Bullets Not Ballots: Success in Counterinsurgency Warfare

Bullets Not Ballots: Success in Counterinsurgency Warfare

Wednesday, May 19, 2021
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Virtual Seminar

  • Jacqueline L. Hazelton

* Please note all CISAC events are scheduled using the Pacific Time Zone.


Seminar Recording:  https://youtu.be/zTgJxOfgvNY


About the Event: In Bullets Not Ballots, Jacqueline L. Hazelton challenges the claim that winning "hearts and minds" is critical to successful counterinsurgency campaigns. Good governance, this conventional wisdom holds, gains the besieged government popular support, denies support to the insurgency, and enables military and political victory. Hazelton argues that major counterinsurgent successes since World War II have resulted not through democratic reforms but rather through the use of military force against civilians and the co-optation of rival elites.

Hazelton offers new analyses of five historical cases frequently held up as examples of the effectiveness of good governance in ending rebellions—the Malayan Emergency, the Greek Civil War, the Huk Rebellion in the Philippines, the Dhofar rebellion in Oman, and the Salvadoran Civil War—to show that, although unpalatable, it was really brutal repression and bribery that brought each conflict to an end. By showing how compellence works in intrastate conflicts, Bullets Not Ballots makes clear that whether or not the international community decides these human, moral, and material costs are acceptable, responsible policymaking requires recognizing the actual components of counterinsurgent success—and the limited influence that external powers have over the tactics of counterinsurgent elites.

Link to purchase: https://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/book/9781501754784/bullets-not-bal…

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About the Speaker: Jacqueline L. Hazelton is is an assistant professor in the department of strategy and policy at the U.S. Naval War College. Hazelton specializes in international relations, specifically international security. Her research interests include compellence, the uses of force, military intervention, counterinsurgency, terrorism, and U.S. foreign and military policy. She received her Ph.D. from the Brandeis University Politics Department. Her BA and first MA are in English Literature from the University of Chicago. Her second MA, also from Chicago, is in international relations. Her book, Bullets Not Ballots: Success in Counterinsurgency Warfare, is published by the Cornell University Press Studies in Security Affairs series. Hazelton is at Stanford’s CISAC and the International Security Program at the Belfer Center, Harvard Kennedy School, this year writing her second book, explaining why Western great powers sometimes try to use ambitious liberalizing methods in military intervention.