May 30, 2012
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Modern Warfare

Armed Groups, Private Militaries, Humanitarian Organizations, and the Law

Edited by Benjamin Perrin
The face of modern warfare is changing as more and more humanitarian organizations, private military companies, and non-state groups enter complex security environments such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Haiti. Although this shift has been overshadowed by the legal issues connected to the War on Terror and intervention in countries such as Rwanda and Darfur, it has caused some to question the relevance of the laws of war.

To bridge the widening gap between the theory and practice of the law, Modern Warfare brings together both scholars and practitioners who offer unique, and often divergent, perspectives on four key challenges to the law's legitimacy: how to ensure compliance among non-state armed groups; the proliferation of private military and security companies and their use by humanitarian organizations; tensions between the idea of humanitarian space and counterinsurgency doctrines; and the phenomenon of urban violence. The contributors do not simply consider settled legal standards - they widen the scope to include first principles, related bodies of law, humanitarian policy, and the latest studies on the prevention and mitigation of violence.

By bringing to light international humanitarian law's limitations - and potential - in the context of modern warfare's rapidly changing landscape, Modern Warfare opens a path to preventing further unnecessary suffering and violence.

About the Author

Benjamin Perrin is an assistant professor in theFaculty of Law at the University of British Columbia. He is currentlyserving as Special Advisor, Legal Affairs and Policy, in the PrimeMinister's Office in Ottawa.


"An insightful and vital contribution to advance civilian protection in times of war."—Louise Arbour, President and CEO, International Crisis Group

"Non-state actors are a firmly entrenched feature of modern armed conflicts. This impressive collection of thoughtful essays provides much needed analysis. It is both timely and scholarly."—Robert Cryer, Professor of International and Criminal Law, University of Birmingham, and co-author of An Introduction to International Criminal Law and Procedure

"This is a thoughtful and important work by an impressive group of contributors. It explores the most significant issues in international humanitarian law and post-conflict security today, including reciprocity, asymmetry, the crowded humanitarian space, and the role of non-state actors and private military companies."—Darryl Robinson, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, Queen's University

UBC Press

9780774822329 : modern-warfare-perrin
336 Pages
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