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The revisionist historiography of Britain’s decolonisation conflicts and political science theses of civilian victimisation in counterinsurgency

Scarinzi, F. (2019) The revisionist historiography of Britain’s decolonisation conflicts and political science theses of civilian victimisation in counterinsurgency. Small Wars and Insurgencies, 30 (2). pp. 421-446. ISSN 0959-2318

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/09592318.2019.1602245

Abstract/Summary

Recent historical research exposed the myth of self-restraint as the distinctive feature of British counterinsurgency during decolonisation. This article shows that the revisionist historiography of British counterinsurgency has important, but unnoticed, implications for political scientists. Specifically, historical scholarship challenges the predictions and causal mechanisms of the main social scientific theses of civilian victimisation in counterinsurgency. Using revisionist historians’ works as a source of data, I test those theses against Britain’s decolonisation conflicts. I find that they do not pass the test convincingly. I conclude that political scientists should be more willing to explore the theoretical implications of new historical evidence on counterinsurgency campaigns.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Politics and International Relations
ID Code:82437
Publisher:Taylor & Francis

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