Commercial Security Practices

Authored by: Anna Leander

The Routledge Handbook of New Security Studies

Print publication date:  January  2010
Online publication date:  January  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415484374
eBook ISBN: 9780203859483
Adobe ISBN: 9781135166205

10.4324/9780203859483.ch21

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Abstract

The significance of commercial security practices is no longer news. The death of 17 civilians shot by Blackwater employees in Nisour Square Baghdad in September 2007, the diffusion of the Aegis ‘trophy’ video showing firm employees shooting at random while ‘driving in Iraq’ in 2004, the involvement of TITAN and CACI employees in the abuse of Abu Ghraib inmates in 2003–4, or the role of Executive Outcomes in the Sierra Leone civil war 1995–6 are only some of the many spectacular events that have drawn attention to the growing role of commercial security practices in international security. Security commercialization has changed from being a rather obscure issue to being a highly publicized political bone of contention. Policy-makers, NGOs, journalists, lawyers and academics strive to impose an understanding of commercial security, its problems and their possible solution. The result is an explosion in publications, including filmed documentaries and other media reports, about security commercialization. Voices from all political and academic horizons are striving to draw attention to the issues and questions they find most significant and pressing with regard to the development of security.

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