Counterinsurgency and Alternative Development: Towards an Integral Counternarcotics Approach Open Access
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Alternative development's mandate has undergone a significant expansion. What began as simple crop substitution programs aimed at replacing illicit crops with legal commodities are now integral approaches which seek to transform not only a community's economic culture but also to promote a culture of legality. At the heart of this evolution is the concept of governance, a broad principle which is founded on a state's competency to meet its citizens needs in a just and inclusive way. While no one program currently classified as "alternative development" incorporates all of the elements necessary to foster good governance, there are environments where elements of each converge. The Plan de Consolidación Integral de la Macarena (PCIM) in Meta, Colombia is one of these places. This thesis presents research and analysis of interviews conducted in Meta, Colombia, with officials and beneficiaries of PCIM. It begins with an examination of stabilization development and counterinsurgency. It then turns its attention to alternative development, the evolution of the discipline, and some of the key lessons learned by practitioners. Finally, it examines the hypothesis that stabilization development and COIN overlap in complementary ways with analysis of research and informal interviews conducted with officials and campesino beneficiaries of PCIM.