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CIAO DATE: 07/02

Conditional Legitimacy, Reinterpreted Monopolies: Globalisation and the Evolving State Monopoly on Legitimate Violence
Panel: Legitimacy and Violence: Globalization and the Displacement of the State

Anna Leander

Copenhagen Peace Research Institute
March 2002

The article argues that globalisation is altering the nature and meaning of the state monopoly on legitimate violence. It is accentuating the tensions around the meaning of 'legitimacy'. The relativism implied in the idea that states can define which use of violence is 'legitimate'(and which is not) is increasingly contested both by the international society of states and in a world society of transnational actors. At the same time a profound redefini-tion of what it means to have a 'monopoly' of violence is going on. In-creasing the private ownership and allocation of the means of coercion are blurring the responsibility of states beyond their own borders and, for some states, even within them. As a consequence the differentiation among states is growing, private actors are central to war and peace, and the system of national states might be undergoing a fundamental change.