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Professionalization of a nonstate actor

Finnegan, P. (2019) Professionalization of a nonstate actor. Armed Forces & Society, 45 (2). pp. 349-367. ISSN 1556-0848

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1177/0095327x17741832


Can nonstate militants professionalize? That is the core question of this piece. Discussions of professionalism have spread to the state military from civilian professions such as education, medicine, and law. This piece examines whether nonstate actors exhibit the same fundamental processes found within these state-based organizations. These fundamentals are the creation of a recognized internal ethos, which acts as a collective standard for those involved. A commitment to expertise and the punishment of those who do not reach these collective expectations reinforce this ethos. To answer this question, this piece examines the development of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) during the Troubles. It highlights consistencies and inconsistencies with traditional forces and argues that groups like the PIRA can professionalize and increase their effectiveness in doing so. This widens the field of professionalism studies and provides an additional lens through which to examine nonstate groups.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Politics and International Relations
ID Code:74364
Uncontrolled Keywords:Social Sciences (miscellaneous), Sociology and Political Science, Safety Research
Publisher:SAGE Publications


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