The United Nations’ Department of Peacekeeping Operations increasingly employs private military and security companies (PMSCs) to provide a range of services in peacekeeping operations (PKOs). The UN's reliance on PMSCs is often justified by quantity and quality gaps in traditional peacekeeping forces that must be filled by private companies’ expertise and efficiency. We argue that these long-standing gaps cannot adequately explain the use of PMSCs, which do not bring unique services and potentially undermine UN legitimacy. Instead, the UN's organizational rigidity, financial flexibility, and procurement opaqueness encourage PMSC use without accurately assessing their need, costs, and benefits. We suggest organizational reforms, without which PMSC involvement in peacekeeping operations is likely to continue and expand, and we propose further research to explain the PMSC phenomenon.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Political Science and International Relations