This book contributes to the evolving research on Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs) and the way they can be legitimized in security governance, focusing on their relationship with NGOs.
Notwithstanding vocal criticisms from the media, academics and developing countries, there is little doubt that Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs) have become a legitimate authority in security governance. The PMSC industry is not only involved in the provision of public and private security across the globe, but also plays a central role in shaping and creating rules for its members. The transition from `pariah' to `legitimate governor' presents an important empirical and theoretical puzzle. How have PMSCs worked their way out of the `hall of shame' into the establishment? To provide an answer to this question, the book focusses on the interaction between PMSCs and one of their most outspoken and important critics, namely non-governmental organizations (NGOs). More specifically, it introduces the concept of `norm entrepreneurship' to reconstruct how the practices and interactions of these two unlike actors shape and relocate the normative boundaries of security governance, which has longtime rested on the rejection of mercenarism and the idea that the state is the sole legitimate source of violence. Tracing the agency of both actors in public discourse and in legalization processes, the book contends that that PMSCs and NGOs have undergone a double transition in that they have literally moved from `barricades to boardrooms'. While initially launching fierce anti-mercenarism/PMSC campaigns, today NGOs increasingly partner with these companies in multi-stakeholder processes such as the Swiss Initiative and the International Code of Conduct for Security Service Providers. At the same time, the industry itself has become `mainstream'. The growing legitimation pressure brought to bear on it has forced the PMSC industry to adapt and evolve from `macho' to `corporate'.
This book will be of much interest to students of private military and security companies, critical security studies, global governance and International Relations.