Privateers! Their History and Future


The Security Studies Journal of the Fletcher School, Tufts University


Alexander Tabarrok / Alex Nowrasteh | 28 January 2015 

Article from Vol.2 No.1: Money & War

Privateers! Their History and Future

As a longer article, this piece will only be offered in PDF format for easier reading.


Government employment of private military firms is not a new phenomenon. During the Age of Sail, naval powers issued privateering licenses to shipowners, allowing and encouraging them to raid enemy commerce and attack foreign navies during times of war – a system that bears several similarities to modern military contracting. But private enterprise did not go to war in a legal vacuum. How do countries make the incentives for private security firms align with national policy in the 21st century?

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