STRATEGIC ANALYSIS

Conceptualisations of Guerrilla Warfare

S. Kalyanaraman is Research Fellow at Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile.
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  • April 2003
    Volume: 
    27
    Issue: 
    2
    Articles

    Guerrilla warfare is not a new phenomenon and history is witness to its repeated occurrence. In the modern era, it acquired prominence during the Napoleonic Wars which led to an examination of its role by leading nineteenth-century thinkers including Clausewitz, Jomini, Marx and Engels. Over the course of the subsequent century, the concept and practice of guerrilla warfare was integrated within social, economic and political programmes that aimed to overthrow established authority and transform society through an armed struggle. The link that was forged in the mid-nineteenth century by Italian and Polish revolutionaries like Carlo Bianco and Mazzini achieved fruition in the writings and practice of Mao tse-Tung in the twentieth century. This paper traces such conceptualisations of guerrilla warfare.

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