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Private Security, Public OrderThe Outsourcing of Public Services and Its Limits$
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Simon Chesterman and Angelina Fisher

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199574124

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199574124.001.0001

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The privatization of violence

The privatization of violence

(p.11) 1 The privatization of violence
Private Security, Public Order

Michael Likosky

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the links between privatization of military civilian activities and the significance this has for efforts to hold PMSCs accountable for their conduct. Through examining the trajectory of privatization through time and across sectors, it outlines the important role that public-private partnerships played from colonialism to the 20th-century industrialization of the United States. The link between nominally civilian privatization projects and violence is explored through a Peruvian natural gas pipeline project: the contract did not directly address security questions but its effect on an indigenous population was no less violent. The difficulty of dissociating public and private aspects of a given industry is seen in the modern high tech industry: though its archetype is the garage entrepreneur made good, the foundations of this industry lie squarely in the US Department of Defense. Both insights suggest the need to have a broader and more flexible approach to accountability.

Keywords:   civilian privatization, colonialism, public-private partnerships, private military and security companies, PMSCs, accountability, Peru

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