Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2011

Document Type



Political Science

First Advisor

Prof. Aysegul Aydin


To this day, insurgency is a problem that confounds states all over the world. It presents a myriad of problems for the governments responsible for fighting them and there are no easy answers. Each insurgency is different, but there are general steps that counterinsurgents can take to successfully put these rebellions down without resorting to indiscriminate violence. This is where the literature has fallen short. It does a great job of explaining how and why counterinsurgents have failed, but does not take the next step and prescribe what can be done and how. This study seeks to understand that. In order to do so, the examples of civil conflicts in Peru, Nepal, and Cambodia will be analyzed. Peru emerged from its conflict with the Shining Path victorious. Nepal was forced into a stalemate with the Maoists and the Cambodian government was overthrown by the Khmer Rouge. By comparing these three cases, this study will pull out what made Peru successful in contrast to Nepal and Cambodia. The analysis will find that Peru used selective violence by engaging its civilian populace in its own defense as well as adaptations in its intelligence strategy that emphasized tracking and surveillance rather than interrogation and torture to great success.