Despite the careless use of the terms ' warlord' and ' warlordism' by the media, both have become increasingly popular among academics, even if some scholars object to their use. This paper draws on direct field experience as well as the ongoing debate. It aims, on the one hand, to reconcile the different perspectives - which are often not necessarily at odds with each other - and on the other hand, to propose a definition of 'warlordism' for the social sciences that is both closer to that used so far by historians and at the same time consistent with emerging evidence from the field.
Giustozzi, A. Discussion Paper No.13. The Debate on Warlordism: the importance of military legitimacy. (2005) 25 pp.