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History of political ideologies


Discuss about the Role Of The States And Their Authority.

Throughout history of human civilization there has been entities whose sole motive has been disrupting the peaceful civilized society. They have often resorted to violence and other destructive means to achieve their target of threatening peaceful human life on earth.

Political history of men begun since the time when the idea of the ruler and ruled has prevailed in the society. The division of state depending on the authority of various ruling classes further deepened the politicization of human society. The state was first historically formed in the ancient age in the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro and Mesopotamia. In Rome later on the Primary States were formed which were smaller in size. The modern state evolved since then and went through various changes.

Within these states there are various non state actors and interest groups. These non-state actors can be differentiated according to their profit making objectives, religious ideology, social ideology, or other ideologies that help in bringing them together and forming a group. A few These non-state actors are “corporations, media organizations, business magnates, people's liberation movements, lobby groups, religious groups, aid agencies”[1].

The non-state actors can be divided by the nature of the method which they adopt to achieve their objectives broadly into two groups, nonviolent non state actors and violent non state actors. The perceived threat to the states are caused by the violent non state actors most of which are the terrorist groups. These terrorist groups either target the same country they are based in or they target another country in the neighborhood or far away from their base[2].

The non-state actors that are based in foreign countries and harming a particular state becomes a cause of concern for the state that is harmed. This is because the non-state actor is situated in another land, where the laws are different and it becomes problematic to bring these under control.

Along the lines of ideology or along the lines of political objectives the non-state actors may form their own violent and radical groups which are supplied by certain parties with arms and ammunitions. The religious ideologies may cause these non-state actors to go against certain nations which are not following their own religious ideology. Example of such non state actors causing disturbances in various parts of the world are the terrorist organizations that are based in various North eastern regions of Pakistan and are causing terrorist attacks regularly on the borders of India situated in the Northwestern side of India. Historically there have been crusade wars that took place on religious lines, however because the states were not so definitively formed at that point of time, hence these groups cannot be divided on the basis of state or non-state actors. Another form of terrorist organizations are the ones which are formed along the line of ideology about their origin. In the land of Palestine such organizations are seen regularly causing armed conflict against Israel. The point of conflict is the fact that land was basically claimed by the people of Palestine to be their own, however historical data showed that the Jews belonged to that land and Jews population from various parts of the world came and based in the region and formed the state of Israel. This had caused various organization to take up arms to fight against the Jews and the state of Israel.

Non-state actors and their objectives

Therefore, the Violent non state actors are the groups that take up arms to achieve their objectives. These violent non state actors can be divided into the ones who take up the arms against the country or state they are situated in and they can be classified into another category- the ones who take up arms against other countries.

In Australia the Australian government has maintained their own list of terrorist organizations according to the National Security Agency of Australia[3]. These are:-

“Abu Sayyaf Group


Al-Qa'ida (AQ)

Al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)

Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)


Ansar al-Islam

Boko Haram

Hamas's Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades[7]

Hizballah's External Security Organisation (ESO)

Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan

Islamic State

Jabhat al-Nusra

Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM)

Jamiat ul-Ansar

Jemaah Islamiyah (JI)

Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)

Lashkar i Jhangvi (LeJ)


Palestinian Islamic Jihad”

Australia maintains its own recognized terrorist organization list, just like all other countries have their own list that recognizes the terrorist organization they feel threatened from. The United Nation has several lists that designate the threat of terrorist violent noon state actors around the globe. The United Nations list called the UN 1267 Regime List is dedicated to the terrorist organization Al Qaeda, Taliban and the organizations that are related to it[4].

One of the largest terrorist non state organization of the world is the Taliban. This organization is based at Afghanistan don has caused death of millions of people all around the globe through various terrorist activities like, explosion, suicide bombing, firing and other fatal attacks.  This organization started as a religious fundamental movement which had clear political ideas about establishing a radical Sunni Islamic state within Afghanistan and at other locations all around the world. This organization was a product of the Afghanistan civil war. The Taliban gained control over most of the parts of Afghanistan and was in the process of establishing a terrorist nation in which America intervened militarily to contain the power in 2001, and the 2011 attack on America was largely because of this step of intervention by America. The 2011 attack on American soil, when aero planes had crashed into the two tallest buildings of USA, The World Trade Center, caused death of a large number of people, this then caused America to radically take action in terrorist’s organization in the middle east, and in a later infiltration attack USA Marine soldiers killed Osama Bin Laden, who was the founder of Al Qaeda, another terrorist organization. This is a clear example of actio0n taken by a state on non-state actors based in the soil of another state.

Al Qaeda is one of the very prominent non state terrorist organization. The United Nation recognizes this organization to be one of the greatest threats. The organization has in its credits attack on various countries around the world including US embassy bombing in 1998, The September 11 attacks, and the Bali bombings in 2002. The continuous terrorist attcks were responded by the killing of Osama by USA Marines. Since then the extent of operations of the entity has reduced[5].

Violent non-state actors and terrorism

The non-state radical violent organization that recently became very powerful in the middle east is the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant which is by another name also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. This terrorist organization had a very large scale impact on the geography of the state and it captured large part of Iraq and Syria and it was on a spree of attacking a number of neighboring countries. Again the international community and several countries had to militarily intervene in order to tackle the situation and military aid was provided to the incumbent government to deter the military might of the ISIS.

Now it is to be understood that in what situation and what context a state can take actions against the non-state actors situated in a foreign land. In the above examples it can be seen that the countries like USA which had been pushed to the limit by terrorist non state violent entities, had to take actions entering the sovereign land of another state to contain the problem.

The threat of the non-state actors on other state is mainly posed by the terrorist and violent organizations. However, there can be impact brought about by religious organizations who may visit other lands in order to preach their theology. However, if that preaching is done in a peaceful way and the religious principles are not forced on the people who are preached, then it does not pose a threat to the state. If the religious principles are forced on the people or there are any other monetary benefits for which the demographics of the country is changing, then it is a threat to the state.

Other foreign non-state actors that may be a threat to the land may be the smugglers who are not following the law of the country but are carrying out their business in an illegal manner. The companies of foreign countries that evade tax and cause economic losses to the country is another form of threat by foreign non-state actors. However, the largest threat remains the terrorist organizations. These may attack or cause threat of attack which the countries have no other way other than to defend by military means.

In this context the United Nations states in its official statement about non-state violent terrorist organizations as: - “145. Terrorism attacks the values that lie at the heart of the Charter of the United Nations: respect for human rights; the rule of law; rules of war that protect civilians; tolerance among peoples and nations; and the peaceful resolution of conflict. Terrorism flourishes in environments of despair, humiliation, poverty, political oppression, extremism and human rights abuse; it also flourishes in contexts of regional conflict and foreign occupation; and it profits from weak State capacity to maintain law and order. Al-Qaida is the first instance — not likely to be the last — of an armed non-State network with global reach and sophisticated capacity. Our recommendations provided above on controlling the supply of nuclear, radiological, chemical and biological materials and building robust global public health systems are central to a strategy to prevent this threat.”[6]

Threat to states and foreign interventions

The term non-state actors (NSA) refer to entities who participate or take part in the international relations The non-state actors have the power to exert its influence on the state with the aim to usher in change without being part of the main functioning body of the state. Violent Non-State Actors is an organization that adopts illegal violence to meet its objectives. Violent non0state actors not only infringe with the normal functioning of the state by disrupting the state machineries. They are perpetually engaged in running the business and weaken and defy the sovereignty of the state. In countries like Iraq, insurgent groups, militia and several criminal operations seek an opportunity to interact with the state machinery through violent means. Violent non-state actors have become a threat to the nation and posits global concern. In case of Europe Jihadist terrorist organizations have involved in multiple terrorist activities and carried out much-publicized attacks in London and Madrid. VSNAs have existed for a long time. It began in Rome during the peak of the Roman Empire. The Roman empire had to deal with criminal bands that used to prey on the citizens. The violent non-state actors have become a key part of the decolonization process. They have always to gain control over the state rather than being subservient and docile. The ability of the state can be understood in terms of the strong-weak continuum across some of the main dimension. There areas are legitimacy. As emphasized by KJ Holsti, that more the state is legitimate, the more it seeks consent than applying coercion. It applies authority rather the use of coercive force[7]. The next key area is that of capacity. States that are effective and strong have extractive capacity and comply this with the provision of collective commodities that may range from the maintenance of security to welfare and healthcare. States that prevent t the extraction of raw materials come to be known as the rentier states. In this type of states, it is the political elites whop reaps the benefits whereas the mass population have to face deprivation. The foreign non-state actors exploit the space created for functional roles and in the context of an absence of effective criminal justice, these actors become a proxy of the state. The next key area is the primacy of the collective interest over the individual interest. According to this area, the collective interest is placed over the individual interest of the citizens. In sates there are general acceptance of the process of politics and also consensus on the what is to be considered as permissible behavior and what is not to be considered as permissible behavior. In situation when state control become the reward of politics then emerges the obligation of the collective interest that are sidelined in favor of functional or individual interests. The fourth area is inclusiveness rather than exclusivity. Exclusion pertains to political, social and economical or sometimes a combination of all these[8]. States have been victims of repeated foreign attacks in the form of terrorism and violent uprisings they are entitled to seek remedy. In countries like Cambodia and Georgia, States have carried out secret attacks against the violent non-state actors. There are reports against the state for not following the proper procedure

Examples of violent non-state actors

Examples of violent foreign non-state actors and their relationship with the government can be illustrated in the form is the illustration of the Allied Democratic Forces had its vigorous operations in DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) between the period of 1997 to 1999[9]. This alliance conducted violent crimes against the humanity in the region of DRC in Uganda. These Allied Democratic Forces were present in DRC and conducted large scale violence with the aim to destabilize and overthrow the temporary government. The group conducted operations beyond the territories of Uganda and remained a constant threat to international security. There is another illustration of piracy in Somalia coast. The United Nations Security Council in this case conceded that there is threat that is being posed by the non-state violent actors. These pirate groups were loosely organized and were based out of the Somalia coast and targetted the large ships and containers that were sailing towards the Gulf of Aden. This was considered as an act that was criminal under the laws set by the international community. The final illustration is that of the flourishing terrorist outfits like the Jaish-e-Mohammad, Al-Qaeda, Al-Shadab, Hizbul Mujahedeen, Hezbollah and HAMAS. These factions of terrorists have intra-nexus connection with each other and make an endeavor to reach to the target on a global level. In case of violence all these factions can be subsumed under one category of foreign violent non-state actors because the organizations determine and the operational mechanisms pose difficulty in targeting. There is a requirement of certain amount of efficiency received from the agencies of the state and poses grave threat to international security and international peace. Then there are the illustrations of insurgency in the Islamic state in Syria and Iraq where these religious militant groups through a complete breakdown of the machinery target the weak state. In Afghanistan, the warlords have used the state building and democratization policy to legitimate their actions to exert power and impose their dominance over the territories. In the southern region of Basra, the majority of violence has been between the Fadhila the SIIC’s Badr organization and the Mahdi Army. The violence is an outcome of the control of oil. Then there is the Al-Qaeeda that has received the most attention all over the world. This terrorist organization is responsible for the attack on the twin towers of World Trade Centre and Pentagon in USA. It was spearheaded by Osama-Bin Laden with the aim to establish the power of the middle-eastern regime on the American soil For these violent non-state foreign actors the existing regimes that ushers in change and new thoughts are viewed with suspicion. Another illustration can be the infamous ceasefire of Indian army in Pakistan.


Thus it can be concluded from the above discussion that the violent non state actors pose a big threat of security to the nations all over the globe. It is required for the interest of the states themselves to defend such attacks and take part in processes that eliminate such actors from doing such harm to the states, and cause casualties. It is better if the state cooperates from whose soil such attacks are taking place. The state whose soil is used to commit violence on other states should take responsibility in making sure that the internal mechanism of the state is taking all possible actions to remove such threats. When that is not done, it comes to the state on which such attacks are aimed at, to take appropriate measures to save its own people from dying in the hands of the terrorists. The United Nations must be taken into dialogue before the final action of directly launching an offensive on the state on whose territory the radical bodies are situated is turned into action. The United Nations have certain powers and jurisdiction in this regard. There are various international forces available to the United Nations, that can be put to action. However, when not any such measure actually helps in stopping violent attacks from the non-state actors, often it is seen that the victim nations take up the cause themselves and eliminate terrorist elements from the soil of a foreign land.


Chomsky, N., 2015. Culture of Terrorism. Haymarket Books.

Combs, C.C., 2017. Terrorism in the twenty-first century. Routledge.

Enders, W., Hoover, G.A. and Sandler, T., 2016. The changing nonlinear relationship between income and terrorism. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 60(2), pp.195-225.

Holsti, K., 2016. The Use of Force in International Politics: Four Revolutions. In Kalevi Holsti: Major Texts on War, the State, Peace, and International Order (pp. 27-42). Springer, Cham.

Jenkins, B.M., 2015. International terrorism: A new mode of conflict. In International terrorism and world security (pp. 23-59). Routledge.

Kelley, M., 2014. Terrorism and the growing threat of weapons of mass destruction: Al-Shabaab. Anchor Academic Publishing (aap_verlag).

Lansford, T., 2018. All for One: Terrorism, NATO and the United States. Routledge.

Laqueur, W., 2017. A history of terrorism. Routledge.

Law, R.D., 2016. Terrorism: A history. John Wiley & Sons.

Martin, G., 2017. Understanding terrorism: Challenges, perspectives, and issues. SAGE publications.

Nacos, B., 2016. Mass-mediated Terrorism: mainstream and digital media in terrorism and counterterrorism. Rowman & Littlefield. (2018). Listed terrorist organisations | Australian National Security. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 Apr. 2018].

Sageman, M., 2014. The stagnation in terrorism research. Terrorism and Political Violence, 26(4), pp.565-580.

Simon, J.D., 2016. Lone wolf terrorism: Understanding the growing threat. Prometheus books.

Spaaij, R. and Hamm, M.S., 2015. Key issues and research agendas in lone wolf terrorism. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 38(3), pp.167-178. (2018). Terrorism. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 Apr. 2018]. (2018). UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy | Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 Apr. 2018].

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