Over the past twenty years, Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs) have become significant elements of national security arrangements, assuming many of the functions that have traditionally been undertaken by state armies. Given the centrality of control over the use of coercive force to the functioning and identity of the modern state, and to international order, these developments clearly are of great practical and conceptual interest.

This edited volume provides an interdisciplinary overview of PMSCs: what they are, why they have emerged in their current form, how they operate, their current and likely future military, political, social and economic impact, and the moral and legal constraints that do and should apply to their operation. The book focuses firstly upon normative issues raised by the development of PMSCs, and then upon state regulation and policy towards PMSCs, examining finally the impact of PMSCs on civil-military relations. It takes an innovative approach, bringing theory and empirical research into mutually illuminating contact. Includes contributions from experts in IR, political theory, international and corporate law, and economics, and also breaks important new ground by including philosophical discussions of PMSCs.

chapter |15 pages


The ethics and governance of private military and security companies

part |70 pages


chapter 2|13 pages

Of ‘mercenaries' and prostitutes

Can private warriors be ethical?

chapter 3|13 pages

Regulating anarchy

The ethics of PMCs in global civil society

chapter 4|14 pages

Benevolence, honourable soldiers and private military companies

Reformulating Just War theory

part |102 pages

Policies and law

chapter 7|14 pages

Private military companies

Markets, ethics and economics

chapter 8|15 pages

Ruthless humanitarianism

Why marginalizing private peacekeeping kills people

chapter 11|12 pages

Private military/security companies

The status of their staff and their obligations under international humanitarian law and the responsibilities of states in relation to their operations

part |77 pages

Civil–military relations

chapter 14|14 pages

Privatized peace?

Assessing the interplay between states, humanitarians and private security companies

chapter 15|18 pages

The military and the community

Comparing national military forces and private military companies

chapter 16|12 pages

Interface ethics

Military forces and private military companies