Regulating Armed Groups from Within: A Typology

Report
from Small Arms Survey
Published on 31 Jan 2012 View Original

The internal regulations of armed groups are crucial tools for exercising control over the actions of fighters and can determine the ultimate success or failure of an insurgent organization. They also have an effect on a group’s respect for international humanitarian law and human rights, as well as on the incidence of armed violence in a group’s area of operations.

This Research Note, based on a forthcoming Small Arms Survey publication, highlights internal regulations as a key to understanding the dynamics of armed groups—and to curtailing their abuses. It provides a typology of different internal regulations, including oaths, standing orders, operation orders, military manuals, internal organization documents, and penal or disciplinary codes.