Lynne Rienner Publishers Logo

Armies Without States: The Privatization of Security

Robert Mandel
ISBN: 978-1-58826-066-6
2002/169 pages/LC: 2001059426

"A well-balanced treatment of a very important but oft-neglected trend."—Future Survey

"A welcome addition to the study of PMCs and the privatization of security more generally."—Bryan Mabee, International Affairs

"An articulate, incisive assessment of who wins and who loses in the privatization of security."—Russ Howard


What does the increasing use of private security forces mean for governments? For individuals? Armies Without States offers a comprehensive analysis of the varieties, causes, and consequences of this growing phenomenon.

Ranging from the international to the subnational level and from the use of mercenaries by private parties to the government outsourcing of military operations, Mandel reveals emerging trends and discovers parallels among security privatization in all parts of the world. Brief case studies illustrate the broader themes discussed. The book concludes with an assessment of the complexities surrounding responses to security privatization—and an exploration of when, and whether, it should be promoted rather than prevented.


Robert Mandel is professor of international affairs at Lewis and Clark College. His previous publications include The Changing Face of International Security and Deadly Transfers and the Global Playground.


  • Introduction.
  • Recent Trends in Private Security.
  • Private Security and the State System.
  • Sources of the Privatization Trend.
  • The Impact and Projected Consequences of Privatization.
  • Private Security Services: A Taxonomy.
  • International and Domestic Private Security: Case Studies.
  • Complexities Surrounding Privatization.
  • Conclusion: Possible Policy Alternatives.