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Book Launch and “in conversation” with Amanda Chisholm and Cynthia Enloe

Warfare and global security operations are increasingly underpinned by market actors. Whereas in the 1990s, private security actors were on the fringes of global security, in the contemporary moment private military and security companies (PMSCs) now maintain a central role in how states and non-state actors pursue security objectives globally. Yet their involvement in war is not neutral. The nature of these companies’ operations, who they employ, and the kinds of (in)security that arises are underpinned by race and gender. It is within this context for which we bring into discussion Dr Amanda Chisholm, senior lecturer in War Studies and author of the newly published book: “The Gendered and Colonial Lives of Gurkhas: From Military to Market” with Professor Cynthia Enloe, eminent feminist scholar in global security and international relations.

This book explores the ways in which affect, colonial histories, and militarism organise global security workforces within private military and security companies (PMSCs). It locates its analysis with Gurkhas; a group of militarised men from Nepal with over 200-years of military experience with the British and Indian armies and the Singaporean police, who now participate as security contractors in global markets. These men are celebrated in British popular culture for their heroic martial attributes and their broader military service to the United Kingdom. However, less known, is the fact that many Gurkhas located back in Nepal and their families are drawn into these markets under often exploitative relations. Drawing upon over a decade of ethnographic fieldwork with unprecedented access to these security communities throughout Nepal and in Afghanistan, the book’s motivating questions are how security is made through these market relations and how is this security experienced by Gurkhas and their families.

Dr Amanda Chisholm and Professor Cynthia Enloe will discuss the general themes of this book and what a feminist framing on privatising warfare looks like.

At this event


Reader in Gender and Security

Event details

Dockrill Meeting Room (K6.07)
Strand Building
Strand Campus, Strand, London, WC2R 2LS