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Sovereign wives? An emotional politics of precarity and resistance in the UK’s Military Wives Choir

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Alice Cree



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Oxford University Press, 2020.

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


This article provides a feminist analysis of the politics of vulnerability and resistance at work in the UK’s Military Wives Choir. Military spouses represent vulnerable and ‘militarised subjects’, providing countless forms of unpaid labour in service of the military which range from the material labour of childcare to representational work they do in popular culture and everyday life. And yet as scholars of critical military studies and international politics, we so often fall short in our exploration of how military spouses engage with the militaristic processes in which they are embroiled. Indeed, work on the critical and resistant capacity of military wives as political agents is in particularly short supply. This article will use the example of the Military Wives Choir to argue that rather than seeing military wives simply as vulnerable militarised subjects without the capacity for resistance, it is in and through this vulnerability that the possibility of resistance can appear. As such, this work speaks to broader questions regarding the sites in which militarisation occurs; even the most militarised of spaces and bodies do not necessarily only provide the preconditions for the emergence of military power. Rather, there is always the possibility for something more.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Cree ASJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Political Sociology

Year: 2020

Volume: 14

Issue: 3

Pages: 304-322

Print publication date: 01/09/2020

Online publication date: 12/05/2020

Acceptance date: 02/04/2020

Date deposited: 02/02/2020

ISSN (print): 1749-5679

ISSN (electronic): 1749-5687

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/ips/olaa013


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