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Private Military and Security Companies and Human Rights Abuses: The Impact of CEOs’ Military Background


This study examines how military background of chief executive officers (CEOs) of private military and security companies (PMSCs) that intervened in Iraq from 2003 to 2019 affected the frequency with which companies committed human rights abuses. My findings show that PMSCs with CEOs who served in the military, for any regime type, are more likely to commit a high number of human rights abuses than companies led by CEOs without service experience. The risk is higher for PMSCs with CEOs who served in the Navy and lowest for CEOs with experience in the Air Force. The risk increases when ex-military CEOs lead private rather than publicly traded companies. The study contributes novel data on military service of CEOs for international PMSCs that were present in Iraq. The data reports on the type of governing system where CEOs served, their service branch, and whether they graduated from military academies/colleges.

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Full Citation:

Radziszewski, Elizabeth. 2023. "Private military and security companies and human rights abuses: The impact of CEOs’ military background." Conflict Management and Peace Science, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1177/07388942231155396

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