Changing Participation in War: Is a Paradigmatic Shift Underway?


  • Ash Rossiter Khalifa University, UAE


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.

Author Biography

Ash Rossiter, Khalifa University, UAE

Dr. Ash Rossiter has been assistant professor of international security at Khalifa University since 2015. He received his PhD from the University of Exeter in 2014 after earlier completing a MA in War Studies from King’s College London. He is author of Security in the Gulf published in 2020 by Cambridge University Press.

Ash also has published widely on technology and international security, strategy, warfare, comparative defense industries, and the changing military balance in the Indo-Pacific. His work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals such as Intelligence & National SecurityDefence StudiesParametersDiplomacy & StatecraftSmall Wars & InsurgenciesMiddle Eastern Studies, as well as many other outlets.

He has written numerous policy reports and evaluations for several governments. Before entering academia, Ash pursued a career across the Middle East spanning both governmental and private sectors.