The Corporate War Dead: New Perspectives on the Demographics of American and British Contractors

Ori Swed, Jae Kwon, Bryan Feldscher, Thomas Crosbie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


From an obscure sector synonymous with mercenaryism, the private military and security industry has grown to become a significant complementing instrument in military operations. This rise has brought with it a considerable attention. Researchers have examined the role of private military and security companies in international relations as well as the history of these companies, and, above all, the legal implications of their use in the place of military organizations. As research progresses, a significant gap has become clear. Only a handful of studies have addressed the complex of issues associated with contractors’ demographics and lived experience. This article sheds some light over this lacuna, examining contractors’ demographics using descriptive statistics from an original data set of American and British contractors who died in Iraq between the years 2003 and 2016. The article augments our understanding of an important population of post-Fordist-contracted workforce, those peripheral workers supplementing military activity in high-risk occupations with uncertain long-term outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-24
Number of pages22
JournalArmed Forces and Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • PMSCs
  • demography
  • new public management
  • outsourcing security
  • post-Fordism


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