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Regulating the Global Security Industry: A Liberal Normative Perspective

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As the global security industry is expanding both in terms of the geographical scope in which it operates and the types of clients it serves, commercially provided security on a global market for force has become an essential part of a global security complex. With an ever-growing number of individuals globally exposed to commercially provided security, concerns have been raised about the inconsistent regulation of this global security industry. At its core, this article advances a normative argument based on liberal theory of how to best regulate commercially provided security as a private, public, or global good. By extending the classification of security beyond the public-private dichotomy so as to include the global transnational sphere in which most private military and security companies (PMSCs) operate, this article argues that adequate regulation ought to revolve around a global supranational enforcement body. The reason is that as PMSCs increasingly affect communities and individuals beyond a mere private or public sphere, a regulatory regime simply constructed around the state as the public monopolist on force would not be able to adequately protect individuals in the global sphere from potential PMSC misconduct. Instead, a global supranational enforcement body able to safeguard the natural rights of individuals impartially and universally ought to regulate security as a global good.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 February 2014

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  • The St Antony's International Review (STAIR) is the only peer-reviewed journal of international affairs at the University of Oxford. Set up by graduate students of St Antony's College in 2005, the Review has carved out a distinctive niche as a cross-disciplinary outlet for research on the most pressing contemporary global issues, providing a forum in which emerging scholars can publish their work alongside established academics and policymakers. Past contributors include Robert O. Keohane, James N. Rosenau, and Alfred Stepan.
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