OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

Private Militaries and the Security Industry in Civil Wars: Competition and Market Accountability

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Author: 
Seden Akcinaroglu; Elizabeth Radziszewski
Pub date
Jan 2021
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Since the 1990s, private military and security companies (PMSCs) have intervened in civil wars around the globe. International, legally registered corporate actors have assisted governments with a myriad of tasks including combat support, logistics, army and police training, intelligence analysis, and guard services. However, reports that such contractors have been responsible for human rights abuses have spurred the need to evaluate the industry's impact on conflicts. Are these contractors effective in curbing violence or does emphasis on profit and lack of accountability get in the way? And how can governments improve PMSCs' commitment to contractual obligations, including adherence to international humanitarian laws? This book identifies two market forces that impact PMSCs' military effectiveness: local or conflict-level competition and global or industry-level competition. Specifically, Seden Akcinaroglu and Elizabeth Radziszewski challenge the assumption that interventions by profit-driven coporations are likely to destabilize areas engaged in war, and provide data that private contractors do contribute to conflict termination under certain circumstances. They argue that competitive market pressure creates a strong monitoring system and that the company's corporate structure and external competitive environment in a given conflict help to explain the variance in accountability to clients. Including an analysis of data on international PMSCs' interventions in civil wars from 1990-2008, Akcinaroglu and Radziszewski show the impact of competition on companies' contribution to the termination of different types of civil wars.

Index: 

List of Tables and Figures
Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
1. External Interventions and Civil Wars: Why Focus on Non-State Actors?
2. Private Military and Security Industry: Opportunities and Challenges in Shaping Conflict Dynamics
3. Local Competition and PMSCs' Behavior in Civil Wars
4. Global Competition, Corporate Structure, and PMSCs' Accountability in Civil Wars
5. Market Factors and PMSCs' Effectiveness in Conflict Termination
6. Under Pressure: The Promise and Limitation of Competition
Notes
Bibliography
Index

About the author: 

Seden Akcinaroglu is an Associate Professor at Binghamton University. She is the author of the forthcoming book, Battle for Allegiance Governments, Terrorist Groups, and Constituencies in Conflict (University of Michigan Press). Her research on civil wars, terrorism and international conflict has been published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Peace Research and International Interactions. Elizabeth Radziszewski is an Assistant Professor at Rider University and Resident Fellow for 2020-2021 at Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership at U.S. Naval Academy. She is the author of Social Networks and Public Support for the European Union (Routledge, 2013). Her research on civil wars, international conflict, foreign policy, and innovation has been published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution, Wilson Quarterly, Political Research Quarterly, Foreign Policy Analysis, Journal of Global Security Studies, and International Interaction.

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