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Paramilitarization refers to the changing nature of the security environment in operations of warfare and domestic law enforcement. The blending of military/war strategies and techniques with police and crime control initiatives has come to represent processes of paramilitarization that alter traditional notions of warfare and policing on a larger scale. However, and more particularly, paramilitaries refer to statutory and/or civil society forces that embody military characteristics and enforce de facto or legal policing powers. The actual expression of paramilitaries differs according to the legal and cultural context where they operate. For instance, some paramilitaries exist in civil war contexts as nonstate or parastate paramilitary forces such as citizen militias, whereas other paramilitaries refer to police units, gendarmaries, or other specialized policing units known as ...

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