The Privatisation of Violence: An Examination of Private Military and Security Contractors and Their Effect on Sovereignty and Fundamental Rights in a Globalised World

Gough, Daniel James (2018) The Privatisation of Violence: An Examination of Private Military and Security Contractors and Their Effect on Sovereignty and Fundamental Rights in a Globalised World. Doctoral thesis, Birmingham City University.

GOUGH, D.J. - PhD Thesis.pdf

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This thesis considers the effects the private exercise of coercive violence on the modern nation-state through an examination of the increasing prevalence of Private Military and Security Contractors. It studies the practical implications of the privatisation of violence for Domestic and International Law and seeks to propose an original typological framework for the classification and regulation of PMSCs.
This thesis begins by examining the historical relationship between coercive violence and maintenance of power/authority from the perspective of the Westphalian Sovereignty and the resulting state-centric international legal regime. It considers how the ‘violence-power’ relationship has historically been conceptualised through social contract and ‘force of law’ theories and the limitations these suffer in relation to PMSCs. Specific focus is given to the manner in which existing theories have tended towards viewing violence either as an instrument of power or, as a public good and the corresponding implications of the commodification and globalisation of violence. The study, therefore, seeks to develop an original conceptual framework on the nature of coercive violence. This conceptual framework draws upon a body of work built around the theoretical critiques of violence undertaken by Walter Benjamin and Hannah Arendt, allowing the study a unique perspective to analyse the relationship between private violence and governmental power/authority
Utilising this conceptual underpinning, this thesis investigates the political and economic factors instrumental in the growth of PMSC activity, considering the expansion of globalisation and neo-liberalism and the corresponding weakening of the nation-state. To highlight the increasing diversity of private actors, the research presents three case studies into the globalisation of coercive violence within national security assemblages namely; Peru, Nigeria and Afghanistan. These case studies first examine the social and political climate in which the growth of private coercive
violence developed and identify key security concerns which have affected these areas. Each case studies identifies the legal regulation of PMSCs in the State to understand both how States have sought to limit the proliferation of private violence and understand the difficulties these States have encountered in applying or enforcing these regulations.
Drawing upon these case studies, the thesis critically analyses the current attempts to regulate and establish accountability for PMSCs through either domestic or state-centric international Law noting the inherent difficulties within these. It considers how effectively the Montreux Document and the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Contractors are able to regulate the activities of PMSCs before analysing the effectiveness of the international legal regime in regulating PMSCs with a focus on the doctrine of State Responsibility. This notes the inherent difficulties in establishing effective regulatory frameworks and particularly the arbitrary distinctions drawn within these regulations
Finally, considering both the practical and theoretical issues identified throughout the research the thesis looks to create an original typological approach to identifying and classifying PMSCs. This approach examines stakeholder relationships and power structures to produce a framework for the classification of PMSC activity and extrapolates trends and features with emphasis on democratic accountability and human rights. The thesis proposes the suitability of this system as a framework for legal regulation in a manner capable of addressing the intricacies and difficulties posed by PMSCs.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: In Loving Memory of Frances Gough: The most incredible Mother a person could have ever wished for, 1965 - 2013. There are many individuals to who I owe a debt a gratitude for reaching the end of this project. Primary amongst these are my supervisors Dr Anne Richardson Oakes and Dr Haydn Davies. Your guidance, support and patience have been invaluable throughout this process and your welcoming approach has made the whole experience a pleasure. I could not have reached this point without you. I must thank Midlands3Cities who provided the funding that made this project possible and have provided the best experience that a PhD student could wish for. They have provided every resource a student could need and given me the opportunity to present my research throughout the UK and abroad, gaining invaluable insights in the process. I am also deeply grateful to the many members of the BCU Law School who have over the years made my experience so wonderful and enlightening. To Dr Sarah Cooper who has opened so many doors for me, and without whom I would not be in this position today. To Dr Jon Yorke and Dr Panos Protopsaltis who have, without obligation, always been generous with their time and expertise. To the Law PhD community; your support, always interesting discussions and friendship have been greatly appreciated over the past few years. Finally, I would like to thank Joe Gough for your encouragement, patience and incalculable support. Atticus, Chick, Moriarty and Sherlock for the entertainment, distractions and cuddles. Last but not least, Charlotte Boyne, your patience and understanding have been amazing though I have come to expect no less from you. Thankyou.
14 May 2018Completed
Uncontrolled Keywords: Private Military and Security Contractors; PMSCs; Privatisation; Violence; Human Rights; Globalisation
Subjects: CAH15 - social sciences > CAH15-01 - sociology, social policy and anthropology > CAH15-01-02 - sociology
CAH26 - geography, earth and environmental studies > CAH26-01 - geography, earth and environmental studies > CAH26-01-03 - human geography
CAH16 - law > CAH16-01 - law > CAH16-01-01 - law
Divisions: Doctoral Research College > Doctoral Theses Collection
Depositing User: Kip Darling
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2019 16:52
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2022 14:08

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