Moving beyond terror groups to examine non-state actors including warlords, gangs and private security companies, Violent Non-State Actors: • Guides you through the core theories and concepts, taking a multidisciplinary approach • Examines different explanations for the emergence of violent non-state actors as well as strategies for dealing with them • Weaves in international case studies from groups including the Islamic State, Los Zetas, Hamas, and Al Qaeda, as well as discussion questions, further reading and definitions of key terms A must read for upper-level undergraduate and postgraduate students in politics, international relations, security and terrorism studies.

Warlords and Marauders

Warlords and Marauders

Key Terms

  • Charles Taylor
  • Child soldiers
  • Kalashnikov culture
  • National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL)
  • Neo-warlord
  • Resource wars
  • Revolutionary United Front (RUF)
  • Sobels
  • Warlord militia

In a departure from the previous chapters which have focused on organizations with largely political goals, this and subsequent chapters focus on organizations with primarily economic goals. Chapter 8 introduces the concept of warlords and rebel marauders, which have become notable for their role in delegitimizing and weakening the state in countries like Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Somalia, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Though these groups aim to control territory and people, their motivations are primarily economic rather than political.


Warlords are leaders of armed groups that control local territory. They are motivated by greed – they aim to acquire territory, money and resources through the use and threat ...

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