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Blogs

Probing International Security

19 october
2013
Dimitrios Machairas

Theorising on the Causes of Nuclear Weapons Proliferation

Despite the degree of uniqueness stemming from its particular specifics, each case of nuclear weapons proliferation also exemplifies one or more of the five main determinants of a state’s decision to acquire nuclear weapons that have been identified in the relevant literature: security, domestic politics, norms, technology and economics. While recognising the complexity of multi-causality, I would argue that a careful analysis of existing cases leads to sufficient explanations about the general causes of proliferation, which can potentially be used to formulate predictions and policy recommendations, even if no one-fit-all theory does or can exist. This post will examine the effect of the first two drivers: security and domestic politics.

07 september
2013
Dimitrios Machairas

The Oxymoronic Déjà Vu of Humanitarian Bombing in Syria

In light of the recent developments in Syria and the apparently imminent US military intervention, the blog will take a short break from its relatively academic style and its thematic focus in order to brainstorm and share some thoughts on the broader picture of what is happening in the geopolitical arena of the region.

04 august
2013
Dimitrios Machairas

Private Military and Security Companies in the International Legal Void

Private military and security companies have often been characterized as modern mercenaries, an accusation that merits serious consideration, as mercenarism is illegal under international law. Although they have not been officially deemed unlawful, an examination of the relevant normative context reveals substantial inconsistency between the growing use of private military force and the existing legal framework. The issue of the status of these companies and their employees in the context of armed conflict or occupation is directly affected: Should they be there? Can they be legitimately targeted?

18 june
2013
Dimitrios Machairas

The Rise of the Private Military and Security Industry

The trend of outsourcing government functions to private contractors contributed to the creation and impressive growth of private military and security companies. Operating in hot spots across the world and providing a broad list of services to corporate and state clients alike, these firms are not simply compensating the occasional shortage in state security, but seek to be recognized as legitimate actors in the use of military force globally. This introductory post will delineate the emergence of the private military/security industry, and begin to delve into the essence of its multi-dimensional implications.