Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 01/2015

Public Private Cooperation: Challenges and Opportunities in Security Governance

Benjamin S. Buckland, Theodor H. Winkler

January 2015

Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces


When faced with both traditional and non-traditional security challenges, states, acting alone, are poorly-equipped. Ad hoc security governance networks have increasingly been the response. Such networks involve cooperation between governments, the private sector, non-governmental and international organisationsand enable actors to take advantage of geographical, technological, and knowledge resources they would be unable to muster alone. However, there are many as yet unanswered questions about the oversight and accountability of new governancenetworks, as well as about ways in which, on the positive side, they can better contribute to improved security. This paper looks at both the challenges and some potential solutions to the democratic governance challenges posed by public private cooperation in the security domain.