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Chapter Violence and State Formation

POLA02H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter Violence and State Formation: New York Post, Strongarm

Political Science
Course Code
Renan Levine
Violence and State Formation

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POLA02 – Violence and State Formation
Bates, Robert H. Prosperity and Violence Ch. 3-4:
Marten, Kimberley, “Warlords: An Introduction” in Warlords: Strong-Arm Brokers in Weak States:
Warlord is a dangerous oriental individual. They are individuals who control small pieces of territory using
a combination of force and patronage. They are “lords” (essentially, feudal landlords) who threaten or use
“war” (violence by their militias) to retain their power. Warlords rule in defiance of genuine state
sovereignty but thorough the complicity of state leaders. They are creatures of the state (male or female)
The political economy of warlordism bears resemblance to the political economy of organized crime in
highly developed states
Genuine state sovereignty, refers to the ability of the state to enforce a consistent set of rules over the entire
territory it claims
Two criteria for statehood; first, the state must maintain a monopoly over the legitimate use of force on its
territory. Second, it only focuses on violence – the state must enforce some basic common laws across its
entire territory, especially over trade, property rights, taxation, and other aspects of commerce (Weber’s
concept of statehood = rational legalism (modern statehood)
If they are ruled by a despotic individual – Weber would call them SULTANISTIC
Clientism can also be a step forward the eventual evolution of liberal democratic states. Clientism in states
that maintain a domestic sovereignty should nonetheless be kept analytically separate from warlordism
Warlordism is unlikely to evolve into pact-based, clientelistic, organized, statehood
The word force is when warlords command loyal militias that are not under state control. Warlords are
people who have chosen to become specialists in violence
Warlords are willing and able to use brute force (e.g. warlords make bribes to defend their control over the
territory they occupy)
Patronage is the ability to distribute resources to supporters (selected individuals) based on informal ties
and personal preferences, without being subject to laws or other abstract social rules. In other words, is as
selected people based on personal favours (to particular people), they distribute resources to supporters
based on formal tie and personal preferences, in the form of favours, without any formal rules
Force and patronage interact be reinforcing each other, you can use one or the other or both to maintain
control over a geographical area if you're a warlord. Rulers come to power because they have the monopoly
to attain power & they will threat war if individual conflicts or the individual need to increase wealth arise
The use of violence to retain personal control over a regions political economy distinguishes warlords from
the leaders of many rebel or religious movements – in other words, the threat of violence on individual can
emphasize security and force by warlords THUS, Warlords ultimately resort to violence
They provide public goods when it suits their interests
It is the warlords ability to distribute patronage to a carefully selected group of audience – warlords rule by
force, not governance
State leaders often choose to cooperate with warlords in order to avoid the chaos
The warlord has an incentive to make sure that the world seems like a dangerous place, their goal is to
enforce FEAR
The warlord has an incentive to weaken or damage unprotected spaces and business BECAUSE they want
to retain control and make it seem like a threat
Warlords tend to limit the range of commercial activities in their areas to benefit the members of their
personal networks
Business (economy) cannot increase, so everyone stays in poverty out of fear and insecurity so… no
economic growth
A political system centered on one individual is also inherently unstable
Warlord networks are usually personal and informal and that means that security and wealth on their
territories are subject to contestation
Patronage when its networks are firmly establishes and its rules are long-lasting and known by everyone,
can become a mechanism, for organizing society and getting things done
The assassination of a warlord or even a decline in the warlords relative fortunes or power can throw the
entire local patronage system into disarray, being left in scrambling for support as their protection
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