Changing Participation in War: Is a Paradigmatic Shift Underway?
Conflict today is defying traditional conceptions about the conduct of war and, more specifically, who makes up its identifiable contestants. This article examines how the established practice of warfare is undergoing radical change partly as a consequence of a tremendous shift in participation. Better understanding who might participate in war and, as a corollary, the particular tools and methods used to carry out violence (in pursuit of political goals), is of acute importance for those charged with figuring out how best to employ destructive and/or disruptive force. The aim of this article is to therefore make a contribution to this broad debate. It advances the argument that a major shift in warfare’s participation is happening; and, that it is both a consequence of wider changes in warfare as well as a cause of change itself.