Force, Inc.: The Privatization of Punishment, Policing, and Military Force in Liberal States
154 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2009
Date Written: May 11, 2009
Should our punishment, policing, and military institutions be public, private, or both? Is there a special link between the project of government and the exercise of force? These two questions have vexed philosophers for several centuries, and lately, they have begun to present more practical problems as well. In the past three decades, private punishment, policing, and military markets have blossomed and boomed in liberal states. Private prisons, police, and armies have been popping up around the world, punishing criminals, fighting crimes, keeping peace, and waging war. The use of force has generated unprecedented profits, and the boundaries between public and private uses of force have become increasingly blurred. Observers of these trends expect them to continue and accelerate. This Article brings these three trends together under one rubric: the privatization of force. By bringing together fundamental categories of economic and political analysis, it develops a theory of the relationship between government and force in liberal states.
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