10 July 2020

In this episode Christopher Kinsey and Helene Olsen from King's College London join the podcast to discuss private military and security contractors and their role in remote warfare.

The chapter discussed in the podcast can be read in full here on E-International Relations, an open access website for students and scholars of international politics. 

Related Research

Music by BenSound. 

Image credit: US DOD/Public Domain. 

About the discussants

Dr Christopher Kinsey is a Reader in Business and International Security with King’s College London, Defence Studies Department at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, where he teaches military officers from around the world. His research examines the role of the market in conflict.  Dr Kinsey has published widely from books, book chapters and articles in leading academic journals on the subject. He has also presented papers to the UN Intergovernmental Working Group on PMSCs, NATO and the EU Sub-Committee on Human Rights.  Dr Kinsey’s present work looks at the regulation of private security companies, the impact of contracted logistical support to military expeditionary operations, and mercenary operations in Africa during the Cold War. His previous books include Corporate Soldiers and International Security (London: Routledge, 2006); Private Contractors and the Reconstruction of Iraq: Transforming Military Logistics (London: Routledge, 2009); the Edited Volume, Contractors and War: The Transformation of United States’ Military and Stabilization Operations (USA: Stanford University Press); the Edited Volume, The Routledge Research Companion to Security Outsourcing (London: Routledge, 2016); and the Edited Volume, Embassies Under Siege: Diplomatic Security Policies Compared (California: Stanford University Press, 2019).

Helene Olsen is a doctoral candidate in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London. She teaches various courses in both the Department of War Studies at King’s and at the Joint Services Command and Staff College in Shrivenham. Currently, her research focuses on the use of mercenaries and their perceived illegitimacy, as well as the privatisation of security and military functions more broadly. Her work will feature in the forthcoming book Violent Nonstate Actors in Conflict from Howgate Publishing.

Alasdair McKay is ORG’s Senior Editor. He is responsible for the strategic direction of ORG’s communications, managing and developing the organisation’s digital presence, and overseeing its publication processes. Prior to joining ORG, he worked in digital publishing. He has also worked for an African human rights NGO and in the office of an MP.