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Title: War and privatization : a moral theory of private protective agencies, militias, contractors, military firms, and mercenaries
Author: Feldman, William Brand
ISNI:       0000 0004 2711 7962
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis investigates the moral permissibility of military privatization. My analysis focuses on two distinct concepts: the authorization of war and the supply of war. Entities that authorize war decide that military force will be used and by whom; entities that supply war then execute the various tasks that have been authorized for performance. Part I argues that private actors may not justifiably authorize war. The reason is that, in so doing, they would impose considerable risks on individuals who lack a say in authorization—particularly fellow countrymen who may suffer from retaliatory military action—and we ought not to impose considerable risks on individuals who lack such a say. Public actors have a right, and indeed a duty, to prevent private actors from authorizing military force. Moreover, public actors have a further duty to authorize military force when their constituents are threatened. Part II then seeks to show that public actors who authorize military force may rely upon private contractors to an extent in military supply. Public actors may not rely upon private contractors to exercise command. The reason is that commanders must be able to punish their subordinates in intrusive ways (e.g. imprisonment) to ensure the prosecution of just wars. Such intrusive forms of punishment should only be dispensed by public actors. In addition, public actors may not rely upon private contractors to serve above commanders on the chain of command. Such high-ranking military officers exercise substantial political power over civilian decisions of military authorization and supply; moreover, these officers make weighty decisions in battle that substantially affect the well-being of others. Public actors, however, should be permitted to rely upon private contractors to serve below military commanders on the chain of command in rank-and-file military roles so long as these contractors are properly constrained and regulated.
Supervisor: Caney, Simon Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: legitimate authority ; mercenaries ; private security companies