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Art of Coercion: The Primitive Accumulation and Management of Coercive Power
     

Art of Coercion: The Primitive Accumulation and Management of Coercive Power

by Antonio Giustozzi
 

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In today's dominant discourse of liberal interventionism, the role of coercion and the monopoly of violence have been neglected, argues Antonio Giustozzi, an analyst justly renowned for his research and writing on the Taliban. It is widely assumed that a functional, liberal state can emerge out of a political settlement between warring parties based on political

Overview

In today's dominant discourse of liberal interventionism, the role of coercion and the monopoly of violence have been neglected, argues Antonio Giustozzi, an analyst justly renowned for his research and writing on the Taliban. It is widely assumed that a functional, liberal state can emerge out of a political settlement between warring parties based on political inclusiveness and a social contract, which involves pressuring political actors to reach a deal. But the post-Cold war experience of such deals has been so disappointing that a re-examination of these 'certainties' is warranted. Giustozzi contends that a key source of such flawed analyses is widespread confusion over what state formation and state-building involve. In his view, completely different 'rules of the game' apply to the two. Naked coercion is a key component of state formation, and very few states were formed without recourse to it. In contrast, the history of state consolidation after their initial formation is one of taming violence and creating increasingly sophisticated way of managing it.The Art of Coercion offers a new approach to thinking about the role of security forces, in their broadest sense, in this transition between state formation and state-building. While focussing largely on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Giustozzi discusses coercive power throughout history, from the Carolingian empire to the Boer War, from Zapata's Mexico to China's Warring States. He scrutinises the role of armies, guerrilla bands, mercenaries, police forces and intelligence services, analyses why some coups fail and some succeed, and examines the ways in which the monopoly of violence decays.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Giustozzi has written another terrific book. He places coercion and violence within the framework of the state-building literature and engages the critical issue of the monopoly of violence head on. His discussions of elite bargaining and its relations to coercion in civil war and internal crises, the role of political policing, the political micromanagement of population control, and the origins and development of policing are all full of original insights and thought-provoking arguments. Moreover, Giustozzi's mastery of history—unusual among most social scientists—shines through as he illustrates his contentions with wonderfully apt examples from the past. This book is a major contribution to the field of security studies and, just as importantly, will be a joy to read even for those who may lack the specialist's fascination with the topic."—Zoltan Barany, Frank C. Erwin, Jr. Professor of Government, University of Texas

"A superb addition to the literature: erudite, wide-ranging in its historical examples, and neatly structured. Its arguments about the typically ruthless 'primitive accumulation of a monopoly of violence' and the institutional and political challenges of this and of maintaining a monopoly once achieved, are of more than merely scholarly appeal. The evidence and argument have profoundly challenging implications for all those involved in interventions to 'build stability overseas' or interested in conflict prevention and state building."—Christopher Cramer, Professor of the Political Economy of Development, SOAS

Zoltan Barany

Antonio Giustozzi has written another terrific book. He places coercion and violence within the framework of state-building literature and engages the critical issue of the monopoly of violence head on. His discussions of elite bargaining and its relationship to coercion in civil wars and internal crises, the role of political policing, the political micromanagement of population control, and the origins and development of policing are full of original insights and thought-provoking arguments. Moreover, Giustozzi's mastery of history -- unusual among most social scientists -- shines through as he illustrates his contentions with wonderfully apt examples from the past. This book is a major contribution to the field of security studies and, just as important, is a joy to read even for those who lack a specialist's fascination with the topic.

Christopher Cramer

The Art of Coercion is a superb addition to the literature: erudite, wide-ranging in its historical examples, and neatly structured. Its arguments about the typically ruthless 'primitive accumulation of a monopoly of violence' and the institutional and political challenges of this and of maintaining a monopoly once achieved will appeal to more than scholars. The evidence and arguments have profoundly challenging implications for all those involved in interventions to 'build stability overseas,' as well as those interested in conflict prevention and state building.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199327416
Publisher:
An Oxford University Press Publication
Publication date:
03/29/2011
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Antonio Giustozzi is a Research Fellow at IDEAS, London School of Economics.

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