n Conflict Trends - Keeping the new dog of war on a tight leash. Assessing means of accountability for private military companies

Volume 2000, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


Academic interest in the subject of mercenaries has traditionally been limited for a number of reasons. For the most part, scholars have assumed that mercenaries have gone the way of the Barbary Pirates and dueling: that they have largely been removed from the international scene altogether. Another reason is the fact that many academics find the subject matter distasteful. Coverage and criticism of the activities of men, such as Gilbert Bourgeaud (alias Bob Denard) and 'Mad' Mike Hoare, were therefore left to the popular media. Moreover, since this mercenary activity was relatively marginal in absolute terms, and since the sensationalised exploits and misadventures of these men had been roundly criticized, there seemed to be no reason to engage in academic inquiry or debate.

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