Academic journal article Military Review

UNGOVERNED SPACES: Alternatives to State Authority in an Era of Softened Sovereignty

Academic journal article Military Review

UNGOVERNED SPACES: Alternatives to State Authority in an Era of Softened Sovereignty

Article excerpt

UNGOVERNED SPACES: Alternatives to State Authority in an Era of Softened Sovereignty, edited by Anne L. Clunan and Harold A. Trinkunas, Stanford Security Studies, Stanford, CA, 2010, 310 pages, $24.95.

In past centuries, states focused on other states as the greatest threats to peace and security. In the post-9/1 1 world, our worst nightmares involve terrorists, weapons traffickers, or computer hackers operating from the shadowy realms of failed states, obscure hinterlands, or cyberspace,

In the provocative book Ungoverned Spaces, Anne L. Clunan and Harold A. Trinkunas challenge the popular vision of "ungoverned spaces" as both an inaccurate and counterproductive descriptor for these physical and conceptual regions that exist under something other than firm state control.

The very diversity of these essays - ranging from the warlord realms of Somalia to border regions under tribal Pahstun law, from Rio de Janiero's druglord-controlled slums to Hezbollah territory in Lebanon, and finally venturing out to cyberspace and offshore banking - offers the strongest support for the editors' claims. The spaces described are vastly different, defying any single template for analysis or policy recommendation. Most significantly, all are "governed" by someone or something. …

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