Saturday, 7 July 2007

Russia gives Gazprom right to form armed units "The weapons that Gazprom and Transneft armed units will be allowed to carry under the new law are restricted to hand-guns and pump action shotguns. The law includes no restriction on the number of armed employees...One security analyst said it was already common practice for big companies to have their own armed security units, but their legal status was murky." Internal disintegration? We may remember, for example, that the British East India Company had the right to recruit armed forces and construct fortresses during the expansion of the British Empire into East Asia. Still, the question arises whether some principle of subsidiarity is in operation or whether the state's monopoly of legal force is gradually being softened. Considering the ongoing rise of private security firms across the world, including the massive deployment of military security companies in Iraq, the news from Russia seems to be in line with the trend of mercenaries taking over duties from an increasingly overburdenend state.