authority
  • civil war
  • civilian collaboration
  • civilian support
  • criminal governance
  • legitimacy
  • local order
  • organized crime
  • rebel governance
  • violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations

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