The Case Against Privatization
Philosophy & Public Affairs (2013 Forthcoming)
30 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2012 Last revised: 15 Apr 2015
Date Written: November 15, 2012
This article develops a non-instrumental argument against privatization of certain forms of political violence. Its primary foci are the privatization of prisons and the use of mercenaries in wars. The article maintains that some governmental decisions simply cannot be executed by private entities. While private individuals may act in conformity with the state's orders, such conformity cannot count as an execution of the order of the state and cannot be attributed to the state. Conformity that does not constitute an execution of the state's order, in turn, fails to realize the ends for the sake of which the infliction of force is justified, i.e., condemnation of the criminal behavior (in the case of punishment) and fighting for the polity’s public good (in the case of wars).
Keywords: privatization, public officials, political legitimation, punishment, war
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