Buying Peace? Civil War Peace Duration and Private Military & Security Companies

Do Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs) impact peace duration after civil war? I argue that the role these organisations play in a conflict can impact post-conflict stability. Specifically, I suggest that variance in services provided by PMSCs can influence rebels’ calculations about relative capabilities. These calculations then contribute to the probability for civil war recurrence. Building on the bargaining framework, with a focus on information and commitment problems, this article demonstrates that PMSCs participating in armed combat operations can jeopardise the stability of peace following civil war. Three case narratives (Angola, Sierra Leone and Croatia) are used to probe the theoretical argument and results are illustrative – PMSCs serving as force multipliers contribute to an increase in the probability for conflict recurrence.

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