Political Science, Department of


Date of this Version


Document Type



Harrold, James. "Defining Scavenger Actors: Understanding a Global Menace." Master's thesis, 2013. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College of the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Political Science, Under the Supervision of Professor Ross Miller. Lincoln, Nebraska: December 2013

Copyright (c) 2013 James Harrold


This article introduces a new international actor, the 'scavenger-actor', as a replacement for warlords and pirate gangs. The article first reviews literature on both piracy and warlordism in historical and modern contexts in order to provide a basis for its argument of a new definitional term encompassing both groups. A negative binomial regression model is then applied to data on pirate attacks and measurements of state health to show that piracy is as closely tied to state failure as is warlordism. Finally, the article presents its argument for the new term, 'scavenger-actor', as a needed reform to political science discourse, and urges that greater measures be taken to acquire useful data on the activities of scavenger-actors.

Adviser: Ross Miller