|Current Position: Research Associate, Oxford Leverhulme Programme on the Changing Character of War |
| Speaking in: Third Week, Hilary 2006 |
Speaking on: Regulating the Private Security Industry
for the full Termcard)
Sarah Percy is a Research Associate in the Oxford Leverhulme Programme on the Changing Character of War. She received her doctorate in international relations from the University of Oxford (Balliol College) in July, 2005. Her research interests include mercenaries, private military companies and the privatization of force; the use of norms to regulate warfare; and the relationship between international law and international relations. More general areas of interest include international security and international relations theory. Sarah is converting her doctoral dissertation, entitled “Sons of Iniquity: The Origins, Evolution and Influence of a Norm against Mercenary Use”, into a book manuscript. The dissertation argues that a strong norm against mercenary use has influenced state decisions about when and whether to use private force while at the same time restricting opportunities for mercenaries themselves. The manuscript covers mercenaries from the medieval period and trace the evolution of private force right up until the private security companies operating in Iraq today.
Sarah’s research interests are closely tied to those of the Changing Character of War Programme, especially the themes of law and war, the justifiable use of force, and ideas and institutions of war. In addition to the manuscript, she is currently working on four smaller projects: an analysis of ethical objections to mercenaries and their influence on today’s private military industry; a discussion of the role of norms in explaining fundamental changes in the nature of war; and an article which uses the weaknesses of the international law regarding mercenaries to probe the relationship between underlying norms and international law. Future projects will include examining which motives have been considered appropriate for war, and an examination of the role of volunteers in war, looking at, among other examples, American volunteers fighting in France for the Revolutionary forces, Americans fighting for Britain in World War I before the official American participation in the war; the Spanish Civil War; mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan in the early 1980s, and volunteers supporting the insurgency in Iraq today.
Last Updated ( Saturday, 28 January 2006 )