Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 89, Supplement 4, pp 387–401 | Cite as

Peaceful Warriors: Private Military Security Companies and the Quest for Stable Societies

  • Don Mayer


Peace is more likely where there is trade and commerce between nation-states. However, many nations are “failed states” or “failing states,” in large part because of civil wars. Yet, “business” may have a role to play here, too; as private military security companies (PMSCs) proliferate, governments and international organizations seem increasingly disposed to contract for their services, in some cases for combat roles as well as non-combat support roles in various conflict zones. This has raised questions about the ethics of using private companies for public purposes, especially where (as now) private companies have operated outside of legal accountability. This article suggests ways in which such accountability can be put in place, such that PMSCs can actually serve the cause of securing local and regional stability as a first step toward establishing a much safer environment for people and for business.


crimes and torts of PMSCs ethics of private military companies Montreux Document peace through commerce U.N. peacekeeping 



Alien Tort Statute


Democratic Republic of Congo


Global War on Terror


International Criminal Court


International Peace Maintenance Organization


UN Peacekeeping force in the Congo (from the French language, Mission de l’Organisation des Nations Unies en République démocratique du Congo)


North Atlantic Treaty Organization


Non-Government Organizations


Private Military Security Companies


Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations


Status of Forces Agreement


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Daniels College of BusinessUniversity of DenverDenverU.S.A.

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