Clients, Contractors and the Everyday Masculinities in Global Private Security

My new article draws upon my previous research on armed security contractors in Kabul, Afghanistan. It focuses on the everyday as a theoretical site in order to account for how we theorize about militarism, masculinities, and war.

Drawing upon the client/contractor security relationship through autoethnography, this article considers the emotional and intellectual investments that go into evaluating our own security and how racial and gendered logics filter through such evaluations. By showing the ways in which security value comes through the racial and gendered encounters between the client and contractor, this article brings to the fore the ways in which the everyday is constitutive of security value in the broader private security industry.

It shows us how military masculinities are reshaped in a market-driven military economies whereby white men are not always the ideal source of security, but can also be a source of insecurity – that security value is very much contextual and geographical. In particular, conversations with those being protected have highlighted how the everyday encounters with security contractors within private and public spaces and temporalities matter in how contractors can be a source of both security and insecurity.

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