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date: 20 October 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Though most assume a settled relationship between security and the state, the degree to which different forms of violence are collective endeavors handled by states has varied over time, affecting who or what it secured, how, and what is understood to be public. In the modern era the control and management of violence were core elements of state practice. We examine recent history to show how globalization initiated debates over security and opened avenues for different claims, both about security and about what is public and private. We trace how interactions among intellectuals, governments, transnational activists, and companies shifted who authorizes security, who provides security, and how legitimate and illegitimate force are distinguished—all public concerns. We conclude by discussing current developments that could reinforce or disrupt these trends and claim again that public–private interactions will shape their impact on future global security practices.

Keywords: security, private security, security practices, transnational actors, global governance, securitization, transnational corporations, transnational activists, international humanitarian law

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