Irregular Armed Forces and their Role in Politics and State Formation

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This book examines a variety of comparative and historical experiences in which irregular armed forces (ranging from militias, paramilitaries, guerrillas, bandits, mercenaries, vigilantes, and police forces to armed veteran groups) have struggled against or on behalf of national states. The study hopes to raise questions about the new political relevance of these types of armed forces. It considers the conditions under which they are more significant than conventional military personnel in supplanting or undermining states, and their broader role in national political development.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book's editors and contributors deserve high praise for producing what is all too rare in edited works: a coherent collection of insightful, provocative, and well-documented papers informed by history and theory but intent on challenging conceptions of both. ...a 'must read' for scholars of many disciplinary and theoretical persuasions...a powerful intellectual achievement, issuing broad challenges to traditional thinking about core issues in political and military sociology." Journal of Political & Military Sociology

"Scholars have long recognized that wars and violent conflicts have played a central role in the formation, aggrandizement, impoverishment, and collapse of national states. However, the protagonists of these struggles have included not only national armies, but also police, warlords, guerillas, paramilitaries, death squads, and terrorist networks. By stressing the importance of such 'irregular' warriors, the essays collected by Diane Davis and Anthony Pereira challenge much of the received wisdom about state building, past and present. This volume casts a bright light upon the nature of modern warfare, state formation and democratization." Jeff Goodwin, New York University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521812771
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2003
  • Pages: 430
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: contemporary challenges and historical reflections on the study of militaries states and politics Diane E. Davis; Part I. The Basic Framework and Beyond: Mobilization, Demobilization, and National State Formation: 2. Armed force, regimes, and contention in Europe since 1650 Charles Tilly; 3. Limited war and limited states Miguel Centeno; 4. Where do all the soldiers go?: veterans and the politics of demobilization Alec Campbell; 5. Waging war and the transformation of property relationships: shaping the Japanese style of capitalism Eiko Ikegami; Part II. Deconstructing 'Armed Forces': From Militaries to Militias, Paramilitaries, Police, and Veterans; 6. Send a thief to catch a thief: state building and the employment of irregular formations in mid-nineteenth century Greece Achilles Batalas; 7. Reform and reaction: paramilitary groups in contemporary Columbia Mauricio Romero; 8. Policing the people, policing the state: the police-military nexus in Argentina, 1880-1945 Laura Kalmanowiecki; 9. Warmaking and U.S. state formation: mobilization, demobilization, and the inherent ambiguities of federalism Susan Browne; 10. Politics is thicker than blood: union and confederate veterans in the U.S. House of Representatives in the late nineteenth century Richard Bensel; Part III. Not Just the Nation-State: Examining the Local, Regional, and International Nexus of Armed Force and State Formation: 11. The 'police municipale' and the making of the modern French state Lizabeth Zack; 12. Domestic militarization in a transnational perspective: patriotic and militaristic youth mobilization in France and Indochina, 1940-1945 Anne Raffin; 13. The changing nature of warfare and the absence of state-building in west Africa William Reno; 14. The ghost of Viet Nam: America confronts the new world disorder Ian Roxborough; 15. Conclusion: Armed forces, coercive monopolies, and changing patterns of state formation and violence Anthony W. Pereira.

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