‘Local Boys with Guns!’ Is Armed Vigilantism an Indicator of the Global Trend Towards Privatised Security?
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University of Calcutta
Publication date: 2016-06-30
Stosunki Międzynarodowe – International Relations 2016;52(2):275-288
The changing nature of conflicts, especially since the end of the Cold War, has led to the rising prominence of non-state actors in myriad forms involved in security provision at multilayered levels, vigilante groups being quite prominent amongst them. Non-state actors, in fact, increasingly control security initiatives, which give them increasing ownership of contemporary warfare and internal security provision through their ability to use violence to achieve the primary goal of targeting perceived threats to the stability of the state. Vigilantism, however, as a social phenomenon, has its own independent historical roots and has evolved as one of the many tools being used by the postmodern state to control and mediate violence in order to retain order and control. The process itself makes the state go beyond the traditional ‘statist’ institutions for security provision, which runs the risk of diluting the nature of the Westphalian state, affecting its policymaking and implementation capacity in providing security to its citizens as well as other aspects of economic and social policymaking.
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