Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Interdisciplinary EUP

First Advisor

Decker Hains

Second Advisor

Bret Wagner


Insurgency, Resistance, Counterinsurgency, Unconventional Warfare, Legitimacy, Transactional Cost of Control, Coercion, Consent


Intrastate conflict, referred to variously as insurgency, resistance, political warfare, revolutionary warfare, insurrection, and a host of other terms, has been the subject of much more visible research and study as a result of the end of the Cold War and especially as a result of US involvement in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere. Much of this literature involves implicit assumptions which fail to acknowledge core principles of intrastate warfare. Favorably affecting the transactional cost of control is possibly the most important core principle at work in affecting the tactics actors choose when conducting intrastate warfare. A governing authority (would-be or extant) must achieve a system of control, the costs of which it can sustainably pay to achieve a favorable long term status quo. Research encompassed relevant literature, US doctrine, and reviewing case studies. Implications of transactional cost of control as a main driver of intrastate warfare are discussed. Most notably, transactional cost of control offers a frame to develop quantitative measures of the core, qualitative issues in a given intrastate conflict.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted