Why some private security and military companies succeed and others fail in taking over public tasks: A research based on PMSCs in Puntland and Somaliland

Szabolcs Tamás Sasvári

Student thesis: Master thesis


This research examines the reasons why some private military and security companies are successful in taking over security tasks from public authorities in fragile states, and at the same time why some others fail to do so. Following the inductive reasoning, the paper looks at two case studies about PMSCs in the autonomous regions of Puntland and Somaliland in the state of Somalia. Applying these two case studies, the five empirical interviews with experts in the field, and the assemblage theory in security the paper finds that the riskiness of the PMSCs’ operations and the depth of the security assemblages are the main determining factors whether a PMSC would succeed in taking over public security tasks in fragile states. PMSCs that are associated with less risky public security tasks and participate in a deeper security assemblage are likelier to conduct successful operations in fragile states like Somalia. The finding of the research is the risk-assemblage matrix, which is a tool that illustrates the risk level and assemblage depth in one chart, and can be used by PMSCs.

EducationsMSc in International Business and Politics, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2014
Number of pages78