4 The regulation of private violence
The late twentieth century witnessed a significant growth of private companies providing a range of military and security services, both within their national states and abroad. Such PMSCs are potentially a resource that might be deployed for the purposes of peace and security, but because private security might lead to a weakening of states’ monopoly on the use of force this could, alternatively, result in greater uncontrolled violence in the world. Ballard argues that it is ‘no coincidence that, as the claim to the monopoly of legitimate violence increasingly becomes privatized, one sees the decline of the modern state’.1
The growth in outsourcing of military and security functions has been the most extensive within two of the P5 (the US and the UK), where it is seen as almost inevitable in the political and economic conditions of the twenty-first century. In the UK the view was taken that the end of the Cold War produced a ‘peace dividend’ in the form of much reduced military establishments, since massive standing military capability built up to try and match an anticipated Soviet onslaught across the North German plains was no longer necessary. Instead, what was needed was a smaller mobile military able to carry out core combat and peace-enforcement functions in trouble spots around the world, with other military and security functions being purchased as and when necessary.2
While the end of the arms race between the superpowers (and their allies) is an important explanation for the growth...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.