n Conflict Trends - Private military and security companies : a comparative analysis between Colombia and Sierra Leone

Volume 2012, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


Nowadays there is a general international recognition of the role private military and security companies (PMSCs) can play in a country's development. There is no doubt that the increase in the number of these companies has created debates about the privatisation of war, the monopoly of the legitimate use of force, and the new challenges they pose to humanitarian law. There is also a debate about whether their role can be understood as either beneficial or detrimental.

The growth of PMCSs responds to an 'increasing disinclination on the part of great powers to intervene in civil wars', a glut of trained manpower and the new ideology of market, leading to a paradigm change. This involves thinking about security in terms of cost-effective privatisation and not as a fundamental function of the modern state.

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