This course focuses on the conditions and processes enabling the entrenchment of diverse forms of local power in various parts of the world under conditions of globalization, democratization, and decentralization: bosses, caciques, chiefs, clans, mafias, and warlords. The course treats literature on ‘subnational authoritarianism’, forms of local power rooted in criminality and violence outside the state, urban political machines, rural bosses, warlords in contexts of state collapse, and the construction of ‘countervailing power’ and local-level democratization. The course covers settings as varied as the United States, Italy, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia, China, India, and Libya.