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Title: The para-state nexus and US statecraft in the global South: The evolution of paramilitaries and private military companies in counterinsurgency and unconventional warfare
Author: Thomson, Andrew
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis examines why the US has increasingly rel ied on proxy forms of intervention in counterinsurgency and unconventional warfare operations and support Most existing studies on paramil itaries, mercenaries, and private military companies (PMCs) in US foreign policy analyze these actors separately from one another and tend to emphasize the ir relative newness in the post-Cold War security environment. In contrast, this thesis traces the continuity and evolution of the use of para-institutional actors in US-led and supported counterinsurgency and unconventional warfare engagements in the global South throughout the post-war period. It places this analysis in the context of US Open Door grand strategy and hegemonic ro le in the international system. ill doing so, it develops a para-statal model cfUS foreign policy that is inclusive of the variegated connections between the US and para-institutional forces . The "para-state nexus", as I have labeled it, conceprualizes the intersection of the l!S and various parallel mil itary formations and the ways in which they operate as a para-extension to US coercive reach. This thesis argues that the development and entrenchment of a para-state nexus is inextricably bound to US Open Door imperatives to "stabilize" favorab le political and economic state arrangements in countries in the glo bal South threate ned by significant opposition "from below", conducive to US interests and the global capitalist system as a whole. Thus it posits that this "para-state nexus" is embedded in structural relations of the liberalized global order, and forms a central component of the US's managerial role in the international system. This presents an alternative historical account of the evolution of PMCs in US foreign policy, and demonstrates that practices such as the "Salvador option" have extensive historical roots in the prosecution of US modes of coercive statecraft abroad. ji
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available