The 2008 attacks on Mumbai were carried out by a Pakistani militant group known as Lashkar i-Taiba, termed a 'non-state actor' by Pakistan's president, Asif Zardari. In most cases, violent non-state actors (VNSAs) rise as a state fails, resorting to organized attacks as a brutally effective method for advancing their political aims and other goals. Currently operating in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Somalia, and Sudan, VNSAs can take the form of national liberation movements confronting an occupying force; insurgents engaged in protracted political and military struggles that eat at the power and legitimacy of a ruling government; terrorists who use threats or violent acts to effect political change; irregular yet recognizable armed forces working within an ungoverned area or failing state; and mercenary militias, such as those used by Shell, or army-loaded units, such as those used in the Niger Delta. The essays in this volume map the relationship between VNSAs and the state, following the political, economic, and social processes that contribute to the emergence of these groups and how VNSAs in turn use these processes to trigger a crisis of the state. Contributors locate the point in which violence becomes desirable to the non-state actor and whether this alters the purpose of the relationship between VNSAs and the state, and they track the influence that the former can have in reshaping the governments they tear down. One of the first resources to describe these groups in full, this volume explains the internal structure of VNSAs, their recruitment strategies and leading ideologies, the characteristics and partnerships that allow them to adapt and prosper, and the fundamental similarities and differences between groups.
About the Author
Klejda Mulaj is lecturer in International Relations and Leverhulme Fellow in Ethno-national Politics in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Exeter. She is the author of The Politics of Ethnic Cleansing: Nation-State Building and Provision of In/Security in the Twentieth-Century Balkans.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Violent Non-State Actors: Exploring their State Relations, Legitimation, and Operationality
2. Fragmentation of Sovereignty and Violent Non-State Actors in Colombia
3. From VNSAs to Constitutional Politicians: Militarism and Politics in the Irish Republican Army
4. The Persistence of Nationalist Terrorism: The Case of ETA
5. The Kosovo Liberation Army and the Intricacies of Legitimacy
6. The Rise and Fall of Militant Islamic Groups in Egypt
Hassanein Tawfik Ibrahim
7. Force of Arms and Hizbullah's Staying Power in Precarious Lebanon
Judith Palmer Harik
8. Hamas and the Prospects of De-radicalization
9. Armed Groups and Fragmentation and Globalization in Iraq
10. Al Qaeda: From the Near to the Far Enemy and Back (1988-2008)
Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou
11. The Role of Sub-National Actors in Afghanistan
12. Militia Formation and the "Nationalization" of Local Conflict in Liberia
13. Understanding the Character and Politics of the Revolutionary United Front in Sierra Leone
14. UNITA's Insurgency Lifecycle in Angola
15. Violent Non-State Actors in Sudan
16. Non-State Actors and the Role of Violence in Stateless Somalia
17. Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE): Failed Quest for a "Homeland"
Syed Rifaat Hussain
18. Private Military Firms: The Profit Side of VNSAs
Peter W. Singer
19. Non-State Actors in Conflict: A Challenge for Policy and for Law
Alyson J. K. Bailes and Daniel Nord
What People are Saying About This
This study of violent non-state actors is of a truly sweeping order that should be appreciated for its profusion of ideas. The individual authors, all experts in their respective fields, lay out the problems of analysis with the fullest respect for their complexity and state their case with remarkable clarity.
A high quality collection of essays. Case studies are written by leading experts in the field and are consistently fascinating.