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Abstract

This article explores the place of formal legal arrangements in the politics surrounding the hybrid, enmeshed public-in-the-private forms of authority this special issue focuses on. It does so by analyzing the significance of one specific legal arrangement, the Duty of Care, for the politics surrounding public-in-the-private forms of protection. I show that the Duty of Care does considerable political work. It contributes to decentering, commercializing, and depoliticizing protection. In so doing, the Duty of Care is justifying this specific form of protection, defining and extending its scope, and perpetuating it. The article makes this argument by drawing both on the legal discussion about the Duty of Care and on close observation of its presence in the Security and Counterterrorism Expo trade fair. It concludes that acknowledging the politics of the Duty of Care requires shifting the focus and divisions currently organizing debates about the regulation of commercial security as well as about managerialism in international law more generally.

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