Description - Armed Actors by Kees Koonings
Recent evidence illustrates how partial state failure in Latin America interacts with new forms of organized violence, undermining the democratic consolidations of the past two decades. This 'new violence' stems from a variety of social actors: drug mafias, peasant militias and urban gangs, the so-called actores armadas, and includes state-related actors such as the police, military intelligence agencies and paramilitary forces. The results include both 'governance voids' - domains where the legitimate state is effectively absent - and the erosion of the capacity and willingness of state officials to abide by the rule of law themselves. These tendencies in turn raise the threat that authoritarian regimes under the control of political armies will be re-installed, or, at the very least, that state violence in one form or another will spread. This book explores these developments and discovers links with the weakening of state structures undertaken in the name of neoliberal economic reforms.
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Zed Books Ltd
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Author Biography - Kees Koonings
Kees Koonings is associate professor of development studies and Dirk Kruijt is professor of development studies at Utrecht University. They are the editors of Political Armies (Zed Books, 2002) and Societies of Fear (Zed Books, 1999). The contributors are Latin Americanist scholars.