Parliamentary Book Shelf: Reviews.

AuthorNowzari, Tiana
PositionPublications - When Bad States Win: Rethinking Counterinsurgency Strategy

When Bad States Win: Rethinking Counterinsurgency Strategy

Jeffrey Treistman

McGill-Queen's University Press, 2022, 232 pages

In his book, When Bad States Win: Rethinking Counterinsurgency Strategy, Jeffrey Treistman explores different political strategies against insurgencies and recommends alternative political actions to combat oppressive regimes. Readers are engaged to refine their understanding of how states defeat insurgencies and what measures can effectively combat authoritarian governments. Treistman is currently an Assistant Professor of National Security at the University of New Haven's Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences. A portion of his book also references his past experience as a Policy Advisor for the Department of State in Iraq.

His main arguments centre on rejecting conventional democratic approaches toward combating oppressive governments. Although liberal democratic strategies are typically at the forefront of most political conversations, the author suggests more effective methods for defeating bad states.

The author's research follows a mixed-methods approach and presents quantitative and qualitative analyses. With extensive methodological investigation and descriptive interpretation, the author describes his step-by-step process with specificity and conceptually defines his variables so readers might better understand his findings. His explanation of the use of barbarism includes different oppressive and violent tactics, such as sexual violence and torture. The complexity of other terms, such as war and rebellion, are discussed in political contexts. Readers have a clear and concise description of each variable, which refines the final analytical interpretations.

A notable point to gather from the book is how to define our understanding of effective strategies...

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