Private Military and Security Companies: Gendered Perspectives


The Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights created this bibliography to provide a guide to the landscape of research-based gendered analysis of Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs). PMSCs are private companies that offer services including the armed or unarmed guarding of personnel and assets, intelligence, military support and logistics, and security training, typically outside of their home states. The services that PMSCs offer have traditionally been within the purview of the state; the privatization of war and conflict alters the relationship between states and their citizens and changes the nature of state and human security.

States, international organizations, and private clients have become increasingly reliant on services provided by PMSCs since the Cold War, and with their growing role in the security sector have come critical questions about their obligations to respect – and their position under – international humanitarian law and human rights law, as well as about regulations for the industry. Gendered analyses of and perspectives on PMSC operations and regulations are critical to any effort to enhance the accountability of this sector. Gendered analyses of PMSCs will provide policy-makers with a more comprehensive understanding of both how gender shapes the ways PMSCs operate and are regulated, as well as PMSCs’ gendered impacts.

The research in this bibliography covers the following areas: women’s participation in PMSCs; the gendered threats to human security of PMSC operations; gender and racial hierarchies within the industry; the intersection of militarism, masculinism and the neoliberal market; and the hypermasculinization of the industry.

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