Growing privatisation of war

Growing privatisation of war

Originally submitted by Ian Miles
last updated by Rafael Popper

Weak Signal's progress: fully-fledged

This Weak Signal came from: 
European Commission Framework Programme for RTD

The theme/scheme related to this Weak Signal: 
Theme 8 - Socio-economic Sciences and the Humanities

The sub-theme that best relates to this Weak Signal: 
Conflicts, peace and human rights

When did the Weak Signal manifest ? 
2005-now

Weak Signal's description 
Major states are using corporate organisations in numerous military, security, and auxiliary roles – just as some countries’ outsource even sensitive public sector activities (e.g. prisons) to private companies. Suspicions have been raised about the potential influence of such entities on security policy, alongside growing concerns with the human rights and ethical issues of such privatisation. These could become major factors in the future through, e.g. litigation or public opinion (and the concerns might extend to other spheres of outsourcing of public services). The Weak Signal might go beyond simple continuation of an existing (largely unremarked, if remarkable) trend. It could imply one or other extreme Wild Card - a considerable intensification of the trend (war becomes very heavily privatised, private firms dictate military policy) or a considerable break with it (high constraints are placed upon states’ ability to mobilise private actors in war-fighting, even peacekeeping and even recovery efforts).