Appel à articles : « Deconstructing unitary statehood: hybrid security in Africa and the Middle East », Special issue of Small Wars and Insurgencies – LIMITE (résumés) : 30/06/2017

Call for papers: Deconstructing unitary statehood: hybrid security in Africa and the Middle East

Special issue of Small Wars and Insurgencies

Small Wars & Insurgencies: Vol 28, No 2 –<>
Provides a forum for the discussion of the historical, political, social, economic and psychological aspects of insurgency, counter-insurgency, limited war …

Guest editors: Abel Polese (Dublin City University and Tallinn University of Technology),

Ruth Hanau Santini (University of Naples, L’Orientale)

Rob Kevlihan (Kimmage Development Studies Centre)

Deadline for abstracts: 30 June 2017

Deadline for first draft of papers: 30 September 2017

We are editing a guest issue of Small Wars and Insurgencies that will come out in 2018 and is intended to investigate the synergies generated by the co-existence, competition and conflict between competing actors of security governance.

Our main focus is on the multi-actor and multi-level nature of security governance across the Middle East and Africa, sidestepping the application of fictitious notions of state unitary actorness and absolute monopoly of violence. In particular, we expect to investigate, through a number of empirical case studies with strong conceptual components, the interplay between the mixed nature of security actors and the creation of specific security orders.

Theoretically, by building on critical literature on statehood and sovereignty we intend to challenge two main paradigms: the Westphalian and the Weberian. The former emphasizes borders’ sanctity as prerogative of modern states, while commonly used understandings of the latter emphasize a static conceptions of states as sole possessors of monopolies of violence. . The idealized “Westphalian state”, which has distinct boundaries and emphasizes the right of nonintervention and borders’ inviolability, has arguably been under attack since the end of the Cold War (Kaldor, 1999; Thakur, 2016). We intend to push the boundary further to enrich debates on the importance of historicizing and contextualizing the different forms and shapes statehood and governance can take (Bierstecker 2013).

We would also like to test the notion of ‘areas of limited statehood’, to be understood as more than geographical spaces, but rather spaces where non-state actors can either compete or cooperate with the state depending on the circumstances (Risse 2013). The result can include different forms of hybrid governance, including, but not limited to the coexistence of modern and traditional practices of the exercise of power (Bacik 2008). While the clash between different sources of authority and claims of legitimacy can generate tensions and conflicts, the presence of competing actors can lead to a variety of outcomes. We will explore cases from stratified and yet peaceful systems of authority to cases where the competition is less peaceful, leading to violent struggles between a central authority and insurgent groups. Within heterarchical orders, characterized by multiple rankings of power and multiple actors possessing coercive power, we will distinguish different degrees of intensity of these non-anarchic and non-hierarchical orders.

We are interested in papers analysing relations among actors possessing power (including but not limited to coercive power) over given territories, be they state, non-state, public, private, national and trans-national actors. We seek to explore these forms of power, including the manner in which relations between centralized authorities and social actors create, reflect and reproduce power relations. We seek to understand the implications these dynamics have for populations in terms of human security, conflict management and experiences of violence. Regional and international actors are included in the plethora of security or insecurity generating actors and will be analysed according to the principal-agent relations they enjoy with local state actors, as well as with local populations and the other coercive wielding actors in a given area. Sources of legitimacy for each category of security actor will be particularly scrutinized: a traditionally neglected but increasingly relevant aspect includes local populations’ dynamics of interaction, negotiation and/or resistance vis-à-vis both state and non state actors exercising coercive power over their territories.

Abstracts of 300 words must be sent by June 30th, 2017 to both addresses

Ruth Hanau Santini <>

and Abel Polese <>

The selection outcomes will be communicated by July 30th, 2017. Paper givers will be invited to a workshop in Naples in early December and expected to submit their final version by the 15th of January 2018.

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