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“Proxy Warfare” By Andrew Mumford


Proxy wars represent a perennial strand in the history of conflict. The appeal of ‘warfare on the cheap’ has proved an irresistible strategic allure for nations through the centuries. However, proxy wars remain a missing link in contemporary war and security studies. In this timely book Andrew Mumford sheds new light on the dynamics and lineage of proxy warfare from the Cold War to the War on Terror, whilst developing a cogent conceptual framework to explain their appeal.

Tracing the political and strategic development of proxy wars throughout the last century, they emerge as a dominant characteristic of contemporary conflict. The book ably shows how proxy interventions often prolong existing conflicts given the perpetuity of arms, money and sometimes proxy fighters sponsored by third party donors. Furthermore, it emphasizes why, given the direction of the War on Terror, the rise of China as a global power, and the prominence now achieved by non-state actors in the ‘Arab Spring’, the phenomenon of proxy warfare is increasingly relevant to understandings of contemporary security.

Proxy Warfare is an indispensable guide for students and scholars interested in the evolution and potential future direction of war and conflict in the modern world.


“A brief yet trenchant analysis on a long-neglected phenomenon.”
LSE Review of Books

Proxy Warfare offers a compelling survey of likely explanations for why states and non-state actors use other parties to influence the course and outcomes of civil and international disputes. By separating the concept of proxy warfare from traditional understandings of third-party intervention in conflict, Mumford makes an important contribution to our understanding of war and international relations.”
James J. Wirtz, U.S. Naval Postgraduate School

“An original and important contribution to our understanding of contemporary conflict and the shape of future wars.”
Caroline Kennedy, University of Hull

“This crucial book brings much-needed conceptual clarification, historical depth and empirically-grounded analysis to the phenomenon of proxy warfare, which will undoubtedly become an increasingly employed, yet potentially pernicious, tool of indirect intervention in local conflicts around the globe.”
Sergio Catignani, Strategy & Security Institute, Exeter University


Andrew Mumford is Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham. You can follow Andrew on @apmumford

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