World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Violent non-state actor

Article Id: WHEBN0021537836
Reproduction Date:

Title: Violent non-state actor  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: State terrorism, Nuclear peace, Farrukh Saleem, Aircraft hijacking, List of aircraft hijackings
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Violent non-state actor

A violent non-state actor (VNSA) is an organization that uses illegal violence (i.e. force not officially approved of by the state) to reach its goals. The term has been used in several papers published by the United States military.[1][2][3][4]

Description

MS-13 gang graffiti.

Thomas, Kiser and Casebeer (2005) assert that "VNSA play a prominent, often destabilizing role in nearly every humanitarian and political crisis faced by the international community".Thomas, Kiser & Casebeer 2005, p. .

As a new species of actors in international relations, VNSAs represent a departure from the traditional Westphalian sovereignty system of states in two ways: by providing an alternative to state governance and challenging the state's monopoly of violence. Phil Williams, in an overview article, states that "violent non-state actors (VNSAs) have become a pervasive challenge to nation-states" in the 21st century".[5]

Williams argues that VNSAs develop out of poor state governance but also contribute to further undermining governance by the state. He explains that when weak states are "unable to create or maintain the loyalty and allegiance of their populations", "individuals and groups typically revert to or develop alternative patterns of affiliation". This causes the family, tribe, clan etc. to become "the main reference points for political action, often in opposition to the state".[5]

According to Williams, Globalization has "challenged individual state capacity to manage economic affairs, it has also provided facilitators and force multipliers for VNSAs". Transnational flows of arms, for example, are no longer under the exclusive surveillance of states. With the onset of globalization, development of transnational social capital and alliances, and funding opportunities for VNSAs have all flourished. ".[5]

Different types

Contras in Nicaragua, 1987.

Williams identifies various types of VNSAs:

Criminal organizations and gangs are essentially illegal business organizations. ("Crime for them is simply a continuation of business by other means".) [5]

Humanitarian engagement

Researchers at the Overseas Development Institute propose that engagement with VNSAs—which they call armed non-state actors—is essential to humanitarian efforts in conflicts, as it is often necessary for facilitating access to those affected and for providing humanitarian assistance.[6] However, humanitarian agencies too often fail to engage strategically with VNSAs. This tendency has strengthened since the end of the Cold War, partly due to the strong discouragement of humanitarian engagement with VNSAs included in counter-terrorist legislation and donor funding restrictions. In their opinion further study is necessary to identify ways in which humanitarian agencies can develop productive dialogue with VNSAs.[6]

See also

Notes

References

Further reading

External links

  • Transnational and Non-State Armed Groups Database
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.