Investigating the criminogenic nature of security governance in covert conflict
: US intervention in Laos, 1962-1975.

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Security governance and state crime are two fields that seldom overlap. However, in contemporary academic literature our understanding of the administration of force under the state’s monopoly informs our opinions on legitimacy and illegitimate actions, both of the state and of non-state actors. This thesis hypothesises that the state monopoly of force does not adequately explain the intricacies of security governance.
Through an examination of the administration of a covert conflict in Laos, 1962-1975, an alternative view of security governance is presented expanding the Weberian concept of the state monopoly to encompass non-state forces, given the dominant role these entities play in contemporary conflicts. Much scholarly attention is held on the proliferation of force after the end of the Cold War in 1991 but there is little historical analysis of this public-private nexus. In addition to the proliferation of private forces, security governance literature is primarily concerned with the erosion of the state’s monopoly of force. Throughout this study, the researcher puts forward an alternative explanation, alluding instead to a plurality of power whereby the state is the coordinator
of force and the state security apparatus is complemented by non-state actors. This thesis addresses the interlinking literatures of state crime and security governance, developing a theoretical framework of criminogenic security governance.
Date of AwardApr 2020
Original languageEnglish
SponsorsDepartment for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland.
SupervisorRachel Monaghan (Supervisor), Jonny Byrne (Supervisor) & Kristian Lasslett (Supervisor)

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