The increased use of private military and security companies (PMSCs) is often said to be one of the most significant changes to the military in recent times. The Morality of Private War: The Challenge of Private Military and Security Companies provides a detailed assessment of the moral arguments for and against the use of PMSCs. In doing so, it considers objections to private force at the employee, employer, and international levels. For instance, does thepotential for private contractors to possess mercenary motives affect whether they can use military force? Does a state abdicate an essential responsibility when it employs PMSCs? Is the use of PMSCs morally preferable to the alternatives, such as an all-volunteer force and a conscripted army? What are theeffects of treating military services as a commodity for the governing rules of the international system? Overall, The Morality of Private War argues that private military force leads to not only contingent moral problems stemming from the lack of effective regulation, but also several deeper, more fundamental problems that mean that public force should be preferred. Nevertheless, it also argues that, despite these problems, PMSCs can sometimes (although rarely) be morally permissiblyused. Ultimately, The Morality of Private War argues that the challenges posed by the use of PMSCs mean that we need to reconsider how military force ought to be organized and to reform our thinking about the ethics of war and, in particular, Just War Theory.
OUP Oxford; May 2014
- ISBN: 9780191663680
- Read online, or download in secure PDF format
- Title: The Morality of Private War
- Author: James Pattison
Imprint: OUP Oxford
In The Press
the book is detailed and accessible, and the conclusions he [Pattison] reaches are both pragmatic and persuasive
About The Author
Dr James Pattison's research interests include humanitarian intervention, the responsibility to protect, the ethics of war, and the increased use of private military and security companies. His first book, Humanitarian Intervention and the Responsibility to Protect: Who Should Intervene?, published by Oxford University Press, was awarded a 'Notable Book Award' by the International Studies Association (International Ethics Section). His PhD on humanitarianintervention was awarded the Sir Ernest Barker Prize for Best Dissertation in Political Theory by the Political Studies Association. He has published various articles on the ethics of force, including for Ethics & International Affairs, European Journal of Political Theory, International Theory, Journal ofMilitary Ethics, Journal of Applied Philosophy, and Journal of Political Philosophy. He is a Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Manchester.