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  • Coup-proofi ng, Mutinies, and Private Military and Security Companies
    with Christopher Faulkner
    The logic of delegation suggests that leaders can reduce costs, shift responsibility, and mitigate internal threats to power and stability by investing in forces outside of the regular military such as militias (Carey, Colaresi, and Mitchell, 2016). At the same time, leaders may utilize exogenous actors (i.e. private military and security companies-PMSCs) to achieve similar goals, particularly during conflict spells. However, scholars have focused primarily on the role of the former, giving little attention to the determinants of PMSCs’ involvement during conflict. This paper fills this void, arguing that states’ decisions to devolve and/or outsource security is largely a consequence of the historical condition of its civil-military relations. In particular, we suggest that reliance on a state’s coup proclivity as a barometer of its civil-military relations only tells a partial story. Using new data on military mutinies across the African continent from 1950-2018, we explore how states’ propensity for mutinies impact decisions to delegate authority to pro-government militias and to contract PMSCs during intrastate conflict. We argue that mutinies, a signal of discontent within the military, contribute to these decisions to seek out alternative sources of security.

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