Skip to content
Connect
Stories

Rules for Rebels: The Science of Victory in Militant History | Max Abrahms

People in this story

Max Abrahms, Associate Professor of Political Science

Ever wonder why militant groups behave as they do? For instance, why did Al Qaeda attack the World Trade Center whereas the African National Congress tried to avoid civilian bloodshed? Why does Islamic State brag over social media about its gory attacks, while Hezbollah denies responsibility or even apologizes for its carnage?

This book shows that militant group behaviour depends on the tactical intelligence of the leaders. The author has extensively studied the political plights of hundreds of militant groups throughout world history and reveals that successful militant leaders have followed three rules. These rules are based on original insights from the fields of political science, psychology, criminology, economics, management, marketing, communication, and sociology. It turns out there’s a science to victory in militant history. But even rebels must follow rules.

More Stories

Hundreds of people stage a demonstration against Xi Jinping's zero-Covid policy at Liangmaqiao district in Beijing, China on Nov. 27, 2022. The Chinese government has faced unprecedented dissent protests in several cities, including Urumqi, Shanghai, and Beijing.

Mass protests may ease covid restrictions in China but won’t lead to any democratic freedoms, Northeastern experts say

12.02.2022
Howard High School Teachers, 1904

Black Teachers and Liberation: A CBFS Interview

11.30.2022
A general view of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) headquarters, in Washington, D.C., on Monday, September 19, 2022.

The Department of Homeland Security, ‘not set up for success,’ navigates rocky 20 years. How are things today?

12.02.22
News@Northeastern