This article analyzes the legislative processes and the creation of security governance structures in a recent move by Scandinavian countries to authorize the use of armed guards on commercial vessels. Findings reveal that while there are many similarities, the cases (Denmark, Norway, and Sweden) differ in terms of government control, oversight, and governance of private security providers, as well as in the management of firearms and the use of force. The article concludes that all three countries have adopted an approach that creates a “semblance” of state control and regulation but which also entails substantial delegation of authority to private actors.


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