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Private Security and Identity Politics


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This book examines the self-representation and identity politics of Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs). PMSCs have become increasingly important over the past few decades. While their boom is frequently explained in functional terms, such as their cost-efficiency and effectiveness, this book offers an alternative explanation based on an analysis of the online self-presentations of forty-two US- and UK-based companies. PMSCs are shaping how they are perceived and establishing themselves as acceptable and legitimate security actors by eclectically appropriating identities more commonly associated with the military, businesses and humanitarian actors. Depending on their audience and clients' needs, they can be professional hero warriors, or promise turn-key security solutions based on their exceptional expertise, or, in a similar way to humanitarians, reassure those in need of relief and try to make the world a better place. Rather than being merely public relations, the self-referential assertions of PMSCs are political. Not only do they contribute to a normalization of private security and reinforce an already ongoing blurring of lines between the public and private sectors, they also change what we deem to be `security' and a `security actor'. This book will be of much interest to students of private military companies, critical security studies, military studies, security studies and IR.
Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction Chapter 1: Identities, Identity Politics, and PMSCs Chapter 2: Professional Hero Warriors Chapter 3: Security Experts and Business Managers Chapter 4: Do-Gooders and Humanitarians Chapter 5: From Mercenary to Hero Warrior, Security Professional, and Humanitarian: Summary and Discussion of Findings

About the Author

Jutta Joachim is Senior Lecturer of International Relations at Radboud University, the Netherlands. She is author of Agenda Setting, the UN, and NGOs (2007) and co-editor of International Organizations and Implementation (Routledge 2007) and Transnational Activism in the UN and the EU (Routledge 2008). Andrea Schneiker is Professor of Political Science at the University of Siegen, Germany. She is the author of Humanitarian NGOs, (In)Security and Identity (Routledge 2015) and co-editor of Researching Non-State Actors in International Security (Routledge 2017).

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