A characteristic of recent wars is that the state can neither exercise a complete monopoly of violence1 nor maintain the rule of law. Many scholars agree that we have entered an era of ‘new wars’, often called internal, intra-state, local or regional civil wars, or low-intensity conflicts.2 In recent decades most such conflicts have been intra-state rather than inter-state. Mary Kaldor (1997, 1999) has pointed out that in new wars both the nature of war and its effects on populations in war-torn societies have changed (Münkler 2002; Duffield 2001). The proliferating scholarly literature on new wars emphasizes two factors, both rooted in deep shifts in the global political and economic order: global economic changes and the declining role of the state. Both of these trends have dramatic effects on the state's monopoly of violence.