This book examines the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) as a commercial insurgency through the network-complex paradigm of insurgency.
Countering traditional perspectives of the group, it proposes new and comprehensive explanations for the FARC’s presence in Latin America. Existing narratives have portrayed the FARC as a terrorist, narco-terrorist, or criminal organization – a narrative popularized by the government offensive conducted by the Colombian state during the last couple of decades. In contrast, this book goes beyond simplistic perspectives of the FARC and instead studies the group in relation to the network-complex paradigm of insurgency. It explains the organization as a ‘commercial insurgency’ with three dimensions – political, criminal, and military – and understands the Colombian insurgency not as a monolith, but as a system of individuals with diversified interests ranging from the highly indoctrinated to the profit-motivated. This examination allows for an analysis of some of the insurgency’s most unexplored characteristics: an interest in urbanizing its actions and the increased ‘invisibility’ of combatants, the significance of its political institutions, and the construction of its transnational networks. The volume also discusses the future of FARC in post-conflict Colombia, not only within the country but as an actor in the region.
This work will be of much interest to students of insurgencies, military studies, Latin American studies, criminology, security studies, and IR.
Table of Contents
Introduction. Why another book on FARC?
1. What is FARC?
2. A different kind of insurgency
3. FARC’s networks within Colombia
4. Placing militants beyond borders
5. A regional revolution?
6. The Impact of the Havana Agreement
Oscar Palma is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the Universidad del Rosario, Colombia, and has a PhD in International Relations, from the LSE.