Security Beyond the State: Private Security in International Politics

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Cambridge University Press, Nov 18, 2010 - Political Science
Across the globe, from mega-cities to isolated resource enclaves, the provision and governance of security takes place within assemblages that are de-territorialized in terms of actors, technologies, norms and discourses. They are embedded in a complex transnational architecture, defying conventional distinctions between public and private, global and local. Drawing on theories of globalization and late modernity, along with insights from criminology, political science and sociology, Security Beyond the State maps the emergence of the global private security sector and develops a novel analytical framework for understanding these global security assemblages. Through in-depth examinations of four African countries – Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and South Africa – it demonstrates how global security assemblages affect the distribution of social power, the dynamics of state stability, and the operations of the international political economy, with significant implications for who gets secured and how in a global era.

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1 The untold story
2 Late modernity and the rise of private security
3 Power and governance
4 Of oil and diamonds
5 Safer cities or cities of walls?
6 Security politics and global assemblages

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About the author (2010)

Rita Abrahamsen is Associate Professor in the School of International Development and Global Studies at the University of Ottawa. She has lectured and published widely on African politics, and is currently joint-editor of the journal African Affairs. She is the author of Disciplining Democracy: Development Discourse and Good Governance in Africa.

Michael C. Williams is Professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa. He is a widely-recognised scholar of international relations theory and security studies and the author of The Realist Tradition and the Limits of International Relations (Cambridge University Press, 2005) and Culture and Security: Symbolic Power and the Politics of International Security.

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