Analysis on the privatization of security receives award

Elke Krahmann’s book "States, Citizens and the Privatization of Security" is awared best monograph in peace research in 2010/2011 with this year’s Ernst-Otto Czempiel Award


Outsourcing military services to private military contractors in conflict zones has increased in recent years. However, this engagement is highly disputed: This privatization of military functions seems to undermine the democratic control over the military, and with it, the capacity for peace of democratic states. It creates legal grey zones, blurs responsibilities and enables democratic governments to shift blame on the very contractors.


In "States, Citizens and the Privatization of Security", Professor Dr Elke Krahmann looks at the use of private military contractors in four cases: the US, the UK, Germany, and international military interventions (such as Iraq). Her comparative study shows that the decision to outsource military tasks is not just based on national interests or limited budgets but that the state’s ideologies and political culture play a key role in this process.


"Elke Krahmann’s book establishes the direct link between her own work and a core theme of Ernst-Otto Czempiel’s work: the debate about the relationship between democracy and peace”, state jury members Professor Eva Senghaas-Knobloch (University of Bremen), Professor Dirk Messner (German Development Institute) and Professor Harald Müller (Head of the Jury and PRIF’s Executive Director) their decision. Also, Elke Krahmann’s work underlines in an impressive way the unchanged topicality of the discussion about democratizing the security sector, said Professor Klaus Dieter Wolf in his laudatory speech.


Elke Krahmann is a professor for security studies at Brunel University London. She was born in 1969 and studied political science in Marburg (Germany) and at the Free University of Berlin (Germany). Following her doctorate at the London School of Economics, she worked at the University of Birmingham, the Center for European Studies in Harvard as well as for the University of Bristol. Her core research topics are the privatization of the security sector and the commercialization of security. Currently, she is investigating the deployment of private military contractors in international military interventions by organizations such as the UN, the NATO or the European Union.


The Ernst-Otto Czempiel Award is given to the best book published by a researcher not older than 45 years following her/his dissertation. The book has to be published within the two previous years; the awarded is granted every two years. The Ernst-Otto Czempiel Award is endowed with 5,000 Euros. It therefore is one of the highest remunerated scientific awards in peace research in Germany. The award was established in 2007 and is named after PRIF’s co-founder Professor Ernst-Otto Czempiel.


Laudation by Professor Klaus Dieter Wolf as PDF download


Photo: Professor Harald Müller, Professor Eva Senghaas-Knobloch, Professor Elke Krahmann, Professor Klaus Dieter Wolf


The award ceremony took place during PRIF’s annual conference on 20th September 2012.