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From Mercenaries to MarketThe Rise and Regulation of Private Military Companies$
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Simon Chesterman and Chia Lehnardt

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199228485

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199228485.001.0001

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Morality and regulation

Morality and regulation

(p.11) 1 Morality and regulation
From Mercenaries to Market

Sarah Percy (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Part one sets the context for the subsequent discussion of regulation. A basic question is the relationship between traditional mercenaries and PMCs, and whether PMCs should be banned altogether. Proponents of abolition argue that PMCs are old-style mercenaries in a modern guise, suggesting that their very nature and their use are morally problematic. This chapter examines these arguments and shows how they continue to influence the discussion of PMCs and regulation, in particular the approach to the topic within the United Nations. It argues that a continuum traceable from mercenaries to PMCs does exist and that therefore the ethical objections against PMCs will be difficult, if not impossible to overcome — but that those concerns might usefully serve as an additional check on the use of PMCs alongside regulation. Both regulators and the industry, would be well advised in taking these ethical worries seriously.

Keywords:   traditional mercenaries, private military company, PMC, United Nations, regulation, ethical objections

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