What should and what should not be regulated?

Kevin A. O'Brien*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


A second prerequisite for meaningful discussion of regulation is clarity as to the subject to be regulated. Serious analysis in this area is often frustrated by the lack of agreement as to what it is that PMCs actually do. This chapter surveys the industry and creates a typology of private actors in the military environment. It then proposes a theoretical model of regulation, establishing the tightest oversight of military operations aimed at altering the strategic environment. A combination of licensing and registration regimes would provide the most adequate solution on the national level, though its effectiveness would depend on complementary action on the international level.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrom Mercenaries to Market
Subtitle of host publicationThe Rise and Regulation of Private Military Companies
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191711435
ISBN (Print)9780199228485
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • Licensing regime
  • Military operations
  • PMC
  • Private military company
  • Registration regime
  • Regulation


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