Privatization and Commercialization of Security


Sonderforschungsbereich 700

Governance in Räumen begrenzter Staatlichkeit


Financial support:

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)


Jan 01, 2006 — Dec 31, 2009


The project analyzes the provision of security in areas of limited statehood by private actors. It questions the conditions and utility functions of non-state armed actors while either providing security or maintaining a state of insecurity. In doing so, we apply a twofold perspective: first on the logics of delegation to the private sector by governments and second on processes of security provision in areas of limited statehood by (mainly) non-state armed actors. In analogy to this approach we make use of qualitative and quantitative methods. Field research on processes of security provision in the north-eastern North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is conducted by Sylvia Sergiou. The Private Security Database (PSD) Project by Željko Branović collects data on the degree of outsourcing of security functions by states – and analyzes the conditions and logics of delegation under which governments make use of commercialized security.

The main purpose of our research is to enrich the current debate on security with new empirical findings which are used to advance the theoretical conceptualization of Security Governance.