Is It Ethical for States to Prevent Their Citizens from Working as TCN Military and Security Contractors?

Authored by: Deane-Peter Baker

The Routledge Research Companion to Security Outsourcing in the Twenty-first Century

Print publication date:  June  2016
Online publication date:  June  2016

Print ISBN: 9781472426833
eBook ISBN: 9781315613376
Adobe ISBN: 9781317042228


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Should states allow their citizens to travel abroad to work as military and security contractors in zones of conflict in which the home nation is not engaged? In many states the answer, in practice at least, is in the affirmative. The Australian government, for example, is doing, and has done, relatively little to control the Australian citizens travelling abroad to zones of conflict to take up arms as TCN (third country national) employees of private security companies (PSCs). 1 As legal scholars Tim McCormack and Rain Liivoja point out, ‘no known data exist on the precise number of Australian civilians currently working for international corporations in direct military roles around the world, but the popular view is that there are more than the ADF [Australian Defence Force] would care to admit’. Despite this, ‘Australia currently lacks a specific regulatory framework for any criminal activities of PMSCs’ (McCormack and Liivoja, 2012, 526).

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