project: “Integrating Feminist International Relations and Feminist State Theory – The case of gender and military privatization”

since May 2013: Project leader
(financed by: Elise Richter-grant, FWF)

The project investigates the relationship between gendered states and the gendered dynamics of global politics. It aims to develop a more comprehensive perspective on the theoretical and empirical interconnections between gender relations at the state and the international level in the context of neoliberal restructuring. For this purpose, the study integrates two major feminist research traditions – feminist state theories and feminist international relations (IR) – and applies the developed theory mix in a study of military privatization. The outsourcing of military and security functions is a central element in neoliberal reform and a highly gendered phenomenon. In a comparative analysis of military privatization in the United States and the United Kingdom, the gendered dimensions of private security are investigated. It is argued that interactions between the gendered state and the global gender order enhance inequality in and through the private military and security sector. This is not an outcome of state erosion to the advantage of the private military and security industry, but an effect of shifting power relations within and beyond the state which reconstruct the gendered boundaries between national/international, state/market, and public/private.

cooperating partners:

Cynthia Enloe (Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, US)
Paul Higate (University of Bristol, UK)
Trevor McCrisken (University of Warwick, UK)