A cursory survey of contemporary media, policy, and academic landscapes suggests that we live in an age of militias, in which they are increasingly prevalent actors and a growing political challenge in armed conflicts. But are there really more militias now than ever before? Or is there just more attention given to them? 

In this episode of “Transnational Trends in Citizenship”—the new season of Order from Ashes—scholar Jacob Mundy discusses what might be driving the “militiafication” of thinking about mass organized violence. The legacies of “new war” theories and the emerging global order—in which North Atlantic powers no longer call all the shots—are essential to understanding the alleged age of militias. 

While there are ways in which militias play an important role in constituting the global terrain of organized violence, this role does not appear to be proportionally larger in recent years than in previous decades. How can we explain, then, the disproportionate intellectual and policy weight given to militias? 

This podcast is part of “Transnational Trends in Citizenship: Authoritarianism and the Emerging Global Culture of Resistance,” a TCF project supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Open Society Foundations. 

Participants include:

  • Jacob Mundy, associate professor in peace and conflict studies, Colgate University
  • Naira Antoun, director, Transnational Trends in Citizenship, Century International