16 November 2020

Date: November 16th, 4.30 PM - 5.30 PM

We cordially invite you to the online Book Launch of Paramilitarism. Mass Violence in the Shadow of the State (Oxford, OUP, 2020) written by Uğur Ümit Üngör.

Please note: due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, this event will be held online.


16.30     Peter Romijn (NIOD), chair and moderator: welcome
16:35     Reflections on Paramilitarism. Mass Violence in the Shadow of the State by professor Sinisa Malesevic, dr. Corinna Jentzsch, dr. Ariel Ahram
17:05     Short response by Uğur Ümit Üngör       
17:15     Discussion
17:30     End

About the book

From the deserts of Sudan to the jungles of Colombia, and from the streets of Belfast to the mountains of Kurdistan, paramilitaries have appeared in violent conflicts in very different settings. Paramilitaries are generally depicted as irregular armed organizations that carry out acts of violence against civilians on behalf of a state. In doing so, they undermine the state's monopoly of legitimate violence, while at the same time creating a breeding ground for criminal activities. Why do governments with functioning police forces and armies use paramilitary groups? This study tackles this question through the prism of the interpenetration of paramilitaries and the state. For more information, see the publisher’s website. A sample of the book (chapter two) can be read here.
All who register for the launch event will be sent a discount code to save 30% off the price of the book.

About the author

Uğur Ümit Üngör is Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Amsterdam and the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies. His main areas of interest are genocide and mass violence, with a particular focus on the modern and contemporary Middle East. He is an editor of the Journal of Perpetrator Research, and coordinator of the Syrian Oral History Project. From 2014 to 2019, Üngör coordinated a Dutch Research Council-funded research project on paramilitarism, which led to this monograph: Paramilitarism: Mass Violence in the Shadow of the State (Oxford University Press, 2020). He is currently working on its follow-up monograph Assad’s Militias and Mass Violence in Syria (forthcoming, 2021).

About the speakers

Ariel I. Ahram is associate professor and chair of the government and international affairs program at Virginia Tech's School of Public and International Affairs in Arlington.  He is the author of War and Conflict in the Middle East and North Africa (Polity, 2020), Break All the Borders: Separatism and the Reshaping of the Middle East (Oxford UP, 2019), and Proxy Warriors: The Rise and Fall of State Sponsored Militias (Stanford UP, 2011).  He is primary investigator on a Carnegie Corporation grant to explore conflict resolution in proxy wars and has consulted to numerous government agencies on terrorism and non-state actors.  

Corinna Jentzsch is an assistant professor at the Institute of Political Science at Leiden University. She studies collective action in civil wars, causes and consequences of militia formation, and the links between social movements and political violence, with a regional focus on Southern Africa. She is the author of “Violent Resistance. Militia Formation and Civil War in Mozambique” (Forthcoming with Cambridge University Press).

Siniša Malešević is a Full Professor and Chair of Sociology at the University College, Dublin, and Senior Fellow at CNAM, Paris. He is an elected member of Royal Irish Academy and Academia Europaea. His recent books include Grounded Nationalisms (Cambridge UP, 2019), The Rise of Organised Brutality: A Historical Sociology of Violence (Cambridge UP, 2017), Nation-States and Nationalisms (Polity 2013) and The Sociology of War and Violence (Cambridge UP 2010). He has authored 10 books, 8 edited volumes and over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. His work has been translated into 13 languages.