• Krahmann, Elke (Principal Investigator)

Project Details


Following allegations that private security guards were involved in the torture of Iraqi prisoners and in the wake an attempted coup by private mercenaries in Equatorial Guinea, the proliferation of so-called Private Military Companies has been at the fore of the public and academic debate. However, so far little theoretical research has been conducted on the commodification of security. This project proceeds from the proposition that the marketisation and commodification of security, respectively defined as the competitive provision of security by private actors and the transformation of security into a product for sale, has important consequences for the theory and practice of national and international security policy making. In particular, it investigates four interconnected developments and its policy implications:

• The progressive deterritorialisation of security as both threats and the provision of security are no longer associated with states, but groups and individuals.
• The emergence of risk management, that is the shift from addressing existing security threats to managing perceived and unknown future risks.

• The individualisation of security as the requirements of a private market turn security from a collective good into a divisible and exclusionary property.

• The depoliticisation of security policy making as states share or pass on responsibility for the provision of security to the market.
Effective start/end date1/10/061/10/08

Structured keywords

  • SPAIS Global Insecurities Centre


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