The legitimate use of force is generally presumed to be the realm of the state. However, the flourishing role of the private sector in security over the last twenty years has brought this into question. In this book Deborah Avant examines the privatization of security and its impact on the control of force. She describes the growth of private security companies, explains how the industry works, and describes its range of customers - including states, non-government organisations and commercial transnational corporations. She charts the inevitable trade-offs that the market for force imposes on the states, firms and people wishing to control it, suggests a new way to think about the control of force, and offers a model of institutional analysis that draws on both economic and sociological reasoning. The book contains case studies drawn from the US and Europe as well as Africa and the Middle East.
Deborah D. Avant is Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Institute for Global and International Studies at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University. She is the author of Political Institutions and Military Change: Lessons From Peripheral Wars (1994) and of numerous articles.
1. Introduction; 2. Private security and the control of force; 3. State capacity and contracting for security; 4. Dilemmas in state regulation of private security exports; 5. Private financing for security and the control of force; 6. Market mechanisms and the diffusion of control over force; 7. Conclusion; Bibliography.