October 1, 2007

Book Review - Market for Force

There is tremendous hype and confusion about the role of privately-hired personnel working in war zones. How can we sort fact from fiction?

The Market for Force: The Consequences of Privatizing Security
Deborah D. Avant
HV 8290 .A83 2005

Avant, a professor of Political Science, approaches this topic from a theoretical perspective. First, she examines the control of force, applying political, functional, and market perspectives on what drives this into the private sector. She creates three case studies where security forces have been contracted by the government and evaluates their relative successes. Finally, she uses these studies to draw conclusions about future uses of contracted security, paying particular attention to the financial aspects and possibilities for internationalization of this trend.