Warlords: Strong-arm Brokers in Weak States - Cornell Studies in Security Affairs (Hardback)
  • Warlords: Strong-arm Brokers in Weak States - Cornell Studies in Security Affairs (Hardback)
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Warlords: Strong-arm Brokers in Weak States - Cornell Studies in Security Affairs (Hardback)

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£47.00
Hardback 280 Pages / Published: 12/06/2012
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Warlords are individuals who control small territories within weak states, using a combination of force and patronage. In this book, Kimberly Marten shows why and how warlords undermine state sovereignty. Unlike the feudal lords of a previous era, warlords today are not state-builders. Instead they collude with cost-conscious, corrupt, or frightened state officials to flout and undermine state capacity. They thrive on illegality, relying on private militias for support, and often provoke violent resentment from those who are cut out of their networks. Some act as middlemen for competing states, helping to hollow out their own states from within. Countries ranging from the United States to Russia have repeatedly chosen to ally with warlords, but Marten argues that to do so is a dangerous proposition.

Drawing on interviews, documents, local press reports, and in-depth historical analysis, Marten examines warlordism in the Pakistani tribal areas during the twentieth century, in post-Soviet Georgia and the Russian republic of Chechnya, and among Sunni militias in the U.S.-supported Anbar Awakening and Sons of Iraq programs. In each case state leaders (some domestic and others foreign) created, tolerated, actively supported, undermined, or overthrew warlords and their militias. Marten draws lessons from these experiences to generate new arguments about the relationship between states, sovereignty, "local power brokers," and stability and security in the modern world.

Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801450761
Number of pages: 280
Weight: 28 g
Dimensions: 235 x 155 x 22 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"A virtue of Marten's principal-agent framework is that it allows the reader to identify the state in bas-relief, the backdrop against which the warlord moves... for North American teachers looking to introduce the North Caucasus with a lively seminary discussion, I recommend assigning chapter 5, Marten's biography of Ramzan Kadyrov-the archetype of the charismatic, media-savvy (p. 133), self-aware, celebrity gangster. He has money, weapons, sociopaths on speed-dial, political protection from great powers, and a twitter feed @RKadyrov."

-- Jesse Driscoll * Political Science Quarterly *

"How can we understand the important phenomenon of modern-day warlords, often associated with state failure and transborder criminality even as state leaders frequently rely upon them as a source of order or peace in the most difficult of conditions? Kimberly Marten's Warlords blazes a new trail in answering this question.... This engagingly written book makes a number of major arguments,... [that are] pioneering in the study of warlordism, likely framing a debate for years to come on a subject about which there is as yet relatively little theory."

-- Henry E. Hale * H-Diplo/ISSF Roundtable Reviews *

"I highly recommend Warlords: Strong-Arm Brokers in Weak States for anyone studying international relations or those working in foreign policy positions in the Department of State when faced with a developing or already entrenched warlord situation. The book is relevant considering today's worldwide economic concerns and weak states' limited capacity to control their own people and territory."

-- LTC David T. Seigel * Military Review *

"In Warlords, Marten provides a wonderfully nuanced description of the relationship between states and warlords. Warlords are individuals who require some level of state support and protection, but ultimately undermine state capacity by controlling small pieces of territory using a combination of force and patronage. In four substantive chapters, Marten gracefully outlines the trajectory of warlordism as a function of state construction in Pakistan, Georgia, Chechnya, and Iraq. Marten displays great depth of knowledge, and her description is rife with anecdotes, insider information, and humor, making it authoritative and enjoyable to read."

-- Stacey L. Hunt * International Studies Review *

"Marten's book is a useful and informative one. Her analysis is persuasive for the four cases she examines, and her observations are pertinent. Although warlordism is sometimes a necessary evil, a national government should eliminate the warlord as soon as possible. A warlord is dependent upon patronage, and therefore, he is vulnerable to having his network of supporters undermined. Ethnic or sectarian tension may make this more difficult, but a popular national leader operating without effective opposition is in a strong position to act. In any case, removing a warlord requires that the national government possess specific information about the network of patronage and be willing to suborn the important members of that network. Marten has presented a great deal of information and analysis in only 262 pages. I recommend her book unreservedly."

-- Kevin McMullen * Infantry *

"Kimberly Marten has made a major theoretical and policy-relevant contribution to the field's understanding of these illusive and dangerous actors. Also, readers not only will better understand how they come to and maintain their power, but also will be equipped with a new framework for analyzing the challenges and choices confronting weak states in their efforts at consolidating modern, legal rational authority and accommodating the demands for security and economic development."

-- Jack J. Porter * Comparative Political Studies *

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