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© 2017

Private Military and Security Companies and States

Force Divided

Book

Part of the New Security Challenges book series (NSECH)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Christopher Spearin
    Pages 1-22
  3. Christopher Spearin
    Pages 23-56
  4. Christopher Spearin
    Pages 57-88
  5. Christopher Spearin
    Pages 89-125
  6. Christopher Spearin
    Pages 127-168
  7. Christopher Spearin
    Pages 169-202
  8. Christopher Spearin
    Pages 203-216
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 217-229

About this book

Introduction

 “In this timely and thought-provoking work, Christopher Spearin provides important new insight into the normative, technological and strategic factors that help shape the use of private military and security companies on land, at sea and in the air. The analysis increases our understanding of these commercial actors and the ways in which their past, present and future remains intimately linked to states and the organisation, control, and deployment of military force. This is a significant addition to research in this field and will appeal to students, scholars and policy makers alike.”

– Joakim Berndtsson, Associate Professor, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

This book identifies and explains the functional and ideational boundaries regarding what states and Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs) both do and possess regarding land power, sea power, and air power.  Whereas the mercenaries, privateers, and chartered companies of years past held similar characteristics to state military forces, the PMSCs of today are dissimilar for two reasons: a conventional forces norm amongst states and a state proclivity towards the offensive. These factors reveal both the limitations of and the possibilities for contemporary security privatization. This volume is ideal for civilian and military practitioners and students wishing to develop a detailed understanding of what the private military and security industry has to offer and why it is structured the way it is. 

Keywords

Armies Navies Air Forces Mercenaries Chartered Companies Privateers Air Power Sea Power Land Power Conventional Forces Privatization Private Military and Security Companies PMSCs’ / ‘PMSC’ State military forces Private security Security privatization’

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Defence StudiesRoyal Military College of Canada/Canadian Forces CollegeTorontoCanada

About the authors

Christopher Spearin is Associate Professor of Defence Studies at the Royal Military College of Canada/Canadian Forces College.

Bibliographic information

Reviews

“In this timely and thought-provoking work, Christopher Spearin provides important new insight into the normative, technological and strategic factors that help shape the use of private military and security companies on land, at sea and in the air. The analysis increases our understanding of these commercial actors and the ways in which their past, present and future remains intimately linked to states and the organisation, control, and deployment of military force. This is a significant addition to research in this field and will appeal to students, scholars and policy makers alike.” (Joakim Berndtsson, Associate Professor, University of Gothenburg, Sweden)

“Christopher Spearin takes a novel approach to the long-held question of the respective monopolies on force of private military and security companies versus states: through an assessment of the ideational and functional boundaries of what states and these firms do and possess, respectively, with regard to violence. To do so, Spearin adeptly employs normative reasoning, and considers the role of technology and the ability to operate defensively versus offensively in framing the operational distinctions between state militaries and private forces. The result is a significant contribution to the on-going debate regarding the distinctions between, and interactions of, states and private military and security companies across different operational milieu: on land, in the air, and in a maritime environment.” (Molly Dunigan, Senior Political Scientist, RAND Corporation, USA)

“Spearin has produced an impressive account of the emergence and boundaries of today’s PMSC market. A clear strength of the book is Spearin’s thorough analysis of the historical development of the current PMSC-phenomenon, avoiding the sensationalistic neo-medievalism trap, yet laying bare the crucial technological and social forces shaping today’s market. For everyone interested in the topic, Spearin’s original conclusions about the organization of commercial force, its close relation to the state, and his timely policy implications on the role of PMSC in conflict, make the book a profitable read.” (Ulrich Petersohn, Senior Lecturer in International Politics, University of Liverpool, UK)