SaferGlobe hosts Nicolai Due-Gundersen’s lecture on the privatization of warfare in Iraq and Syria

SaferGlobe has the pleasure of hosting a lecture by political commentator and analyst Nicolai Due-Gundersen on the Friday 20th September, at 13.00–14.15. The event takes place at Globaalikeskus (Siltasaarenkatu 4, 7th floor), Helsinki. Please see the more detailed invitation below.


– Welcoming words, Kari Paasonen, SaferGlobe
– Presentation: The Privatization of Warfare in Iraq and Syria, Nicolai Due-Gundersen, Kingston University
– Discussion

The language of the event is English.

About the lecture

Since the 2003 US-led Invasion of Iraq, the private military sector has seen an explosive growth. Based on The Privatization of Warfare (Cambridge: Intersentia), this lecture discusses how the general public perceives private military companies (PMCs) and their use by states abroad, drawing on discourse surrounding the 2003 Abu Ghraib Prisoner Abuse involving contractors and the 2007 Nisour Square Massacre by Blackwater. Are PMCs regarded as mercenaries, pseudo-armies or transnational companies? And how does such a perception affect the perceived legitimacy of states that outsource warfare? Further, how have developments in Syria impacted the growth of PMCs and the new Cold War between the US and Russia in the Middle East? From Iraq to Syria, PMCs are an aggressive arm of Putin’s foreign policy. This lecture compares Iraqi case studies of US PMCs with the contemporary Wagner Group’s expansion into Syria and support of Assad.

About the lecturer

Nicolai Due-Gundersen is a political commentator and analyst at Kingston University, London after four and half years in the Middle East. His work explores Middle East security, Arab nationalism, post-Arab Spring legitimacy of Middle East governments and the manipulation of religion and welfare for regime security. He has been published by The Independent, TRT World , the Journal of Energy Security and Lobelog and appears on Al Jazeera, CGTN and Indus News


We kindly ask you to register for the seminar at by the 19th September.

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For more information, please contact , +358 (0)40 778 8523