because the world needs more blogsI'm thinking of starting a new blog -- I'd do it as a whole well-designed, multiple contributor website with some actual reporting, if I had any of that curious green paper everyone's always talking about -- to document what looks to me like an emergence of non-state actors working in roles that we tend to associate with state institutions. The obvious and much-discussed examples are private armies and national security contractors, but I'm also interested in stories like this one in which off-duty police sell police services to people who get inadequate protection from, well, the police (see "Security Solution Specialists" on page 5).
And then there's Hatzolah, a private EMS organization that responds to medical emergencies in the Fairfax district in Los Angeles.
I've googled, and it doesn't look like anyone's doing this. And it would be pleasant to create a single place where stories about an apparent institutional trend could be aggregated.
In a way, I'm looking at a kind of decline-of-the-state narrative of the sort that John Robb is pursuing at Global Guerillas. But Robb is more closely focused on the ways that non-state actors are challenging the state, while I'm thinking of looking at the ways that non-state actors are supplementing and supplanting the state -- the ways that state authority is bleeding out of the increasingly permeable boundaries of the state.
And the history of the state/non-state distinction would be a big part. I think we're not so much transitioning to a new stage in governance as regressing to an old one.