The world felt the shock of various types of non-state actors (NSAs) such as the ETA, IRA and PKK, with their ethnic, separatist, leftist ideology, as they carried out terrorist attacks against nation-states in Europe and beyond in the 1970s and 1980s. However, recently, NSAs exerting regional and global influence and coming from under-developed regions like the Middle East and Central Africa have become widespread. It is a fact that NSAs follow diverse ideologies. In some cases, their ideologies are antagonistic to each other, but they have common patterns: they act as an alternative forms of hegemonic power that ideologically, geographically, and economically agitate and expostulate against states, which have been the legal and legitimate forms of hegemonic power since the constitution of the Westphalian system.
NSAs are not new phenomena; they come in various types and have a history as old as that of national states. Moreover, the history of states has contains an abundance of events involving non-state insurgents since the dawn of the Westphalian system. NSAs exist in developed countries as well as undeveloped countries and they economically and ideologically resist and oppose states. Although the term NSA is mostly used to refer to illegal political organizations and/or terrorists organizations, some NSAs are legal organizations such as private companies that aspire to influence the domestic and foreign policies of states for their own interests. Non-State Challenges in a Re-Ordered World, edited by Stefano Ruzza, Anja P. Jakobi and Charles Geisler, presents NSAs’ impact on various regions and examines the ways in which, despite little attention by mainstream media, they nonetheless manage to undermine state legitimacy as well as popular political organizations