A talk by Laura Dickinson, Arizona State University, with special remarks by Gen. Wesley K. Clark (ret.). This event was co-sponsored by the International Human Rights Law Program at the UCLA Law School.
Over the past decade, states and international organizations have shifted a surprising range of foreign policy functions to private contractors. But who is accountable when the employees of foreign private firms do violence or create harm? Laura Dickinson's timely book, Outsourcing War and Peace, describes the services that are now delivered by private contractors and the threat this trend poses to core public values of human rights, democratic accountability, and transparency. The author offers a series of concrete reforms that are necessary to expand traditional legal accountability, construct better mechanisms of public participation, and alter the organizational structure and institutional culture of contractor firms. The result is a pragmatic, nuanced, and comprehensive set of responses to the problem of foreign affairs privatization.