The Normative Complexity of Private Security: Beyond legal regulation and stigmatization.

The  research I  conducting with Dr. Juliette Koning from Maastricht University on the private security sector in South Africa resulted in a book chapter in the Oxford Handbook on Law and Anthropology: The Normative Complexity of Private Security: Beyond legal regulation and stigmatization.

“This chapter critically assesses the debate on the privatization of security through the lenses of (international) law, politics, organization studies, and anthropology/ ethnography. We argue that the debate regarding the private security sector is biased and preoccupied with its legal regulation. This preoccupation is grounded in the understanding that the current (legal) regulation of the private security sector is inadequate. We will show that the debate discounts not only the conceptual and practical limitations that are inherent in the law but also the idea that, beyond law, there is an authoritative normative space that guides the sector. This authoritative space includes self- regulation, social and corporate responsibility, and sector ethics. In order to capture this normative complexity, we need to move beyond the concepts and methodologies of law to understand the dynamic interaction between principles and practices. The way forward, we propose, can be found in organizational anthropology.”

(Noortmann, Math & Juliette Koning (2020) The Normative Complexity of Private Security: Beyond legal regulation and stigmatization in Marie-Claire Foblets, Mark Goodale, Maria Sapignoli, Olaf Zenker (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Law & Anthropology. Oxford University Press, p. 608)

 

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