Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Political Power of Proxies: Why Nonstate Actors Use Local Surrogates

| Spring 2020

Summary

Why and how do nonstate actors sponsor proxies? Unlike state sponsors, which value proxies primarily for their military utility, nonstate sponsors use proxies mainly for their perceived political value. Simply put, states tend to sponsor military surrogates, whereas nonstate actors sponsor political ancillaries. An analysis of three case studies of nonstate sponsors that differ in terms of ideology and capacity—al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the People’s Protection Units in Syria, and Hezbollah in Lebanon—illustrates this argument.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:

Assaf Moghadam and Michel Wyss, "The Political Power of Proxies: Why Nonstate Actors Use Local Surrogates," International Security, Vol. 44, No. 4 (Spring 2020), pp. 119-157.

The Authors

Assaf Moghadam