In the News,  Private Military Companies

Is the Privatization of Force Organic to Western Liberal Democracy?

Is the Privatization of Force Organic to Western Liberal Democracy? by Matt Armstrong, 13 April 2007, at 2007 Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association.

This paper reviews the reality of private military forces and suggests the marginalization and disfavor of mercenaries on land and sea was the result of a political economy and not liberal democratic theories. Reaching back four millennia before Westphalia gives witness to much the same. Sealing off the present from the past leads to false assumptions of the factors that led to the marginalization, but not disappearance, of private force in the nineteenth century. This bracketing of historic events and processes blinds us and prevents seeing and understanding engines of change. Investigating history and it is apparent the history of mercenaries on land and sea begins with the history of war and was subject to changing infrastructural power of the state. The evolution and introduction of liberal democratic principles had little impact on the wholesale removal of mercenaries from the battlefield.