Ali Deif


In the modern world, regulation is a necessity, especially on an international scale. PMSCs or Private Military Security Contractors are groups that are involved with militaries, and in conflict zones around the world. Due to their unique functions and place in international law, they essentially fall into a regulatory gap. PMSCs are non- state actors , but perform a series of roles and functions historically associated with the state. They can be used in multitudes of situations and have even been recruited in the war against drugs. Some see military contractors as, or similar to mercenaries, while others disagree. Many, if not most, PMSC personnel do not fit the criteria that comprise the definition of a mercenary , as set forth by article 47 of Additional Protocol 1 of the Geneva Convention. The issue becomes how best to regulate PMSCs and their personnel. Two options for regulation appear to be the most efficient, first, Kristine Huskey's three phase plan which segments the phases of PMSC operations and regulates each in a different way . Secondly, the option of categorization; labeling military contractors and regulating them based on the category they are placed in. Categorization is a possibility however PMSC personnel have a multitude of roles, and therefore have different responsibilities and regulations. One category that includes all roles and responsibilities is that of a MNC, or multinational corporation. Labeling PMSCs as corporations, categorizes them as what they truly are, businesses. Profit and future business are what PMSCs strive for, and therefore a way to regulate them. Some PMSCs are not combat oriented , and there fore it would be incorrect to lump all PMSCs in together. When analyzing the international regulation of multinational corporations, parallels to PMSCs begin to appear. Both operate internationally, and both have a goal of profit. By understanding the operations and regulations of MNCs the international community could potentially find a way to categorize and regulate PMSCs. Huskey's three phase theory, in combination with the multinational corporation label, is a novel system by which regulation, as well as responsibility can be placed.


Law Department

Degree Name

MA in International Human Rights Law

Graduation Date


Submission Date

July 2016

First Advisor

Beckett, Jason

Committee Member 1

Sayed, Hani


65 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


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