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Marketing the Gurkha security package: Colonial histories and neoliberal economies of private security

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Amanda Chisholm



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


This article contributes to the existing critical theory and gender scholarship on private military security companies by examining how the gendered subjectivities of third-country nationals (TCNs) are constituted through the intersections of colonial histories and neoliberal economic practices. Focusing on Gurkha contractors, I ask how it is that both the remuneration and the working conditions of TCNs are inferior to those of their white Western peers within the industry. The article shows that Gurkhas’ working conditions flow from their location on the periphery of global employment markets, a disadvantage that is further inflected by their status as racially underdeveloped subjects. Thus, their material and cultural status within the industry – regardless of the abilities of the individuals in question – is argued to be the outcome of tenacious colonial histories that continue to shape the labour-market opportunities of men from the global South within larger global security governance practices that increasingly feature outsourcing of military labour in operations.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Chisholm A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Security Dialogue

Year: 2014

Volume: 45

Issue: 4

Pages: 349-372

Print publication date: 01/08/2014

Online publication date: 10/06/2014

Date deposited: 21/10/2015

ISSN (print): 0967-0106

ISSN (electronic): 1460-3640

Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.


DOI: 10.1177/0967010614535832


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