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The Morality of Private WarThe Challenge of Private Military and Security Companies$
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James Pattison

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199639700

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199639700.001.0001

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The Legitimacy of the State and Private Military and Security Companies

The Legitimacy of the State and Private Military and Security Companies

(p.71) 4 The Legitimacy of the State and Private Military and Security Companies
The Morality of Private War

James Pattison

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the employers of private military force. In doing so, it considers the differing ways of organizing the military. It first outlines and defends the ‘Cumulative Legitimacy Approach’ and argues that this approach should ultimately be used to assess the legitimacy of the military, rather than the prevailing theories of civil–military relations. Second, the chapter assesses the use of PMSCs according to this approach. It argues that, although the use of PMSCs does not necessarily threaten the primary understanding of the legitimacy of military force on this approach, employing private military force poses several serious moral concerns, including the lack of expected effectiveness, the undermining of democratic control, the poor treatment of PMSC personnel, and the undermining of communal bonds.

Keywords:   civil–military relations, communal bonds, Cumulative Legitimacy Approach, democratic control, effectiveness, legitimacy, military personnel, private military and security companies, Problem of Private Choice, responsibility of care

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