Interaction between state and non-state actors

In Dickovick and Eastwood’s section about security and peace, they explain threats to states including nuclear weapons, rivalries, and nonstate actors including terrorist groups. The section also describes the different approaches to international relations, including the realist, liberal, constructivist, and Marxist views.


On April 9, Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani of Qatar met with President Trump in D.C. and discussed Qatar’s new status in the Western fight against extremism. It’s an interesting example of the coinciding of state and nonstate actors, as the state of Qatar had been previously known for harboring terrorists. Even more, Trump had previously believed they had been allied with Iran, a nation that America and President Trump do not support due to their nuclear aspirations. States like Qatar can use their status to aid nonstate actors, similar to the way that Iran funds the Lebanese group Hezbollah or the PLO is funded by countries like Egypt.


Are authoritarian or democratic regimes more prone to terrorism?


A perfect democracy would never have a terror attack; the very nature of it provides a check on terrorist acts. In a nation where any citizen can vote, speak their mind, lobby their lawmakers, and take all sorts of nonviolent action, only the mentally troubled would be driven to domestic terrorism. However, authoritarian regimes do not provide those options so it would be more likely that the use of drastic force and public fear would be assets to citizens wishing for change. However, no democracy is perfect and domestic terror is still prevalent in many (including the US) and authoritarian regimes can bend to the will of the people, even if the move is more discreet than it would be in a democracy.



Dickovick, James Tyler, and Jonathan Eastwood. Comparative Politics: Integrating Theories, Methods, and Cases. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018. p388-397.

Baker, Peter. “Trump Now Sees Qatar as an Ally Against Terrorism.” The New York Times. April 10, 2018.

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