Briefing from ROAPE Volume 32 Number 104/5
Politics of Private Security in Kenya
The privatisation of security has attracted considerable attention in recent years and months, but amidst all the discussion of mercenaries and private military companies one aspect of this security privatisation has gone almost unnoticed: the phenomenal growth of private security companies. While a lot less spectacular than the mercenary activities of someone like Simon Mann or the Iraq involvement of private military companies like Erinys and Blackwater, the size, scope and rate of expansion of private security companies dwarf that of private military companies. Similarly, while their con- centration on the more mundane aspects of security such as guarding, electronic alarm systems, patrolling, risk analysis and management may lack the eye-catching cachet of the new 'corporate dogs of war' they have a profound impact on the day-to-day provision and politics of security. In fact, the growth of private security companies has significantly altered the landscape of security both locally and globally, leading to and reflecting an increasing commodification and politicisation of security.