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Pacifying Urban Insurrections

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A Review of Out of the Mountains: The Coming Age of the Urban Guerrilla by David Kilcullen

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David Kilcullen, an Australian soldier-scholar who acted as counterinsurgency advisor to both the Pentagon and the State Department in the US War on Terror, is refashioning himself as an expert on geospatial security and urban crises. His Out of the Mountains is a Malthusian account of urban disorder in the global South, in what he calls ‘crowded, complex, and coastal’ cities as a terrain of future asymmetric warfare. This review situates his work within the intellectual context of the counterinsurgency & pacification epistemic community out of which it arises, and addresses why his book may have received plaudits from the socialist urban theorist Mike Davis.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Politics and International Studies, SOAS, University of London


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