New wars

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New wars describe international or civil wars of low-intensity conflict that involve myriad transnational connections so that the distinctions between internal and external, aggression and repression, local and global are difficult to sustain. The term is an antonym of conventional warfare whereupon conventional military weapons and battlefield tactics are no longer used between two or more states in open confrontation.

A key thinker in New Wars theory is Mary Kaldor[1][2] who explained how globalisation has made three changes to war; it is based on claiming identity, not territory, guerrilla or terror tactics are used and international crime has changed how wars are funded. An example of the theory is the Bosnian War.

Other supporters of the new wars theory are Herfried Münkler from Germany, Martin van Creveld from Israel and Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou from Mauritania.


  1. ^ Kaldor, Mary (1999) New and Old Wars: Organized Violence in a Global Era, Polity Press, Oxford
  2. ^ Kaldor, Mary (2013) In Defence of New Wars, Stability 2(1):4, pp.1-16. DOI:

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