Since the end of the Cold War conflict resolution has undergone tremendous change as not only the nature of conflict has changed but also the actors involved. While the provision of security services in the protection of national borders and national interests has traditionally been a task assigned to the state and its military, states have been confronted with new types of conflicts and threats abroad that require renewed attention. Western interests, values and investments have been increasingly threatened by non-state actors overseas, triggering states, corporations and other private actors to turn to a new security provider: private military and security companies.
The private military and security industry is a highly diversified industry consisting of many internationally operating private military and security companies (PMSCs), which are civilian companies that provide security and military-related services. Services provided range from logistical support services, over operational support services to armed military or security services, often in malignant environments. There are ongoing controversies about the industry raised by academia, media and civil society groups. Since the contingency operations in Afghanistan and Iraq in the early 2000s, the infant private military and security providers of the 1990s have developed into a security industry whose services are essential to the proper functioning of many of its client's operations.
With Western contingency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan coming to an end, the public demand for military-related and security services has faded. Consequently, the private military and security industry has started to target new markets in order to fill the arising gap. With an increased threat from piracy and maritime terrorism, and private corporations increasingly operating in malignant environments in the developing world as well as demands for new forms of governmental support services, the industry has to redefine the nature of the services it supplies.
The Annual Private Military and Security Conference represents an opportunity to discuss the future of the private military and security industry from an academic, governmental, industry and non-governmental point of view. With a variety of speakers from each of these sectors the conference provides a platform for an engaging multidisciplinary discussion on the most important issues surrounding the industry today. This conference encourages debate within the academic and professional realm of the private military and security industry about:
- PMSCs' work for and relations to Humanitarian Organizations;
- Governmental support;
- The role of gender in the industry;
- How the industry is best regulated;
- How PMSCs help providing maritime security.
A young researcher's panel, which focuses on new and emerging research, and a roundtable on the future of the industry, complete the programme.
To register please contact Sabrina Downey on email@example.com or +44 (0)20 7747 2622