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The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being In Charge Isn't What It Used to Be by Moisés Naím

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THE END OF THE ULTIMATE MONOPOLY: THE USE OF VIOLENCE

The more small and nonstate actors have grown in relevance and effectiveness in modern war, the more they have undermined one of the core principles that guided politics and allocated power for the last several centuries. “The state,” wrote Max Weber, “is an association that claims the monopoly on the legitimate use of violence.” In other words, part of the definition and raison d’être of the modern state was its ability to centralize military power. Mustering an army and police was the prerogative of the state, and preventing the use of violence by other parties on its territory was one of its responsibilities, an element of the social contract grounding its legitimacy. That new monopoly ...

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