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The New Dogs of WarNonstate Actor Violence in International Politics$
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Ward Thomas

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781501758898

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501758898.001.0001

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The Fall and Rise of Nonstate Violence

The Fall and Rise of Nonstate Violence

(p.1) 1 The Fall and Rise of Nonstate Violence
The New Dogs of War

Ward Thomas

Cornell University Press

This chapter explores the dramatic growth in nonstate actor violence, focusing on the crucial role played in this trend by changes in international norms. It seeks to understand the rise of nonstate violence by bringing attention back to the word “legitimate” in Max Weber's definition. In doing so, the chapter addresses the question of how to explain the relatively rapid decline of the norm against actors other than states using military force — a norm that once resided at the conceptual core of the sovereign states system. The chapter then turns to analyze militias and paramilitaries together in a somewhat generic category of armed nonstate groups. The chapter looks at the literature on nonstate violence. It then assesses the increasingly important role played by the private military and security companies.

Keywords:   nonstate actor violence, international norms, nonstate violence, military force, militias, paramilitaries, armed nonstate groups

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