1st Edition

Hostile Business and the Sovereign State
Privatized Governance, State Security and International Law

ISBN 9781138296145
Published December 26, 2018 by Routledge
190 Pages

USD $155.00

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Book Description

This book describes and assesses an emerging threat to states’ territorial control and sovereignty: the hostile control of companies that carry out privatized aspects of sovereign authority. The threat arises from the massive worldwide shift of state activities to the private sector since the late 1970s in conjunction with two other modern trends – the globalization of business and the liberalization of international capital flows. The work introduces three new concepts: firstly, the rise of companies that handle privatized activities, and the associated advent of "post-government companies" that make such activities their core business. Control of them may reside with individual investors, other companies or investment funds, or it may reside with other states through state-owned enterprises or sovereign wealth funds. Secondly, "imperfect privatizations:" when a state privatizes an activity to another state’s public sector. The book identifies cases where this is happening. It also elaborates on how ownership and influence of companies that perform privatized functions may not be transparent, and can pass to inherently hostile actors, including criminal or terrorist organizations. Thirdly, "belligerent companies," whose conduct is hostile to those of states where they are active. The book concludes by assessing the adequacy of existing legal and regulatory regimes and how relevant norms may evolve.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. The Privatization of States

Chapter 2. Extremes of Privatization

Chapter 3. Companies for Privatized Activities

Chapter 4. Control over Territory

Chapter 5. Company Ownership and Control

Chapter 6. Tracking Control and Influence over Companies

Chapter 7. The State and Its Business Abroad

Chapter 8. A Divergence of Interests

Chapter 9. Opaque Company Behavior Toward States

Chapter 10. Companies in Defiance of States

Chapter 11. "Imperfect Privatizations" and Territorial Control

Chapter 12. Defending Against Hostile Companies

Chapter 13. Challenges to States’ Defensive Measures

Chapter 14. Challenges for International Law

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Michael J. Strauss is a professor of international relations and public international law at the Centre d’Etudes Diplomatiques et Stratégiques in Paris, and an instructor of international economic law at Université de Paris 5 (Paris Descartes). He has also been teaching annual international law courses as an invited professor at the Belarusian State University and International University "MITSO" in Minsk. Thanks to an earlier career as an awardwinning business and financial journalist, he brings new perspectives and insights to issues of territorial control.