Corporate Militaries and States: Actors, Interactions and Reactions

Benedict Sheehy, Virginia Newell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Following the military forces of the United States and the United Kingdom, private military firms (PMFs) make up the third largest contingent in Iraq. These corporate warriors are large enough to launch invasions of small sovereign states and are often employed by whomever has sufficient funds to retain their services. Such entities create serious challenges for modern international law. In their article, Virginia Newell and Benedict Sheehy approach the PMF conundrum from a number of different perspectives so as to better elucidate the difficulties that states have had, are having, and will face in the future, as they strive to effectively utilize, and at the same time regulate, PMFs. The first part of the article concentrates on the definitional problems one encounters when attempting to conceptualize PMFs and their activity. The second part explores the different types of interactions between PMFs and states and queries whether the key to effective regulation is to focus on the nature of the interactions. The final part explores the variety and efficacy of the different state regulatory regimes that have been imposed on PMFs
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-101
Number of pages36
JournalTexas International Law Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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