Putting ‘Mercenary Masculinities’ on the Research Agenda


Higate, Paul. 2009. “Putting ‘Mercenary Masculinities’ on the Research Agenda.” SPAIS Working Paper 03-09, School of Sociology, Politics, and International Studies, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.

Author: Paul Higate


Private Military Security Companies (PMSC) have come increasingly to supplant the activities of regular, national militaries - most notably in such contexts as Iraq and Afghanistan. Though a wide scholarship has addressed questions of legitimacy, regulation and control of PMSCs, critical commentators on gender have almost entirely overlooked the masculinised cultures of these private firms, the majority of which employ former military personnel. This is surprising since masculine norms, values and cultures shape private contractors security practices and can be used to explain human rights abuses, as well as the everyday ways in which these men imagine security. In these terms, the key critical issue concerns what is missed when masculinity is ignored in analyses of PMSCs, a question that is taken up in this working paper within the context of a potential research agenda for this topic of research.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Masculinism, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Rights, Human Rights, Security, Violence, Weapons /Arms

Year: 2009

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