The Problem of International Conventional Regulation of Private Military and Security Companies

85
DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2021-65-5-95-106
M. Nebol’sina (nebolsinama@gmail.com),
Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO-University), The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, 76, Vernadskogo Prosp., Moscow 119454, Russian Federation

Received 16.09.2020.

Acknowledgments. The article was supported by a grant from the International Studies Institute at MGIMO University, (Project No. 1921-01-07): “New Forms of Strategic Competition of the Great Political Powers in the 21st Century” as part of the “Analysis and Forecasting the Evolution of International Relations in the Context of a Changing Technology” project.


Abstract. The article examines the preconditions for the development of a UN convention on Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs), and raises the question of the actors interested in creating such a document. It seeks to explain why the convention remained at the draft level, through the prism of contradictions associated with the development of international legal norms in relation to the known phenomenon of mercenarism, and in relation to new militarysecurity structures. The present text is devoted to the analysis of the problems in determining PMSCs’ status and in separating them from such illegal actors as mercenaries, as well as to studying the difficulties associated with the promotion of the UN International Convention on the Regulation, Oversight and Monitoring of Private Military and Security Companies, that arise in the scientific community and within the UN itself. In addition, the article touches upon the problem of privatization of international law and discusses intentions of private military and security industry to privatize specific issues of PMSCs’ regulation. It emphasizes the role of non-state actors that seek ways to participate in and influence the process of international conventional regulation. On the one hand, international legal binding mechanisms aimed at regulation of PMSCs are nagging. On the other hand, current legal norms are imperfect and seem to be inappropriate for the regulation of the fast growing and evolving phenomenon – PMSCs. The combination of states’ and non-state actors’ interests at the international level challenges the system of current conventional mechanisms. Besides, numerous approaches to the identification of the range of inherent governmental functions in military sphere vary from one state to another. Similarly, some PMSCs do not see any conflict with their unclear legal status while others seek ways to come out from the shadows of obscurity and clarify their status within the international law. The article tries to unveil a range of different problems in private security sphere and explain both the complexity of private military and security industry, the ambiguous approaches towards regulation of PMSCs and the challenges the international law faces with the emergence of new non-state military and security phenomenon.

Keywords: non-state actors, private military and security companies (PMSCs), mercenaries, UN, armed conflicts, private functions in security sphere, international law regulation, privatization of law


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For citation:
Nebolsina M. The Problem of International Conventional Regulation of Private Military and Security Companies. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2021, vol. 65, no. 5, pp. 95-106. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2021-65-5-95-106



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