Deconstructing counter-insurgency: COIN discourse and the devaluation of strategy

Gventer, Celeste Ward, Jones, David Martin and Smith, M. L. R. (2013) Deconstructing counter-insurgency: COIN discourse and the devaluation of strategy. Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 28 3: 348-372. doi:10.1080/09557571.2013.810591

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Author Gventer, Celeste Ward
Jones, David Martin
Smith, M. L. R.
Title Deconstructing counter-insurgency: COIN discourse and the devaluation of strategy
Journal name Cambridge Review of International Affairs   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0955-7571
Publication date 2013-08-13
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/09557571.2013.810591
Open Access Status
Volume 28
Issue 3
Start page 348
End page 372
Total pages 25
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Observers have begun to scrutinize the prominence of counter-insurgency (COIN) in the military, security and political discourse of the major Western powers, questioning whether COIN's precepts account for its claimed successes and whether they offer valid policy prescriptions. The key research questions this study seeks to examine, however, are of a more theoretical nature: what is COIN exactly, what are its conceptual underpinnings and why has what might otherwise be regarded as an obscure military doctrine gained such public notoriety? The examination explores whether COIN can be said to constitute a strategy and analyses the sometimes problematic aspects of COIN theorization. Ultimately, this analysis suggests that when the contemporary discourse of COIN is unpacked and deconstructed the phenomenon presents itself as a number of unrelated ideas that when put together in a single package offer a consoling narrative to both military and political constituencies about the purpose of Western involvement in often unpopular external entanglements in an age of relative neo-imperial decline.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 13 Aug 2013

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Political Science and International Studies Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 0 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article
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Created: Sun, 23 Mar 2014, 17:02:04 EST by Bronwyn Clare Crook on behalf of School of Political Science & Internat'l Studies