Mercenaries: The History of a Norm in International Relations

Mercenaries: The History of a Norm in International Relations

by Sarah Percy
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0199214336

ISBN-13: 9780199214334

Pub. Date: 12/16/2007

Publisher: Oxford University Press

The main aim of this book is to argue that the use of private force by states has been restricted by a norm against mercenary use. The book traces the evolution of this norm, from mercenaries in medieval Europe through to private security companies in modern day Iraq, telling a story about how the mercenaries of yesterday have evolved into those of today in the

Overview

The main aim of this book is to argue that the use of private force by states has been restricted by a norm against mercenary use. The book traces the evolution of this norm, from mercenaries in medieval Europe through to private security companies in modern day Iraq, telling a story about how the mercenaries of yesterday have evolved into those of today in the process.

The norm against mercenaries has two components. First, mercenaries are considered to be immoral because they use force outside legitimate, authoritative control. Second, mercenaries are considered to be morally problematic because they fight wars for selfish, financial reasons as opposed to fighting for some kind of larger conception of the common good.

The book examines four puzzles about mercenary use, and argues that they can only be explained by understanding the norm against mercenaries. First, the book argues that moral disapproval of mercenaries led to the disappearance of independent mercenaries from medieval Europe. Second, the transition from armies composed of mercenaries to citizen armies in the nineteenth century can only be understood with attention to the norm against mercenaries. Third, it is impossible to understand why international law regarding mercenaries, created in the 1970s and 1980s, is so ineffective without understanding the norm. Finally, the disappearance of companies like Executive Outcomes and Sandline and the development of today's private security industry cannot be understood without the norm.

This book is a project of the Oxford Leverhulme Programme on the Changing Character of War.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199214334
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
12/16/2007
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
1,278,781
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 6.30(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents


Introduction     1
Existing Literature on Mercenaries     2
Outline of the Argument     11
Norms, Their Influence, and How They Can be Studied     14
What Is a Norm?     14
The Relationship between Norms and the Related Concepts of Law, Morality, and Interests     18
The Influence of Norms oil Politics     23
Narrative Methodology     32
The Challenges of Dealing with Norms     42
Conclusion     48
The Definition of a Mercenary and the Definition of the Proscriptive Norm     49
Definitions and Revelations: What Makes Mercenaries Different?     50
A Different Definition     54
The Spectrum of Private Violence     58
How the Definition Indicates the Proscriptive Norm     64
The Origins of the Norm against Mercenary Use, 1100-1600     68
Attachment to a Cause     69
The Need to Control Mercenary Forces     78
Conclusion: Revelations     90
Competing Explanations for the Nineteenth-Century Shift Away from Mercenary Use     94
Materialist or Realist Explanations of the Shift Away from Mercenary Use     96
Avant: Domestic Politics, Path Dependency, and the Transition From a Mercenary to a Civilian Army     105
Thomson: Ideas Can Explain the Shift Away from Mercenary Use     111
A Common Problem: Why Did States Prefer Citizen Armies, and Why Were They Willing to Take a Leap of Faith to Adopt Them?     119
How Citizens Became the Standard: A Normative Explanation of the Shift Away from Mercenary Use     121
America     123
France     128
Prussia     136
Britain     148
Conclusion     165
The Norm against Mercenary Use and International Law     167
Strong Norms Do Not Lead to the Creation of Strong Law: How the Law's Weaknesses Are Explained by the Anti-Mercenary Norm     169
The Heightened African Interest in Law Demonstrates that the Norm Was Not Universal     179
The Proscriptive Norm against Mercenary Use Is Most Challenged by Other Norms     192
Conclusion: The Significance of the Norm against Mercenary Use in International Law     203
New Model Mercenaries: PMCs, PSCs, and the Anti-Mercenary Norm     206
The Anti-Mercenary Norm in the 1990s: PMCs     207
Private Force and the Shift Away from Combat Operations     225
The Anti-Mercenary Norm and its Influence on the Provision of Private Force Today     232
The Future of the Anti-Mercenary Norm     238
Conclusion      243
Conclusion     244
Definition of a Mercenary from the International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries     248
References     249
Index     265

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