As a pervasive occurrence in the contemporary world, wars and their economic sources are defining social and political processes in a variety of national and transnational contexts. Rebel Economies: Warlords, Insurgents, Humanitarians explores historical, anthropological and political dimensions of war economies by non-state actors across different periods and regions, while presenting their multiple manifestations as a unified, congruent phenomenon. Through a variety of conceptual and disciplinary approaches, the authors investigate, in the past and present and across three continents, the nexuses between economy, war, social transformation and state-building, revealing in the process differences and similarities that would otherwise remain hidden. Through this broad-gauge approach, the book aims, first, to rethink much of the debate around “non-state war economies,” and, secondly, to expand the conversation by consciously treating this theme as a conspicuous and distinct aspect of both economy and war. This is not just a different approach but a fundamental departure from the ways in which current discussions over the economy of wars, civil conflicts, and revolutions, have informed research orientations over several decades.
Nicola Di Cosmo is the Henry Luce Foundation Professor of east Asian Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study
Didier Fassin is the James D. Wolfensohn Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study, director of studies at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, and annual chair of public ealth at the Collège de France.
Clémence Pinaud is assistant professor at the department of international studies of Indiana University, Bloomington.
Introduction: Revisiting Non-State War Economies
Nicola Di Cosmo, Didier Fassin and Clémence Pinaud.
Part I: Frameworks
Chapter 1: What are Non-State War Economies? Prefatory Remarks
Chapter 2: War Economies and War Economics
Chapter 3: War Economies and Humanitarian Action
Chapter 4: Rebel Taxation. Between Moral and Market Economy
Part II: Historical Perspective
Chapter 5: The War Economy of Nomadic Empires
Nicola Di Cosmo
Chapter 6: Non-State War Economy in Renaissance Italy
Chapter 7: The Economy of Warlordism in Early Twentieth Century China
Part III: Contemporary Worlds
Chapter 8: Friend, Foe, or In-Between? Humanitarian Action and the Soviet-Afghan War
Chapter 9: War Economy, Warlordism and Social Class Formation in South Sudan
Chapter 10: Resource Wars, Oil and the Islamic State
Philippe Le Billon
Conclusion: New Perspectives on Warring Societ
Nicola Di Cosmo, Didier Fassin and Clémence Pinaud
“This is a fascinating and important addition to our understanding of war economies. Much of the literature tends to focus on how wars are financed and the impact of conflict on the local economy. Rebel Economies expands the scope to include how rebels organize economic life with multiple aims, including resource extraction for war and profit, and uses their own ideas of good governance to organize economic life. In other words, rebel economies resemble state economies but without the state. The subject alone makes the book unusual and well-worth engaging, and the individual chapters are fascinating and highly rewarding.”
“Rebel Economies: Warlords, Insurgents, Humanitarians is a rich, empirically-based analysis of similarities and differences in non-state war economies within superficially incommensurate contexts of space and time, viewed from a range of disciplinary perspectives. Among its many striking insights are the often incomplete separation of state and non-state actors, and the prevalence of complex networks of stakeholders in which local and global interests increasingly are intertwined.”