The Principled Case for Employing Private Military and Security Companies in Interventions for Human Rights Purposes
Article first published online: 16 DEC 2011
Published 2011. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.
Journal of Applied Philosophy
Volume 29, Issue 1, pages 1–18, February 2012
How to Cite
BAKER, D.-P. and PATTISON, J. (2012), The Principled Case for Employing Private Military and Security Companies in Interventions for Human Rights Purposes. Journal of Applied Philosophy, 29: 1–18. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-5930.2011.00548.x
- Issue published online: 14 FEB 2012
- Article first published online: 16 DEC 2011
The possibility of using private military and security companies to bolster the capacity to undertake intervention for human rights purposes (humanitarian intervention and peacekeeping) has been increasingly debated. The focus of such discussions has, however, largely been on practical issues and the contingent problems posed by private force. By contrast, this article considers the principled case for privatising humanitarian intervention. It focuses on two central issues. First, does outsourcing humanitarian intervention to private military and security companies pose some fundamental, deeper problems in this context, such as an abdication of a state's duties? Second, on the other hand, is there a case for preferring these firms to other, state-based agents of humanitarian intervention? For instance, given a state's duties to their own military personnel, should the use of private military and security contractors be preferred to regular soldiers for humanitarian intervention?