“New Wars” on the Balkans – Business as Usual
The monopoly over the exercise of violence is the main defining element of states according to the Weberian ideal-type taxonomy. (Weber 1991, in Jung, 78) However, the ability to wield effective control over a fixed territory and to use physical force, extract taxes and operate a system of arbitration has been claimed and successfully attained by other actors. As suggested by some, the erosion of the state’s monopoly over legitimate organized violence has provided the fertile ground for the proliferation of ‘new wars’ over the past few decades. (Kaldor, 4). On the other hand, state authorities have often been complicit in most illegal activities accompanying warfare and it might be reasonable to interpret the distinction between political and criminal as a false dichotomy (Kalyvas 2001, in Andreas (b), 51).
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