Between Complicity and Irrelevance? Industry Associations and the Challenge of Regulating Private Security Contractors

Article excerpt


     The Neglect of Industry Associations in Academic and Policy
     The Preference for Formal Regulation
       i. Formative Influences, Organizational Structures
          a) International Peace Operations Association
          b) Private Security Companies Association of Iraq
          c) British Association of Private Security Companies
      ii. Membership
     iii. Initiatives for Promoting Better Standards of Service
          a) Coercive Mechanisms
          b) Normative and Mimetic Mechanisms
          c) Cooperation with Other Initiatives
       i. Regulatory Claims
          a) "Private" Bodies
          b) Status of Private Governance Arrangements
      ii. Legitimacy and Accountability Concerns Arising from the
          Close Nexus between PMSCs and Industry Associations
          a) Bona Fide Consent and Insulation from the
             Interests of Particular Members
          b) Effectiveness and/or Continued Consent
          c) Accountability/Responsiveness to Justifiable
             Interests of Third Parties
     iii. Concerns Relating to the Nature of PMSC Services
          a) Human Rights Concerns of Populations in the
             Area of Operation of PMSCs
          b) Interests of Military Forces
          c) State Interests
          d) Potential for Conflict
          e) Comparing State and Industry Association
             Motivations to Regulate
      iv. Regulation by the State: Possibilities and Limits
          a) Adoption of Legal Rules
          b) Enforcement of Rules: The Blackwater Incident
       i. A Few Preliminary Points
      ii. Legitimacy
          a) Availability of Information
          b) Organizational Structure
          c) Procedures Followed
     iii. Accountability
          a) Internal Accountability
          b) External Accountability
          c) External Accountability Through Market and
             Reputational Controls
          d) Accountability Driven by Systemic Forces
      iv. Effectiveness
          a) Some Advantages
          b) Some Positive Interventions to Promote Higher
             Standards of Operation among PMSCs
          c) Factors Determining the Success of Industry
             Associations' "Initiatives to Promote Standards of
          d) Other Considerations


The Neglect of Industry Associations in Academic and Policy Discussion

In discussing regulation of the private military and security industry, (1) scholars and policy advocates do not ignore the role of industry associations, but they do sideline them. The focus is on regulation by states, (2) or by an international office created by treaty, (3) or a combination of the two. (4) Such "formal" regulation is undeniably important. However, a preference for it is not irrational only insofar as it can be assumed that states and international offices are willing and able to effectively regulate PMSCs. This is often not the case. On several occasions states have shown themselves unwilling or unable (or both) to regulate PMSCs. An international office that can do so is far from being realized. On the other hand, several industry associations have come into being in the last few years, each with at least a partial mandate for regulation of PMSCs. It is surprising then that their regulatory potential has received little serious consideration. To date there does not exist a single analytical account of their activities. Little effort has been made to grapple with issues relating to the legitimacy of their regulatory claims, and the effectiveness and accountability of their regulatory activities. This paper aims to fill that gap.

In this paper, I examine the reasons for and against giving serious consideration to the regulatory function of industry associations and engage in a critical evaluation of their claims to legitimacy, accountability and effectiveness as regulatory bodies. …


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.