In Harm's Way: African Counter-Insurgency and Patronage Politics

Christopher R. Day, William S. Reno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This article explains why contemporary African regimes choose different counter-insurgency strategies and why they tend not to be population-centric. We argue that strategies correspond to the ways in which incumbent regimes in Africa deal with different segments of political society through patronage. Incumbents seek varying levels of accommodation with rebel leaders, or try to eliminate them, according to rebels' historical position within the state. This variation reflects differences in perceived political threats posed to incumbents. We classify these threats as high, moderate or low, which are associated with counter-insurgency strategies of group control, insurgent control and insurgent elimination, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-126
Number of pages22
JournalCivil Wars
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Political Science and International Relations


Dive into the research topics of 'In Harm's Way: African Counter-Insurgency and Patronage Politics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this