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Private Military Company

In his lecture “Politics as a Vocation,” Max Weber said that the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force is one of the defining characteristics of the modern state. But in recent times, this core function of modern statehood has increasingly been outsourced to private military companies (PMCs), that is, commercial firms offering military services and advice to combat. Increasingly, these organizations are invoked to complement or substitute national armies. Under the impact of the promarket philosophy of “reinventing government,” this tendency has become especially prominent since the 1990s.

The hiring of mercenaries was common practice in the history of armed conflict. In the present age, mercenaries are prohibited by the International Convention Against the Recruitment, Use, Financing, and Training of Mercenaries, which was adopted ...

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