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The Political Cost-Effectiveness of Private Vessel Protection: The Italian Case


Italy has traditionally been wary of private providers of security. Still, private military and security companies (PMSCs) have recently started to play an important role in protecting Italian merchant vessels, eventually replacing the military vessel protection detachment units (VPDs) provided by the Italian Navy. Drawing on neoclassical realism, the increasing involvement of PMSCs in protecting Italian merchant ships is presented as an attempt to reduce the political costs associated with the use of military personnel abroad, epitomised by the arrest of two Italian Navy fusiliers by Indian authorities in February 2012.
Keywords: Maritime security, private security, private military and security companies, vessel protection, neoclassical realism