'Guards and Guns': Towards Privatised Militarism in Post-Apartheid South Africa


Cock, Jacklyn. 2005. 'Guards and Guns': Towards Privatised Militarism in Post-Apartheid South Africa. Journal of Southern African Studies 31 (4): 791-803.

Author: Jacklyn Cock


This article argues that contemporary South Africa is marked by the coexistence of both old and new forms of militarism. A shallow and uneven process of state demilitarisation was underway between 1990 to 1998 in the form of reductions in military expenditure, weapons holdings, force levels, employment in arms production and base closures. However, this has had contradictory consequences including providing an impetus to a 'privatised militarism' that is evident in three related processes: new forms of violence, the growth of private security firms and the proliferation of small arms. Since 1998 a process of re-militarisation is evident in the use of the military in foreign policy and a re-armament programme. Both trends illustrate how a restructured, but not transformed, post-apartheid army represents a powerful block of military interests. (JSTOR)

Keywords: private security, militarization

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Militarism, Post-Conflict, Weapons /Arms Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2005

© 2024 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.