"In a number of instances ..the allocation by the state of differential rights of access was based on a normative scale according to which groups were seen as superior to others, and at times these normative evaluations were projected into the collective images which Africans formed of themselves."
Colonialism also left organised military and police forces, often used as instruments of coercion. In a deteriorating state they become a law unto themselves, selling themselves as mercenaries to wealthy independents. For the few states that do develop most descend into civil war, rebellion, wars of succession and political corruption, "between 1958 and 1985, there has been 65 forcible changes of government in Africa alone." It would be inaccurate to presume that Europe is spared these problems but the Intra-war in ex-Yugoslavia shattered this illusion. A feature of the war in Yugoslavia was ethnicity, ethnic hostilities hidden under the silencing hand of communism were emerging. Experts on ethnicity such as Ted Gurr suggests that ethnic hatreds and affinities can be products of the weak state, they are not primordial but arise in particular political, social and economic conditions. The state can often be seen as exploiting ethnic grievances for their own political ends.
Emerging peripheral nations have been unable to cope with the pressure of rapid economic modernisation and the legacy of colonialism, the tensions that arise cause stress on the basic foundations of the developing nation leading to a decent into revolutionary violence. This alternative strategy of war fare is becoming increasingly prolific. the last major state confrontation could be viewed as the cold war and the nuclear stalemate that ensued, since the advent of nuclear weapons inter-state war has become obsolete because of the threat of total annihilation that is posed. The new form of war-fare is Intra-state war and insurgency. " in the last eight years alone there have been no less that 164 internationally significant out breaks of revolutionary violence" .
The terms insurgency and revolutionary war-fare are largely inter-changeable, they refer to a particular variety of revolutionary activity that involves a protracted struggle using irregular military tactics. Tactics involve psychological and political operations in addition to conventional military strategies. The goal is generally to form a new system or political structure from within the state. Insurgency is markedly different to conventional war, T.E Elliot defines it as "an influence, an idea, a thing intangible, without front or back, drifting like a gas." Conventional war focuses its attention on military considerations were insurgency