About the 4MI Project

The proliferation of Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs) and its consequences are controversially discussed in the media, political institutions and academic research. Nevertheless, there remain major gaps in our knowledge about the industry and how it impacts on international security. One of the most critical gaps regards the use of PMSCs by international organizations such as the United Nations (UN), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU).

This research project investigates the potential implications of the interaction between these international organizations and PMSCs in multilateral military interventions, generally, and in three contemporary case studies, specifically:

  • MONUC/MONUSCO in the Democratic Republic of Congo (UN & PMSCs)
  • ISAF in Afghanistan (NATO & PMSCs)
  • ALTHEA in Bosnia-Herzegovina (EU & PMSCs)


Objectives

By analysing the collaboration between these international organizations and PMSCs and its impact on the achievement of mission objectives, the project provides new empirical data and insights that will help to assess both the potential and possible problems of involving PMSCs in multilateral military interventions. Moreover, by comparing the regulatory, operational and representational practices of the UN, NATO, the EU and their contractors, the project aims to identify examples of ‘best practice’ which may be used as future policy guidance for international organizations, companies and missions.

 

Research Questions

  1. What are the regulatory, operational and representational practices of the UN, NATO, the EU and PMSCs, generally, and in the three case studies, specifically?
  2. How do these practices shape the collaboration between these international organizations and PMSCs?
  3. Where have both sets of actors developed common practices and where not?
  4. What divergent and/or common practices impact negatively or positively on the achievement of mission objectives?

 

Funding

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), United Kingdom - Grant no. ES/J021091/1
Duration: June 2013-June 2016

 

Download the Project Flyer (short version or long version)

Project Highlights

4MI Research Paper ‘Markets in the Making of Multilateral Military Interventions: Contracted Security in MONUC/MONUSCU’ to be presented on the Panel PMSCs in Military and Peace Building Operations: Changing the Practices of Intervention, Thursday 27 March 2014, 8:15-10:00 am, at the International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention, Toronto.

Project Partners

Brunel University London

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