"Deborah Avant has written a sensible corrective to the hype and hyperbole that has accompanied the study of mercenaries. She shows how private military companies are a part of the everyday workings of national military establishments, and provides prescient warnings about the impact of excessive outsourcing in this area. Avant provides an alarming message that over-reliance on private forces undermines the spirit and commitment that make effective national militaries work. In doing so, Avant shows how a public ethic is an integral part of what makes national militaries successful and how this is missing in private military companies."
William S. Reno, Northwestern University
"This fine study--rigorous in methodology, sweeping in its empirical domain and variety of data sources, and theoretically inspired to transcend the events of the day--does what all good scholarship should do: It informs, casts into doubt sweeping generalizations and conventional wisdom, and will promote and sometimes correct the next wave of security studies and international relations theory."
Perspectives on Politics, K.J. Holsti, University of British Columbia
"Avant's work provides two overarching benefits. First and foremost, it should be studied by the nation's strategic and political leaders. As the United States has taken the lead role in fostering the supply of and demand for PSCs, it would behoove these decision-makers to better comprehend the domestic and international ramifications of such actions. Second, for those interested in further study of PSCs at any level, The Market for Force acts as an outstanding repository of research for every aspect of the topic."
Parameters, Major Richard M. Wrona, Jr., US Military Academy
The legitimate use of force is generally presumed to be the realm of the state. However, the flourishing role of the private sector in security over the last twenty years has questioned this. In this book Deborah Avant examines the privatization of security and its impact on the control of force. She describes the growth of private security companies, explains how the industry works, and describes its range of customers--including states, non-government organizations and commercial transnational corporations. She charts the inevitable trade-offs that the market for force imposes on the states, firms and people wishing to control it, and suggests a new way to think about the control of force.