Printer-friendly version Send by email PDF version

Military Forces & Armed Groups

Private Security and Gender

Citation:

Eichler, Maya. 2015. “Private Security and Gender.” In Routledge Handbook of Private Security Studies, edited by Rita Abrahamsen and Anna Leander, 158-67. London: Routledge.

Author: Maya Eichler

Abstract:

In recent years, a new set of scholarship that focuses on gender and private security in global politics has emerged. This feminist and feminist-informed critical gender scholarship examines private security processes, practices, and actors through the lens of gender. It uncovers how private security shapes and is shaped by masculinities, femininities, and gendered relations of power. While gender has become established as analytical category in the study of private security, the treatment of gender in industry and policy discourses continues to be problematic. It is therefore necessary to distinguish critical from problem-solving approaches to gender and private security. A problem-solving approach frames gender issues as problems which can be solved by adding more female employees or including language on gender-based violence into regulatory frameworks. But such an approach underestimates the extent to which gender matters in private security.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security

Year: 2015

Women, PMSCs and International Law: Gender and Private Force

Citation:

Vrdoljak, Ana F. 2015. “Women, PMSCs and International Law: Gender and Private Force.” In Gender and Private Security in Global Politics, edited by Maya Eichler, 187-207. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Author: Ana F. Vrdoljak

Abstract:

The application of international law norms and shortcomings of existing regulatory regimes covering PMSCs reinforce concerns about transparency and accountability in respect of gender-related violence, harassment, and discrimination. This chapter focuses on the main issues and legal concerns raised by the impact of the privatization of war on women. The first part examines current initiatives at the international level to provide a regulatory framework for PMSCs and encompasses the obligations of states (and international organizations) in respect of international humanitarian law, human rights law, and use of force. The second part outlines the influence of civil society participation (including feminist academics, women’s NGOs, and so forth) in breaking the “silence” within international organizations and international law concerning violence against women and girls and its potential influence upon the regulation of PMSCs.

Keywords: women, private military and security companies, international law, human rights law, International Humanitarian Law, United Nations, PMSCs

Topics: Civil Society, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law IHL, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Privatization, Violence

Year: 2015

Women and Private Military and Security Companies

Citation:

Vrdoljack, Ana F. 2010. “Women and Private Military and Security Companies.” In War By Contract: Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law and the Regulation of Private Military and Security Companies, edited by Francesco Francioni and Natalino Ronzitti, 1-25. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Author: Ana F. Vrdoljack

Abstract:

Lack of clarity about the application of international law norms and inadequacies of existing regulatory regimes covering private military and security companies have reinforced concerns about transparency and accountability in respect of gender-related violence, harassment and discrimination. This chapter focuses on the main issues and legal concerns raised by the impact of the privatisation of war on women, both as PMSC employees and civilians. Part I highlights how armed conflict, civil unrest, occupation and transition have a detrimental effect upon the lives of women with particular reference to safety, displacement, health and economic disadvantage. Part II provides a summary of existing international humanitarian law and human rights provisions relating to women. Part III examines recent developments within the United Nations, the work of the ICRC, and international criminal law jurisprudence shaping these legal norms. Part IV considers the key recommendations of recent international and international initiatives covering PMSCs and women.

Keywords: women, private military and security companies, gender, sexual assault, forced prostitution, human trafficking, sexual harassment, discrimination, international law, International Humanitarian Law, human rights

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Displacement & Migration, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Health, International Law, International Criminal Law, International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law IHL, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Privatization, Rights, Human Rights, Violence

Year: 2010

Gender and the Privatization of Security: Neoliberal Transformation of the Militarized Gender Order

Citation:

Eichler, Maya. 2013. “Gender and the Privatization of Security: Neoliberal Transformation of the Militarized Gender Order.” Critical Studies on Security 1(3): 311-25.

Author: Maya Eichler

Abstract:

The increasing reliance on private military and security companies (PMSCs) in contemporary military conflict marks a historic shift in the state’s organization of military violence. This transformation has gendered underpinnings and entails gender-specific outcomes, at the same time as it reveals a gendered continuum between public and private military and security organizations. As the US example illustrates, security privatization was facilitated by the broader neoliberal transformation of the militarized gender order and itself has had negative implications for gender equality in the military and security sphere. Based on original research, this article argues that PMSCs are deeply gendered organizations whose employment practices tends to intensify the gendered division of labour that is characteristic of public militaries. While business and operational needs may allow for temporary disruptions of gender norms, masculinism remains not only vital but is reinvigorated by privatization. Political goals such as gender equality are sidelined in a sector premised on de-regulation and free markets. In contrast to problem-solving approaches that view gender as a problem of accountability or operational effectiveness in regards to PMSCs, this article shows that gender is deeply implicated in the expansion and organization of private force at the turn of the twenty-first century.

Keywords: private security, privatization of military security, PMSCs, gender, feminist security studies, neoliberalism, militarization, United States

Topics: Armed Conflict, "New Wars", Economies, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Masculinism, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Militarization, Privatization, Violence Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2013

The Reconstruction of Masculinities in Global Politics: Gendering Strategies in the Field of Private Security

Citation:

Stachowitsch, Saskia. 2015. “The Reconstruction of Masculinities in Global Politics: Gendering Strategies in the Field of Private Security.” Men and Masculinities 18(2): 363-386.

Author: Saskia Stachowitsch

Abstract:

The concept of masculinities has been central to the analysis of private security as a gendered phenomenon. This research has either focused on the identity constructions and practices of security contractors as men or on masculinity as a theoretical and ideological framework for making sense of security outsourcing. This article aims to overcome this dualism by developing a relational, strategic, and discursive understanding of masculinities and focusing on the gendering strategies that create them. These strategies are identified as masculinization of the market and feminization of the state, feminization and racialization of (some) security work, hypermasculinization as a critical or affirmative discourse, romanticizing the autonomous male bond, and militarization of private security. It is argued that private security as well as critical discourses on it integrate business, humanitarian, and militarized masculinities in a way that ultimately legitimizes masculinism and reconstructs masculinity as a privileged category in international politics.

Keywords: private security, feminist international relations, PMSCs, gendering strategies, masculinism

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Masculinism, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Militarization, Security Regions: Americas, North America, Europe, Northern Europe Countries: United Kingdom, United States of America

Year: 2015

Accountability of Private Military and Security Contractors in the International Legal Regime

Citation:

Huskey, Kristine A. 2012. Accountability of Private Military and Security Contractors in the International Legal Regime. Criminal Justice Ethics 31(3): 193-212.

Author: Kristine Huskey

Abstract:

The rapidly growing presence of private military and security contractors (PMSCs) in armed conflict and post-conflict situations in the last decade brought corresponding incidents of serious misconduct by PMSC personnel. The two most infamous events one involving the firm formerly known as Blackwater and the other involving Titan and CACl engendered scrutiny of available mechanisms for criminal and civil accountability of the individuals whose misconduct caused the harm. Along a parallel track, scholars and policymakers began examining the responsibility of states and international organizations for the harm that occurred. Both approaches have primarily focused on post-conduct accountability of the individuals who caused the harm, of the state in which the harm occurred, or of the state or organization that hired the PMSC whose personnel caused the harm. Less attention, however, has been paid to the idea of pre-conduct accountability for PMSCs and their personnel. A broad understanding of accountability for PMSCs and their personnel encompasses not only responsibility for harm caused by conduct, but responsibility for hiring, hosting, and monitoring these entities, as well as responsibility to the victims of the harm. This article provides a comprehensive approach for analyzing the existing international legal regime, and whether and to what extent the legal regime provides accountability for PMSCs and their personnel. It does so by proposing a practical construct of three phases based on PMSC operations Contracting, In-the-Field, and Post-Conduct with which to assess the various bodies of international law.

 

Keywords: private military and security companies, accountability, international human rights law, International Humanitarian Law, Montreux Document, International Criminal Law, U.N. Draft Convention on Private Military and Security Contractors

Topics: International Law, International Criminal Law, International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law IHL, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Security Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2012

A Feminist Perspective on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

Citation:

Abelenda, Ana Ines. 2014. "A Feminist Perspective on the Post-2015 Development Agenda." The Equal Rights Review 13: 117-28.

Author: Ana Ines Abelenda

Abstract:

World leaders and diverse development actors are currently embroiled in a series of negotiations around a new global development agenda to follow the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) once they expire in 2015. The Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) has been heavily involved in seeking to shape the new agenda to ensure that it adequately addresses human rights, including women’s rights and gender equality. The negotiation process has been complex, frustrating at times for civil society and women’s rights advocates, yet a historical opportunity to re-shape global understandings of development in the struggle towards social, economic, ecological and gender justice. As the world navigates a context of multiple intersecting global crises coupled with increasing inequality and militarism, it becomes clear that business as usual is not an option. A paradigm shift is needed. This position paper presents a feminist analysis to help unpack what is at stake for people and the planet by pushing the envelope on the kind of world we want to live in. This approach is one which both AWID and  the author believe is key to systemic change. A mere look at the ‘shopping list’ of goals and targets currently on the negotiating table is not enough. Feminist and progressive social movements must not bypass the opportunity to challenge the systemic root causes in the current economic system that continue to undermine women’s autonomy and the achievement of human rights for all.

Topics: Civil Society, Development, Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2014

Why Women Rebel: Understanding Women’s Participation in Armed Rebel Groups

Citation:

Henshaw, Alexis Leanna. Why Women Rebel: Understanding Women’s Participation in Armed Rebel Groups. Routledge Studies in Gender and Global Politics. London; New York: Routledge, 2017.

Author: Alexis Leanna Henshaw

Abstract:

‘Why Women Rebel’ presents a global analysis of the extent to which women are engaged in armed, organized rebellions, and why they choose to join such rebellions. Henshaw has collected and analyzed data on women's participation in over 70 post-Cold War rebel groups and provides a theoretical analysis drawing upon both mainstream literature in the social sciences and critical, feminist inquiry on women and political violence to offer a new gendered theory on why women rebel. The book demonstrates that women are active in well over half of all rebel groups sampled and that, while the majority of rebel groups have women serving in support roles away from direct combat, approximately a third of groups employ women in the conduct of armed attacks, and just over a quarter have women in a leadership capacity. Henshaw reaffirms the idea that women are more likely to be engaged in left-wing political organizations, but does suggest that more conservative or traditional movements may also successfully incorporate women by appealing to concerns about community rights. This book will be of interest to academics in the fields of political science, international relations, security studies, and gender and women's studies. (Abstract from WorldCat)

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-state armed groups

Year: 2017

Bringing Women’s Voices Back In: Conducting Narrative Analysis in IR

Citation:

Harel-Shalev, Ayelet, and Shir Daphna-Tekoah. “Bringing Women’s Voices Back In: Conducting Narrative Analysis in IR.” International Studies Review 18, no. 2 (June 2016): 171–94.

Authors: Ayelet Harel-Shalev, Shir Daphna-Tekoah

Abstract:

In exploring wars and conflicts, Critical Security Studies and Feminist International Relations (IR) use various methodologies, including nontraditional avenues of inquiry. This study follows these theoretical and methodological perspectives and suggests a methodology that will contribute to contemporary debates in IR. Specifically, the study offers an innovative application of Carol Gilligan’s method, the “Listening Guide” (LG). The research demonstrates the utility of the LG analysis in uncovering additional forms of knowledge regarding armed conflicts. The context for analysis is women in combat. The implementation of the LG assists us in uncovering various voices, representing different aspects of the women combatants’ experiences in a conflict zone. In this study, this analytical tool, applied to conduct narrative research, enabled the researchers to hear both multiple and silenced voices. We suggest that this methodology should continue to be used in future studies and incorporated into the Security Studies and IR toolkit. (Abstract from original source)

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, Military Forces & Armed Groups

Year: 2016

What’s the Problem with the Concept of Military Masculinities?

Citation:

Zalewski, Marysia. 2017. “What’s the Problem with the Concept of Military Masculinities?” Critical Military Studies 3 (2): 200-5.

Author: Marysia Zalewski

Abstract:

This think piece queries the value of the concept of military masculinities. This overly familiar and comfortable concept is perhaps falling short of its intended ambitions. Masculinized and militarized violence is rampant and no amount of ‘adding women’ (or other ‘others’) seems to make a difference. This begs the question of how much work we imagine concepts can do, as well as how much control we think we have over them.

Keywords: concepts, masculinities, violence, gender

Topics: Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Violence

Year: 2017

Pages

© 2018 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.

Subscribe to RSS - Military Forces & Armed Groups