What We're Reading
February 2019 | Non-state armed groups

This month, RESOLVE presents research that explores the intersection of non-state armed groups, violent extremism, and peacebuilding. The readings provide insights into the interactions among armed groups and their relations with the local government, the complexities of engaging armed groups under interventions, the changing characteristics of the state and war, and the dilemmas of leveraging vigilante groups to counter violent extremism. Click the links to learn more. 

Partner Publication
Local Forces, Local Control
Erica Gaston
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The threat posed by ISIL provoked mass mobilization across Iraq and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) regions. Much greater attention has focused on the larger forces that led operati...
Publication
Choosing to engage: Armed groups and peace processes
Conciliation Resources
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The purpose of this Accord issue is to remedy the deficit in our understanding of what we have learned about the engagement of armed groups in peace processes, and the challenges to be ad...
Article
Neither terrorists nor freedom fighters
Pablo Policzer
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While non-state armed groups have always existed, to this day there is no clear consensus on how to describe or define them, or on what should be expected from them. The confusion over th...
Article
In defence of new wars
Mary Kaldor
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This article reviews the literature on new wars. It argues that new wars should be understood not as an empirical category but rather as a way of elucidating the logic of contemporary war...
Publication
Reasoning with Rebels: International NGOs’ Approaches to Engaging Armed Groups
Claudia Hofmann
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International organisations face significant challenges in their efforts to resolve and transform contemporary conflicts, one of the greatest being the involvement of non-state armed grou...
Article
Nigeria’s Double-Edged Front Line
Georgia Holmer
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Vigilantes have become vital in the country's fight against Boko Haram. But is there a way to ensure they're not also making things worse? Vigilante action is a controversial but commo...
Publication
Regional Seminar for the prevention of violent extremism in Central Africa and the Lake Chad Basin Yaounde
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, UN Regional Office for Central Africa, UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel
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For a long time untouched by terrorist movements, Central Africa is today in a situation of extreme insecurity, due to the progression, around the Lake Chad Basin, of an international ter...
Article
The Two Faces of Security in Hybrid Political Orders: A Framework for Analysis and Research
Robin Luckham and Tom Kirk
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This paper reframes the security and development debate through fresh theoretical lenses, which view security as highly contested both in the realm of politics and in the realm of ideas. ...
Article
Politics as a Vocation
Max Weber
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Every state is founded on force, said Trotsky at BrestLitovsk. That is indeed right. If no social institutions existed which knew the use of violence, then the concept of state would be e...
Publication
Briefing to the U.S. Defense Science Board on Countering Violent Extremism
Scott Atran
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In general, the US is still woefully lacking in theory, conceptual means and practical methods to prevent or deter violent extremism at the sub-state level that is inimical to US interest...