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Modern Warfare: Armed Groups, Private Militaries, Humanitarian Organizations, and the Law
Modern Warfare: Armed Groups, Private Militaries, Humanitarian Organizations, and the Law
Benjamin Perrin
July 11, 2012

The face of modern warfare is changing as more and more humanitarian organizations, private military companies, and non-state groups enter complex security environments such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Haiti. Although this shift has been overshadowed by the legal issues connected to the War on Terror and intervention in countries such as Rwanda and Sudan, it has caused some to question the relevance of the laws of war.

To bridge the widening gap between the theory and practice of the law, Modern Warfare brings together both scholars and practitioners who offer unique, and often divergent, perspectives on four key challenges to the law's legitimacy: how to ensure compliance among non-state armed groups; the proliferation of private military and security companies and their use by humanitarian organizations; tensions between the idea of humanitarian space and counterinsurgency doctrines; and the phenomenon of urban violence. The contributors do not simply consider settled legal standards -- they widen the scope to include first principles, related bodies of law, humanitarian policy, and the latest studies on the prevention and mitigation of violence.
By bringing to light international humanitarian law's limitations – and potential – in the context of modern warfare's rapidly changing landscape, Modern Warfare opens a path to preventing further unnecessary suffering and violence.
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Introduction / Benjamin Perrin

Part 1: Non-State Armed Groups -- The Compliance Challenge

  1. Asymmetrical Reciprocity and Compliance with the Laws of War / René Provost
  2. The Pragmatic Value of Reciprocity: Promoting Respect for International Humanitarian Law among Non-State Armed Groups / Sophie Rondeau
  3. Armed Non-State Actors and Humanitarian Norms: Lessons from the Geneva Call Experience / Elisabeth Decrey Warner, Jonathan Somer, and Pascal Bongard
  4. The Ownership of International Humanitarian Law: Non-State Armed Groups and the Formation and Enforcement of IHL Rules / Sandesh Sivakumaran
  5. Armed Groups and the Arms Trade Treaty: Challenges and Opportunities / Pablo Policzer and Valerie Yankey-Wayne

Part 2: Private Military and Security Companies and Humanitarian Organizations

  1. Private Security Companies and Humanitarian Organizations: Implications for International Humanitarian Law / Benjamin Perrin
  2. The Case for Humanitarian Organizations to Use Private Security Contractors / Andrew Bearpark
  3. The Use of Armed Security Escorts: A Challenge to Independent and Neutral Humanitarian Action / Jamie Williamson
  4. Obligations of Private Military and Security Companies under International Humanitarian Law / Fred Schreier

Part 3: The "Humanitarian Space" Debate

  1. "Humanitarian Space" in Search of a New Home: (Limited) Guidance from International Law / Sylvain Beauchamp
  2. Humanitarian Space and Stability Operations / Michael Khambatta
  3. The Implications for Women of a Shrinking Humanitarian Space / Valerie Oosterveld
  4. Whither Humanitarian Space? The Costs of Integrated Peacebuilding in Afghanistan / Emily Paddon and Taylor Owen

Part 4: Addressing Endemic Urban Violence

  1. Silent Wars in Our Cities: Alternatives to the Inadequacy of International Humanitarian Law to Protect Civilians during Endemic Urban Violence / Carlos Iván Fuentes
  2. Rethinking Stabilization and Humanitarian Action in "Fragile Cities" / Robert Muggah and Oliver Jütersonke
  3. Stabilization and Humanitarian Action in Haiti / Robert Muggah
  4. Violence against Children in Urban Settings: Private Hurt, Public Manifestations / Gurvinder Singh and Judi Fairholm

Conclusion / Benjamin Perrin

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