DOI link for Global trends
Global trends book
States, non-state actors and conflict States States are the main actors in international relations. We therefore begin with a list of states in five global regions that exist or have existed in the period from 1945 to 1995. All regional countings in this book are based on this grouping. However, the basis of our databank on conflicts is not identical with this list of states, since not all states have experienced political conflicts according to our definition. Thus, the KOSIMO project operates with states as potential actors in conflicts and with states as actual actors in conflicts. In the common language of mass media the name of a state often stands for a conflict. This is not our understanding and usage of the term. A state becomes an actor in a conflict only through its government. In a conflict situation there are always at least two actors. Therefore, a government or state, however repressive, enters a conflict only with the emergence of an identifiable opponent. For example, contemporary Iraq as a state is not war prone per se; only the actions of the Iraqi government vis-a-vis other groups or states make Iraq a conflict state. The dataset on states has, therefore, a rather descriptive use as compared with the second dataset on actual conflicts which will be presented further below.