21 May

In Search of New Wars

In Search of New Wars: The Debate about a Transformation of War

Abstract: This article examines the literature on ‘new wars’ as it evolved in Germany, Great Britain and the USA. In order to gain an overview of this heterogeneous field of research five hypotheses are derived concerning characteristics of ‘new wars’: (1) the erosion of the state’s monopoly on the use of force; (2) the political economy of ‘new wars’; (3) ‘new wars’ as asymmetric wars; (4) ‘new wars’ as identity-based wars; and (5) terrorism within the framework of ‘new wars’. The concluding section addresses critiques, provides a brief summary and proposes future research.

Keywords: asymmetric warfare, new wars, organized violence, terrorism, transformation of war

Mello, Patrick A. (2010) In Search of New Wars: The Debate about a Transformation of War, European Journal of International Relations 16:2, 297–309 [More Information]