HomeTambaravol. 26 no. 1 (2009)

Theoretical Underpinnings of the Counterinsurgency Strategy Employed in Basilan

Krishnamurti A. Mortela | Jonathan P. Hastings

Discipline: Political Science, Law



A counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy can only be effective when it builds and promotes democratic legitimacy for the state. It is imperative that in developing a COIN strategy, there must first be an understanding of the role of the population and its perceptions of the political legitimacy of its government. There are many different theories on the origination of a state’s legitimacy — whether it stems from policies of good governance and inclusion of the population in the political process, or from the state’s coercive control measures. Notwithstanding the notions put forward by some scholars that political legitimacy can also be derived from state coercion, this paper asserts that establishing democratic legitimacy based on good governance is a more effective and enduring strategy — particularly in the context of the insurgency problem in southern Philippines.