Understanding the pattern of Maoist insurgency in contemporary India

CSCW Brownbag with Jonathan Kennedy

Please note: This page refers to an event that has already taken place.

Time: Wednesday, 11 May 2011 12:00-13:30
Place: War Room

Please be invited to a brownbag on Wednesday 11th of May from 12:00-13:30, in the War Room. Jonathan Kennedy will present the paper “Understanding the pattern of Maoist insurgency in contemporary India”. Jonathan Kennedy is a graduate student from the University of Cambridge, currently staying at PRIO as a visiting researcher.
 This paper seeks to understand the conditions that favour Maoist insurgency in contemporary India. It uses logistic regression to analyse cross-sectional, India-wide, district-wise data and test hypotheses derived from both ethnographic studies of Maoist insurgency in India and general theories of insurgency. Despite suggestions from qualitative scholars that the pattern of Maoist insurgency in India is too complex to be understood at the national level, the analysis yielded significant, robust and interesting results. Seven out of twenty variables are significantly related to insurgent activity. These include variables related to the insurgents’ ability to conduct guerrilla warfare – forest cover, state borders, minerals – and those that operationalise the socioeconomic conditions of the population – agricultural labourers, Scheduled Tribes, average size of landholdings and cash crops. The insignificant variables include several, such as rurality, poverty and caste, that are widely argued to be causes of Maoist insurgency in India. These results indicate that insurgent cadre provide an organisational structure through which a variety of groups and individuals with disparate motivations are able to pursue their interests.