Tkach, Benjamin K (2013-10). Corporate Security and Conflict Outcomes. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • This dissertation investigates the effects of private security firms (PSFs) on conflict outcomes. PSFs are corporations that are publicly or individually owned that provide security services for hire. Security services include, but are not limited to, logistics, technology development, and combat support. Since the 1950s, and particularly since the 1990s, PSFs have become increasingly present in global conflicts. The theory proposed in this dissertation begins by adopting the framework of the state as a firm that trades services for rents. I propose that PSFs' influence conflict based on corporate structure, competition and transparency. The empirical analysis examines PSF operations in the U.S.-Iraq conflict. Insurgent attacks and civilian causalities capture the level of violence and are used as proxy measures of law and order. Expanding the role of non-state actors in conflict by identifying and incorporating economic determinants of PSFs' involvement provides several avenues for future investigation.

publication date

  • December 2013