The 'private' military industry in Africa and beyond: the corporatization of force and the consequences




Sagvolden, Magne Bjerva

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Based on a re-articulated definition of ‘public’ and ‘private’, this thesis challenge the common understanding of the state as a principally ‘public’ provider of force. Taking both a theoretical and empirical approach, this thesis argues that there has been a continuing conflation of state and non-state providers of force, and that the latter can be just as legitimate. Three cases are here analysed: Executive Outcomes in Sierra Leone, The Royal African Company in Guinea and King Leopold II in The Congo Free State. Current events in Iraq and New Orleans will also be addressed. By analysing how force has been used for economic profit at the cost of the public, this thesis argues that the essential question is not who provides security, but for whom security is provided. It has thus taken a broader approach to the debate about the desirability and ramifications of the private military industry.



Africa, Iraq, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Congo, security, profit