States, Citizens and the Privatisation of Security

States, Citizens and the Privatisation of Security

Recent years have seen a growing role for private military contractors in national and international security. To understand the reasons for this, Elke Krahmann examines changing models of the state, the citizen and the soldier in the UK, the US and Germany. She focuses on both the national differences with regard to the outsourcing of military services to private companies and their specific consequences for the democratic control over the legitimate use of armed force. Tracing developments and debates from the late eighteenth century to the present, she explains the transition from the centralized warfare state of the Cold War era to the privatized and fragmented security governance, and the different national attitudes to the privatization of force.


“A valuable addition to the study of private military contractors…Krahmann investigate how two contrasting domestic ideologies underlying democratic systems of government, republicanism and neoliberalism, have shaped state choices regarding the relationship between the soldier and the state…Scholars interested in understanding the implications of privatizing security will find much to engage with here.”
– Renée de Nevers, Syracuse University, Governance

'Amidst the growing number of studies on the privatization of security, Dr. Krahmann's book stands out as a unique and special contribution. Through its utilization of political theory, the book identifies the sometimes troubling implications posed by the privatization of security to the democratic control of armed force. What is more, these implications, in their scope and nature, vary from state to state as made clear in the book's emphasis on relevant case studies.' Christopher Spearin, Canadian Forces College

'In probing the paradoxes surrounding the democratic control of armed forces with specific regard to the proliferating use of private military forces in Europe and North America, this important work manages to shed new light on the transforming relationships among states, soldiers, and citizens and to induce readers to rethink their most fundamental assumptions about the nature of security on the contemporary world.' Robert Mandel, Professor of International Affairs, Lewis & Clark College