CASIRAGHI, MATTEO CESARE MARIO
CRACK TROOPS OR BLOODY KILLERS? STATES, POLITICAL PARTIES, AND MERCENARIES 1805-2017 [Tesi di dottorato]
Università degli Studi di Milano, 2020-03-26

Addressing political attitudes toward mercenaries and contractors, this dissertation offers an original empirical contribution and a new theoretical framework to investigate international norms, and relations between political parties and private armed groups. I code and analyze all references to mercenaries and private military companies in the Italian and British Parliamentary debates from 1805 to 2017. Regarding the norm, I demonstrate that the anti-mercenary norm evolves through three critical moments. Between 1805 and 1945, an anti-mercenary moral norm is present to a relevant extent in politicians’ debates, though it does not consistently constrain states’ behavior. The norm is weak. Between 1945 and 1991, anti-mercenary sentiments start to decline, and all discussions about their operations are clearly distorted by Cold War dynamics. The norm is very weak and highly politicized. After 1991, the norm targets security contractors for a brief period, as negative references and moral attacks significantly decrease. The norm disappears. Concerning instead political parties’ attitudes toward mercenaries and contractors, I demonstrate that from 1945 to 1991 Cold War dynamics trump any other moral or functional consideration on mercenaries. In Italy, leftist parties are almost exclusively responsible for the aversion toward hired soldiers. Anti-Americanism, anti-colonialism, and fear of coups, emerge as the main drivers of political hostility. Conversely, British parties’ attitudes converge on a similar aversion, though the reasons behind the antagonism differ. While anti-communism dominates the Conservatives’ discourses, the Labour presents a more colorful picture, with Cold War-related antagonism emerging from the extreme left. Conversely, after 1991 the political and economic problems of privatization become protagonists in both countries, as Italian parties converge on comparable postures, whereas a more significant gap emerges in the United Kingdom. The results of this work produce insightful empirical and theoretical implications for the literature on mercenaries and contractors, on political parties and Foreign Policy, on the Cold War, and on international norms.

diritti: info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
In relazione con info:eu-repo/semantics/altIdentifier/hdl/2434/714406
COLOMBO, ALESSANDRO
supervisore: A. Colombo ; coordinatore: M. Jessoula
JESSOULA, MATTEO ROBERTO CARLO
COLOMBO, ALESSANDRO
Settore SPS/04 - - Scienza Politica


Tesi di dottorato. | Lingua: Inglese. | Paese: | BID: TD20012337