Talking Curves at the Montreaux+5 Conference

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This tale is drawn from fieldwork I did at the Montreux+5 Conference in (yes!) Montreux, 11-13 December 2013. The conference was organized by those who initiated, sponsored and promoted the Montreux Document on Pertinent International Legal Obligations and Good Practices for States related to Operations of Private Military and Security Companies during Armed Conflict (henceforth the MD) namely DCAF, the Swiss Government and the ICRC. This document is “an intergovernmental document intended to promote respect for international humanitarian law and human rights law whenever PMSCs are present in armed conflicts”. To this end the MD spells out “pertinent legal obligations” (on four pages and a small paragraph) but also “best practices” (on eleven full pages). The Montreux+5 Conference celebrated the document’s fifth anniversary. The party was held to review the MD but also to promote it. Invited were the signatory states, non-signatory states, but also assorted companies, NGOs and academics (including myself) susceptible of having a view on the topic. I want to tell the political tale of how talking in curves around the MD at the Montreux+5 “translated” security in plural, non-hierarchized, proliferating, future oriented ways folding the MD and security into each other but also triggering resistance against that folding.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2014
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventTranslations of Security: Changing Social Understandings of Threats, Risks and Dangers: Incl. Tales of Translations - Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 20 May 201422 May 2014


ConferenceTranslations of Security: Changing Social Understandings of Threats, Risks and Dangers
LocationDepartment of Political Science, University of Copenhagen
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