Category Archives: Private Security

New publication: The Palgrave International Handbook on Gender and the Military

Rachel Woodward and Claire Duncanson (eds.)

With a chapter by Saskia Stachowitsch and Amanda Chisholm: “Military Markets, Masculinities, and the Global Political Economy of the Everyday: Understanding Military Outsourcing as Gendered and Racialised

2017, 580 p.
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-137-51676-3 | E-Book ISBN: 978-1-137-51677-0

Bildschirmfoto 2017-09-04 um 12.36.14
The Palgrave International Handbook of Gender and the Military provides a comprehensive overview of the multiple ways in which gender and militaries connect.  International and multi-disciplinary in scope, this edited volume provides authoritative accounts of the many intersections through which militaries issues and military forces are shaped by gender.  The chapters provide detailed accounts of key issues, informed by examples from original research in a wealth of different national contexts.  This Handbook includes coverage of conceptual approaches to the study of gender and militaries, gender and the organisation of state military forces, gender as it pertains to military forces in action, transitions and transgressions within militaries, gender and non-state military forces, and gender in representations of military personnel and practices.  With contributions from a range of both established and early career scholars, The Palgrave International Handbook of Gender and the Military is an essential guide to current debates on gender and contemporary military issues.

White Ribbon Gender Talk 14th April [in German]

Masculinities and the Private Security Industry

Speaker: Saskia Stachowitsch, Department of Political Science, University of Vienna

C3 – Centrum für internationale Entwicklung, Alois Wagner-Saal
Venue: Sensengasse 3, 1090 Wien
Date: 14th April 2016
Time: 19:00

White Ribbon kindly invites to the Gender Talk:
Masculinities and the Private Security Industry: the relationship between state, market and gender in neoliberal security regimes.

Further information can be found under the following link.

New article in Globalizations (open access)

Stachowitsch, Saskia/Chisholm, Amanda (2016):

Everyday Matters in Global Private Security Supply Chains: A Feminist Global Political Economy Perspective on Gurkhas in Private Security

On the 16th of March this new article was published in the journal Globalizations (Routledge) and it is openly accessible under the following link.


In a case study of Nepalese Gurkhas working for Western private military and security companies (PMSCs), this article develops feminist global political economy understandings of global labour chains by exploring how the ‘global market’ and the ‘everyday’ interact in establishing private security as a gendered and racialised project. Current understandings of PMSCs, and global markets at large, tend to depoliticise these global and everyday interactions by conceptualising the ‘everyday’ as common, mundane, and subsequently banal. Such understandings, we argue, not only conceal the everyday within private security, but also reinforce a conceptual dualism that enables the security industry to function as a gendered and racialised project. To overcome this dualism, this article offers a theoretically informed notion of the everyday that dissolves the hegemonic separation into ‘everyday’ and ‘global’ levels of analysis. Drawing upon ethnography, semi-structured interviews, and discourse analysis of PMSCs’ websites, the analysis demonstrates how race, gender, and colonial histories constitute global supply chains for the security industry, rest upon and reinforce racialised and gendered migration patterns, and depend upon, as well as shape, the everyday lives and living of Gurkha men and women.

Markets, Men, and Mercenaries. Private Security through the Lens of Gender, Race, and Global Political Economy


Markets, Men, and Mercenaries. Private
Security through the Lens of Gender,
Race, and Global Political Economy

Lecturer: Amanda Chisholm
(Newcastle University)
Saskia Stachowitsch
(University of Vienna)

Moderation: Claudia Brunner 
(University of Klagenfurt)

Thursday, 29th October 2015, 6:00 p.m.

Hörsaal 1 ( A0212)
Institut für Politikwissenschaft
Universitätsstraße 7/2. Stock, 1010 Wien

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Elise Richter-grant and -program

For my project “Integrating Feminist International Relations and Feminist State Theory – The case of gender and military privatization” I received the Elise Richter grant of the FWF in 2012. The Elise Richter Program is aimed at senior postdoctoral scientists, with the goal of qualifying for a professorship.

A brief overview of my project is given in the “info” magazine of the FWF (02/2013), on pages 36-40 (in German).

General information about the Hertha Firnberg- and Elise Richter-program can be found here.

The brochure for the gala with all the fellows of both programs can be read here (German only) the photos of the Gala 2013 are to be found in this gallery.

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

May 2013 to June 2019: 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)


project: “State transformation, military privatization and gender relations: Impacts of the de-nationalization of warfare on the relationship between state and gender”

Jan. 2012 to April 2013: Project leader (IPW)
(financed by: Erwin-Schrödinger grant, FWF)

In the context of global restructuring and neo-liberal transformations of the state, private actors have become increasingly important in military operations opposite regular state forces. The project investigated the gendered effects of this process and its impact on the state-gender relationship. In an exemplary case study of the US, gendered implications of military outsourcing were examined at the levels of gender-specific division of labour, gender policy, and gender ideologies/discourses. Results show that military privatization excludes women from military labour markets, impedes gender equality policies, and affirms hierarchical gender ideologies. These developments strengthen the nexus between state-sanctioned violence and masculinity and thus constitute a process remasculinization. Furthermore, the project examined the emerging relationship between feminist knowledge production and the private security industry, highlighting the problematic assumptions underlying current gender scholarship on private security as well as the industry’s use of gender rhetoric as a legitimizing strategy. For this purpose, the study critically evaluated previous research and data on military privatization from a gender perspective and examined primary and secondary sources such as industry documents (e.g. codes of conduct), governmental reports, policy papers, media reporting, and websites of private military and security companies.