Outsourcing Human Security: The Pros and Cons of Private Security Companies in Peacekeeping   [open pdf - 2MB]

From the thesis abstract: "The United Nations [UN] is an international organization that acts in world affairs with the proclaimed aim of ending 'the scourge of war' and promoting world peace. The UN often uses peacekeeping to further this goal. This dissertation considers the potential for private security companies (PSCs) to make a contribution to peacekeeping missions. PSCs claim to offer a flexible capability that can be used to assist organizations and states toward improvements in human security. PSCs offer services ranging in scope from protecting diplomats to providing security for major corporations, NGOs, and the UN. They also claim that their services can be performed better, cheaper, and faster than states or organizations like the UN. For example, supporters of PSCs claim that they could have prevented atrocities such as occurred in Rwanda, Srebrenica, and Congo. Opponents of the increased use of PSCs raise a host of concerns, including cost, morality, legitimacy, loyalty, fraud, accountability, and political will. In an era when states often lack critical capabilities to protect the peace or prevent war, PSCs may offer a temporary solution to fill these gaps. What are the advantages and disadvantages to the use of PSCs for international peacekeeping? The analysis in this dissertation focuses on the ability of PSCs to perform not just specific tasks, but on their ability to conduct of peacekeeping with legitimacy, accountability, and impartiality, while protecting human security. Since ending the scourge of war is the most important goal of the UN, then human security must be the guiding principle upon which all structures of integration, communication, and interrelationships in peacekeeping are based. Using the concept of human security as a guiding principle, this dissertation evaluates the pros and cons of the use of PSCs in peacekeeping and finds that PSCs should be used in peacekeeping operations as a hybridized force where their demonstrated strengths, generally speed and flexibility, are used to maximize effectiveness of instituting UN Security Council-mandated peacekeeping."

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