"The overarching aim of this paper is to interrogate how the increasing commodification of violence, as embodied by the PSI in general, and PMCs in particular, challenges the notion of the Weberian state. That is, whether the privatisation of security greatly undermines the very foundation upon which state authority rests, and if so, how.By extension it will be deliberated upon as to whether PMCs represent security actors of and for the state, or whether they represent autonomous agents who work above and beyond the state, and again how this reinforces or challenges the notion of the state monopoly over all forms of organised violence.The paper is divided up into two distinct sections. The first half serves as a conceptual interrogation.The second half of the paper is empirically orientated. It moves on to consider the factors behind the emergence of the PSI and PMCs in particular, and what dynamics favour or perpetuate its existence."