Rebelocracy: Social order in the Colombian civil war

Ana Arjona*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBook

184 Scopus citations


Conventional wisdom portrays war zones as chaotic and anarchic. In reality, however, they are often orderly. This work introduces a new phenomenon in the study of civil war: wartime social order. It investigates theoretically and empirically the emergence and functioning of social order in conflict zones. By theorizing the interaction between combatants and civilians and how they impact wartime institutions, the study delves into rebel behavior, civilian agency and their impact on the conduct of war. Based on years of fieldwork in Colombia, the theory is tested with qualitative and quantitative evidence on communities, armed groups, and individuals in conflict zones. The study shows how armed groups strive to rule civilians, and how the latter influence the terms of that rule. The theory and empirical results illuminate our understanding of civil war, institutions, local governance, non-violent resistance, and the emergence of political order. Sheds light on how war can transform communities, local governance, and political order Challenges the popular perception of war zones being chaotic and anarchic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages408
ISBN (Electronic)9781316421925
ISBN (Print)9781107126039
StatePublished - Dec 7 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Rebelocracy: Social order in the Colombian civil war'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this