Presenter Information

Fabio SEFERI, University of Florence

Start Date

23-4-2018 10:30 AM

End Date

23-4-2018 11:00 AM

Disciplines

Security

Description

In conflict-prone and/or post-conflict environments, the action of violent non-state actors (VNSAs) brings up many security concerns and issues since it wedges in the grey zones of state authority. Indeed, violent non-state actors emerge and function countering the state: in the opposition to state authority they find their raison d’etre, since most of them challenge the legitimacy and the integrity of the state itself. A typology of violent non-state actors through the lines of authority over population or authority over territory can help us explain where the “lost spaces” of state sovereignty are. While during state collapse a certain typology of VNSAs emerge, post-conflict societies are keener to becoming the theatre of other types of VNSAs, such as criminal gangs which exploit the ties between legal and illegal spheres of state economy. The Western Balkans, in this sense, offer a perfect example of how different VNSAs counter state authority while trying to impose their own, since they have seen the emergence of all different types of VNSAs after the end of the Cold War and the collapse of Yugoslavia: starting from insurgents and warlords during the Balkan Wars, criminal gangs that wedged in illegal trafficking of many types, and, more recently, jihadi groups belonging to transnational network of radicalized Islamic extremism.

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Apr 23rd, 10:30 AM Apr 23rd, 11:00 AM

Regions of Blurred Power: Violent Non-State Actors in the Western Balkans

In conflict-prone and/or post-conflict environments, the action of violent non-state actors (VNSAs) brings up many security concerns and issues since it wedges in the grey zones of state authority. Indeed, violent non-state actors emerge and function countering the state: in the opposition to state authority they find their raison d’etre, since most of them challenge the legitimacy and the integrity of the state itself. A typology of violent non-state actors through the lines of authority over population or authority over territory can help us explain where the “lost spaces” of state sovereignty are. While during state collapse a certain typology of VNSAs emerge, post-conflict societies are keener to becoming the theatre of other types of VNSAs, such as criminal gangs which exploit the ties between legal and illegal spheres of state economy. The Western Balkans, in this sense, offer a perfect example of how different VNSAs counter state authority while trying to impose their own, since they have seen the emergence of all different types of VNSAs after the end of the Cold War and the collapse of Yugoslavia: starting from insurgents and warlords during the Balkan Wars, criminal gangs that wedged in illegal trafficking of many types, and, more recently, jihadi groups belonging to transnational network of radicalized Islamic extremism.

 

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