Civil war and insurgency in Asia

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2 Citations (Scopus)


During the second half of the twentieth century, Asia was one of the most civil war prone regions of the world. Indeed, the Asian countries that did not experience a civil war between 1945 and the turn of the century were the exceptions rather than the rule. In the early twenty-first century, however, the region’s propensity for civil war and insurgency sharply declined. What explains this sharp fall in the number of civil wars and insurgencies across Asia? This article argues that the literature on civil war onset has developed to a point where it can provide useful insights into explaining this puzzle. The factors that increase the risk that a country will experience a civil war are increasingly settled in the literature. This article surveys the literature, sums up key findings that shed light on the fundamental causes of political and religious violence, and assesses how they might throw light on how civil wars and insurgencies could be countered. It argues that Asia, in the late twentieth century, represented a ‘perfect storm’ of all the main risk factors of civil war onset, which have since diminished in propensity and severity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-154
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2018


  • civil war
  • insurgency
  • Asia
  • armed rebellion
  • collective violence


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