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Warlords in the international order: a neorealist approach.

Vinci, Anthony John (2007) Warlords in the international order: a neorealist approach. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

Armed groups are becoming increasingly significant international actors. International Relations as a discipline must analyze and integrate these actors if it is to effectively explain international politics. This thesis begins this process through examining the international relations of warlords. Specifically, this thesis asks: how do warlords relate with states and other international actors. The thesis moves away from the greed-grievance debate, instead a Neorealist approach is used to analyze the relations of warlords. The conclusion reached is that warlords relate with states and other international actors in essentially the same way as states - they seek to ensure their survival through the balance of power. Specifically, they relate in terms of internal power cultivation, alliances, and war. The argument for this conclusion begins with a conceptual analysis of warlords, in which it is determined that warlords are non-state actors that use military power and economic exploitation to maintain fiefdoms which are autonomous and independent from the state and society. It is then demonstrated that the traditionally state-centric Neorealist approach can be used to analyze warlords, by arguing that warlords can be seen as empirically sovereign, 'functionally undifferentiated', 'like units', which are motivated by survival, and exist in an anarchic system. Neorealist theory and its notions of self help, internal power cultivation, alliances, security dilemma, and war are examined and it is demonstrated how these concepts describe and explain warbrd international relations. The validity of using the Neorealist approach is tested throughout the thesis in vignette case studies on warlords including the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPLF), the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), and Afghan warlords as well as in two major case studies on Somali warlord relations with the UN and Ethiopia and the Lord's Resistance Army's (LRA) relations with Uganda, Sudan, and the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A).

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, International Relations
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > International Relations
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2568

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