Des mercenaires aux compagnies de sécurité privée? Construction et pratiques de légitimation de la violence privée commerciale dans le système international

Abstract : Can private violence be legitimate? This seemingly tautological proposition reflects the Weberian conception of the state as a political entity that successfully claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force. However, this conception deserves a closer examination given the recent development of private security companies that are new and legitimate actors on the international stage. Implementing diverse forms of physical violence abroad, these private agents are indeed widely and legally used nowadays by corporations, states, or international organizations. Their widespread and diversified use reveals the new legitimacy of a practice formerly condemned on moral and juridical grounds: the use of mercenaries. How should we view such a process of legitimating an activity conceived to be the purview of governments, but which is today carried out by private contractors? Far from being anecdotal, the analysis of the legitimation practices implemented by the “industry” illustrates, through the shift from stigmatized mercenary activity to a redefined identity, the broader question of the construction of a professional and social norm. It also sheds light on how it is viewed and its limits considering the facts that it has been established primarily by private actors and touches on the supposed foundations of the modern state.
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Cyril Magnon-Pujo. Des mercenaires aux compagnies de sécurité privée? Construction et pratiques de légitimation de la violence privée commerciale dans le système international. Deviance & Societe, Medecine et Hygiene, 2013, 37 (4), pp.487-508. ⟨https://www.cairn.info/revue-deviance-et-societe-2013-4-page-487.htm⟩. ⟨10.3917/ds.374.0487⟩. ⟨halshs-01611798⟩

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