The Silenced and Indispensible


Chisholm, Amanda. 2014. “The Silenced and Indispensible.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 16 (1): 26–47. 

Author: Amanda Chisholm


Using postcolonial analysis coupled with fieldwork in both Afghanistan and Nepal, I argue that contemporary colonial relations within private security make possible a gender and racial hierarchy of security contractors. This hierarchy of contractors results in vastly different conditions of possibilities depending on the contractors' histories and nationalities. Empirically documenting perspectives from Gurkhas, constituted as third country national (TCNs) security contractors, this article contributes to the existing critical theory and gender in both private military security company literature and postcolonial studies by (1) providing a needed racial and gendered analysis from the position of the racialized security contractors and (2) empirically documenting a growing subaltern group of men participating as security contractors.

Keywords: private security, private military security companies, third country nationals, Gurkhas, Afghanistan, martial race, postcolonial, masculinities, gender

Topics: Combatants, Male Combatants, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Livelihoods, Militarized Livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Privatization Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, Nepal

Year: 2014

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