Private Armed Forces and Global Security

A Guide to the Issues

by Carlos Ortiz

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Abortion in the United States

March 2010


Pages 250
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Security Studies/International and Transnational Security

Through an array of theoretical approaches and empirical material, this comprehensive and accessible volume surveys private armed forces and directly challenges conventional stereotypes of security contractors.

Private Armed Forces and Global Security: A Guide to the Issues is the first book to provide a comprehensive yet accessible survey of the private military groups involved in conflicts worldwide. Organized around four themes, it covers the history of private military forces since 1600, the main contemporary actors and their defining characteristics, the environments in which private armed forces operate, and provides an analysis of the logic behind privatizing security.

This book goes beyond conventional knowledge, offering both a theoretical approach and a new, practical perspective to advance the understanding of the ongoing climate of global instability and relevant players within it. Numerous examples help the reader grasp the full range of real-world challenges and conceptual facets surrounding this fascinating, yet highly polarizing topic.


  • Extracts of key legal documents related to mercenary activity and the regulation of the export of defense articles and services help illuminate the laws under which private military forces operate
  • A bibliography highlights significant material focusing on the study of the privatization of security and private military companies and cites key authors and sources of important empirical evidence


  • Identifies the overarching rationale and new managerial methods applied to the privatization and management of state security in the 21st century
  • Concisely integrates in one volume competing approaches and practical understandings of the privatization of security and the use of contractors in areas of state defense and security
  • Introduces an agenda-setting analysis, distinguishing unequivocally between military and security contractors and adverse private forces threatening global prosperity and stability
Author Info

Carlos Ortiz, PhD, is a visiting research fellow at the Centre for Global Political Economy at the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom. Ortiz has written numerous journal articles and papers about private military companies, the privatization of security, and military history.



"Highly recommended. All readership levels."—Choice

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