Penn Calendar Penn A-Z School of Arts and Sciences University of Pennsylvania

Ordering Violence: Explaining Armed Group-State Relations from Conflict to Cooperation

A Virtual Book Talk with the Author

in partnership with the South Asia Center, Andrea Mitchell Center, Perry World House, and Penn Comparative Politics Workshop

Paul Staniland
Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago
Thursday, March 17, 2022 - 12:00
A Virtual CASI Book Talk via Zoom — 12 noon EDT | 9:30 p.m. IST


About the Book:
In this book, Paul Staniland analyzes the interactions of governments, insurgents, militias, and armed political parties through a shared framework, arguing that governments' perception of the ideological threats posed by armed groups drive their responses and interactions. The project combines a unique new dataset of state-group armed orders in India, Pakistan, Burma/Myanmar, and Sri Lanka with detailed case studies from the region to explore when and how this model of threat perception provides insight into patterns of repression, collusion, and mutual neglect across nearly seven decades. Instead of straightforwardly responding to the material or organizational power of armed groups, Staniland finds regimes assess how a group's politics align with their own ideological projects. Explaining, for example, why governments often use extreme repression against weak groups even while working with or tolerating more powerful armed actors, Ordering Violence provides a comprehensive overview of South Asia's complex armed politics, embedded within an analytical framework that can also speak broadly beyond the subcontinent.

About the Author:
Paul Staniland is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, a Non-resident Scholar in the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Faculty Chair of the Committee on International Relations MA program at UChicago. He has published two books: Networks of Rebellion: Explaining Insurgent Cohesion and Collapse (Cornell, 2014) and Ordering Violence: Explaining Armed Group-State Relations from Cooperation to Conflict (Cornell University Press, 2021) and scholarly and policy journal articles on civil conflict, international security, and South Asia.