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The Morality of Private WarThe Challenge of Private Military and Security Companies$
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James Pattison

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199639700

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199639700.001.0001

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The Privatization of Military Force and the Constraints on War

The Privatization of Military Force and the Constraints on War

(p.141) 6 The Privatization of Military Force and the Constraints on War
The Morality of Private War

James Pattison

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the negative externalities of the use of PMSCs at the international level. It focuses, in particular, on the formal and informal constraints on war. First, it considers the existing laws on PMSCs and, in doing so, advances the ‘Formal Constraints Argument’. This asserts that the market for force makes the effective maintenance of the current laws and rules of the current regulatory regimes on war difficult for several reasons. Second, it considers the informal constraints on warfare. It presents the ‘Informal Constraints Argument’ against PMSCs. This asserts that the use of PMSCs makes judgements on the use of force harder because of the opaqueness of the industry. The result is that the constraining power of the informal constraints is much weaker for PMSCs.

Keywords:   constructivism, informal constraints, international law, international system, negative externalities, market for force, proxy war, regulation, reputation

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