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.