HYBRID WAR(FARE): THE CHALLENGE OF CONTAGION
Keywordshybrid war, hybrid warfare, contagion, proliferation, Russia
Whereas scholarly accounts have mushroomed, especially since 2014, on what a ‘hybrid warfare’ is and is not, the phenomenon has taken a centerstage in international politics, thus confidently entering the everyday political vocabularies and practices in a growing number of states and societies worldwide. Drawing on the recent evidence of spatial and temporal diffusion of hybrid warfare theatres, this article argues that hybrid wars are highly contagious, thus prone to substantially challenge the international order, its normative and structural foundations. It therefore aims to explore the trends in the ideational spread and political uses of both hybrid warfare methods as well as the proliferating instances of hybrid wars fought across the globe. Finally, drawing on the empirical evidence and scholarly achievements in related fields of study, the article offers explanatory account of the mechanisms, conditions and dimension of hybrid war(fare) contagion. Among other featured cases, Russia’s hybrid war(fare) campaigns in Ukraine, Europe and further afield are employed as illustrative ‘archetypal’ cases.
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