Private Actors and Security Governance looks like an interesting book that may ask the right questions about private forces. Much of the US discourse on non-state actors convienently ignores private security companies and their potential (actual is a better word) to influence foreign policy. The book's teaser:
"The privatisation of security -understood as both the top-down decision to outsource military and security-related tasks to private firms and the bottom-up activities of armed non-state actors such as rebel opposition groups, insurgents, militias and warlord factions -have profound implications for the state's monopoly on the legitimate use of force. Both top-down and bottom-up privatisation have significant consequences for effective, democratically accountable security sector governance as well as on opportunities for security sector reform across a range of different reform contexts. This volume situates security privatisation within a broader policy framework, considers several relevant national and regional contexts and analyses different modes of regulation and control relating to a phenomenon with deep historical roots but also strong links to more recent trends of globalisation and transnationalisation."
I haven't read the book, so I can't give a review but I'd be interested to hear from anybody who has. I'm curious how the book approaches the topic and what, if any, recommendations it makes.