Winner of the "Best Book Award" from the Central Eurasian Studies Society (2016) and the Furniss Award, "given annually to an author whose first book makes an exceptional contribution to the study of national and international security," from the Mershon Center at The Ohio State University (2017).
Praise for the book:
- "Combining rigorous deductive logic with stunning fieldwork, Jesse Driscoll produces analytic narratives from post-communist cases that serve to challenge conventional thinking about anarchy, state building, and other fundamental concepts of political science." Roger Petersen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- "Simply an extraordinary book ... nuanced and at the same time brutally compelling." Georgi Derluguian, author of Bourdeiu's Secret Admirer in the Caucasus: A World Systems Biography
- "As Driscoll shows, much about building state institutions revolves around the management of expectations. If warlords can be convinced that they can enrich themselves by trading in their guns for a government office desk, and if those bandits who are left out face a collective action problem and come to believe that they will not win by persisting outside of state institutions, then governments can pacify. As Driscoll documents, lucky warlords were able to cut deals, while those that failed to do so ended up being liquidated when political fortunes shifted. But essentially state-building ... involved incorporating criminal groups directly into the state and using this incorporation as a way of gaining control over them and eliminating rivals." Mark Beissinger, Princeton University
- "Warlords and Coalition Politics in Post-Soviet States offers both a rethinking of the origins of the contemporary state in Eurasia and a reexamination of the relationships among secession, violence, terrorism, and political institutions. This is state-of-the-art political science -- a book about real people grappling with matters of life and death, whose experiences we strain to understand using both abstract models and savvy ethnography. Jesse Driscoll helps us ee how post-Soviet politics sometimes emerged as the continuation of war by other means." Charles King, Georgetown University
- "[Driscoll] knows the academic field well and is fluent in its key arguments, but he also spent two years in the places where these wars occurred and among those who fought them. This kind of firsthand research gives his analysis real heft." Robert Levgold, Columbia University
- "A rare academic book ... a model of relevant, methodologically-sophisticated, and policy-relevant social science." Bernard Finel, National War College
- "[O]ne of the best scholarly texts out there about the politics of state formation in post-Soviet Eurasia." Alexo Kupatadze, St. Andrews (UK)
- "Warlords and Coalition Politics in Post-Soviet States fills a gap in the existing literature on warlords by providing a rich, ground-level view of warlords' beliefs about their own behavior ... Driscoll's choice to live long-term among the warlords and militias he studied makes him a true anthropologist of warlordism. ... Indispensable reading..." Kimberly Marten, Barnard College
- "Warlords and Coalition Politics will stand the test of time as the account of stabilization in the post-Soviet wars. ... Both political-ethnographic interviewing and formal mathematical modeling are vital to the explanation. ... The choice of the model's variables is clearly informed by the ethnography. The ethnography is given clarity by the underlying claims of the model. The use of such diametrically opposed methods makes this a stand-out work of political science and allows Driscoll to reach far more readers than would otherwise be the case. " John Heathershaw, University of Exeter (UK)
- "Driscoll impressively demonstrates the importance of local conflict dynamics and decisions by individual field commanders in his model on warlords and coalition politics in Tajikistan and Georgia." Tim Epkenhans, University of Freiburg (GE)
Excerpts and summaries:
"Special Roundtable on Warlords and Coalition Politics In Post-Soviet States," Central Asian Studies, Summer 2016.
"Can Anonymity Promises Possibly Be Credible In Police States?" Comparative Politics Newsletter, Volume 25, Issue 1, Spring 2015.
You can buy the book on Amazon (ISBN: 1107063353).