Private Security and National Security: The Case of Estonia

This online seminar has been organised by the University of Edinburgh’s Crime Justice & Society Seminar Series.

Private Security and National Security: The Case of Estonia

Dr Matthew Light (University of Toronto, Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies) and Dr Anne-Marie Singh (Ryerson University, Department of Criminology)

About the seminar
Most studies of private security postulate exclusively internal, primarily economic, causes of the industry’s growth and regulation. In contrast, based on the case of post-Soviet Estonia, we investigate how a state’s external security environment influences private security.

As we demonstrate, Estonia’s tense relations with Russia unleashed several processes through which private security evolved from a lawless industry, to a modest, lightly regulated one:
(1) the exclusion of public police from private security,
(2) effective measures against organized crime,
(3) state-civil society security cooperation, and
(4) free-trade policies that permitted western companies to acquire Estonian security firms.

Estonia thus clarifies how high politics shapes private security, while also revealing the factors that make the industry relatively uncontentious in most industrialized democracies.

This event is free and open to all but registration is required