Towards a definition of the «gray zone» (GZ) concept

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Academic Papers

In the last years, we have witnessed a remarkable effort to achieve theoretical frameworks that are able to explain the assortment of conflicts that are currently developing and which will probably be developed more frequently in the future.

Taking into account the decline of interstate wars, concepts like Hybrid War appeared. However, some actors are generating dynamics that, moving away from the bona fides of the times of peace, are not even definable as war. But they can be both, an alternative to war in order to achieve goals as strong as those of the war itself or a preparation for a future military campaign (hybrid or conventional), always playing to the limit of the international law. This scenario is usually identified as Gray Zone and this report arises from the need to proceed with its conceptualization.

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Josep Baques is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Barcelona. He is member of the International Security Studies Group (GESI) at the University of Granada, Spain