Security Provision and States' Authority: The Effects of Private Military and Security Actors

Helene Olsen, Camilla Bak, Jason Moisio, Mark Nissen & Camilla Jensen

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt

Abstrakt

With regards to social constructivism, this project explores the effects of private military and security companies on states’ authority and their provision of security. A core aspect of legitimate state authority is the monopoly of violence, which the military is understood as being the practical extension of. The effect on states monopolization of violence, and consequently state authority, when the provision of security has been outsourced to private military and security companies becomes relevant while working with the security dimension of the social contract. Based on empirical data from the United States, Japan and Sierra Leone, we argue for some observable generalisations regarding the effects on the social contract in relation to security, and consequently states’ authority, when outsourcing the provision of security to private military and security companies. We have found that, as such, states’ reliance on private military and security companies does not significantly affect states’ authority, and subsequently the provision of security, in neither the United States nor Japan. However, there are some implications within Sierra Leone, in which the social contract in relation to security was affected by the Sierra Leonean state’s use of private military and security companies. Generally, it was observed that by outsourcing military functions to private military and security companies, a new actor entered into the provision of civil society’s security. While the state’s monopoly of violence is partially being eroded, it does not necessarily entail that the authority of states are affected. Rather, a monopsy of violence is established. On the basis of historic and cultural trends within each case study, we argue that the social contract in relation to security needs to be analysed in a country-specific context. By arguing that the social contract in relation to security is country-specific, it is also argued that the use of private military and security companies does not warrant the same effects on states’ authority among all states, but rather that this requires further investigation on a country-by-country basis. Lastly, this project also discusses the implications on states’ authority while part of an international society in which states interact with international organisations, non-governmental organisations and private firms. When utilising a social constructivist framework, it is argued that states are becoming increasingly international and, as such, should be investigated in a national as well as in an international context.

UddannelserGlobal Studies, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor el. kandidat
SprogEngelsk
Udgivelsesdato8 jan. 2014
VejledereLars Buur

Emneord

  • Social Contract
  • State Authority
  • Security Provision
  • PMSC
  • Privatisation of Military