Summary: Weinstein’s argument about rebellion is essentially the same as the argument for the resource curse. Insurgents (and incumbents) who have easy access to the resources that they need, are more likely to emerge as ‘rapacious organizations.’ Those movements which lack resources must rely more on true believers and must develop means to gain loyalty and followers – this leads to stronger organizations and, to a certain degree, institutionalization (including checks on the leaders’ powers). These activist organizations must develop good relations with communities as they rely heavily on local support for manpower and other resources. Opportunistic organizations have no such constraint (and their leadership cannot discipline the members anyway). Thus, violence is used selectively and strategically by activist organizations, but indiscriminately and frequently by opportunistic groups.
Important Insight: The structure of opportunities at the outset of rebel mobilization dominate the movement’s destiny. Weinstein also draws a parallel between movement inclusiveness and power sharing on the one hand, with the central elements of Dahl’s theory of polyarchy on the other.
Critique: The implications of this logic is that opportunistic groups are likely to antagonize the locals, leading to resistance, thus activist organizations should be more successful. This is something that Weinstein does not address explicitly.
Methodology: Micro-level comparative investigations of insurgent behaviour in the cases of Peru (two variants of the Sendero Luminoso), Uganda (the NRA), and Mozambique (the RENAMO). The origins of the movement push them towards a path-dependent outcome.
‘‘Note to self: Read this book in full, as it overlaps both your regions and links nicely to the other literature’’