Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Reproductions of Global Security: Accounting for the Private Security Household

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Amanda Chisholm



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Routledge, 2018.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


This article shows how private security households exist at the nexus of two foundational logics of contemporary warfare – militarism and neoliberalism. The celebration of neoliberalism and normalization of militarism allow the private security industry to draw upon the labour of eager contractors and their supportive spouses. This article develops a feminist analysis of the role of the private security household in global security assemblages. We ask: In what ways are households connected to the outsourcing of security work to Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs), and how are these connections gendered? Through interviews with female spouses of former UK Special Air Services soldiers, now private security contractors, we demonstrate how the household is both silenced and yet indispensable to how PMSCs operate and how liberal states conduct war. These spouses supported the transition from military service to private security work, managed the household, and planned their careers or sacrificed them to accommodate their husband’s security work. Their gendered labour was conditioned by former military life but animated by neoliberal market logics. For the most part, the women we interviewed normalized the militarized values of their husband’s work and celebrated the freedom and financial rewards this type of security work brought.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Chisholm A, Eichler M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Feminist Journal of Politics

Year: 2018

Volume: 20

Issue: 4

Pages: 563-582

Online publication date: 08/10/2018

Acceptance date: 28/06/2018

Date deposited: 23/07/2018

ISSN (print): 1461-6742

ISSN (electronic): 1468-4470

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/14616742.2018.1516512


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name
ESRC ES/N017439/1
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada