Reproductions of Global Security: Accounting for the Private Security Household

Citation:

Chisholm, Amanda, and Maya Eichler. 2018. “Reproductions of Global Security: Accounting for the Private Security Household.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 20 (4): 563–82.

Authors: Amanda Chisholm, Maya Eichler

Abstract:

This article shows how private security households exist at the nexus of two foundational logics of contemporary warfare—militarism and neoliberalism. The celebration of neoliberalism and normalization of militarism allow the private security industry to draw upon the labor of eager contractors and their supportive spouses. This article develops a feminist analysis of the role of the private security household in global security assemblages. In what ways are households connected to the outsourcing of security work to Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs), and how are these connections gendered? Through interviews with female spouses of former UK Special Air Services soldiers, now private security contractors, we demonstrate how the household is both silenced and yet indispensable to how PMSCs operate and how liberal states conduct war. These spouses supported the transition from military service to private security work, managed the household, and planned their careers or sacrificed them to accommodate their husband’s security work. Their gendered labor was conditioned by former military life but animated by neoliberal market logics. For the most part, the women we interviewed normalized the militarized values of their husband’s work and celebrated the freedom and financial rewards this type of security work brought. 

Keywords: private security, households, female spouses, women's labor, private military and security companies

Topics: Feminisms, Households, Livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Militarism, Security

Year: 2018

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