Skip to main content

Public lecture: Private Security as Gendered and Racialized

The CEU Campus
Thursday, May 5, 2016, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

The Department of Gender Studies

2015-2016 Public Lecture Series


 Amanda Chisholm & Saskia Stachowitsch

Private Security as Gendered and Racialized. A Feminist Global Political Economy Perspective on the Marketization of Security Labour

The privatization of security functions has been a growing global trend throughout the last decades. Scholarly and public debate on military and security outsourcing have mainly focused on issues of military effectiveness, legal accountability, regulation, implications for the state monopoly on violence, and effects on democracy. These debates have mostly been gender-blind and Western-centric. With our lecture, we offer a more comprehensive understanding of the security industry by combining feminist security studies with an analysis of the political economy of security labour. This approach highlights how this labour is organized in gendered and racialized terms. It sheds light on security outsourcing not as a distant and abstract geopolitical and macroeconomic matter, but as a process that structures the everyday lives of men and women in the recruitment sites of private military and security companies.


Amanda Chisholm is a lecturer in the Politics Department at Newcastle University. Her research interests are broadly defined within feminist security studies, feminist political economy and the privatization of security.  Recent publications include “The Silenced and Indispensible: Gurkhas in Private Military and Security Companies”, International Feminist Journal of Politics 16(1), 2014; and “Everyday Matters in Global Private Security Supply Chains: A Feminist Global Political Economy Perspective on Gurkhas in Private Security”, Globalizations, 2017. In press (with Saskia Stachowitsch).

Saskia Stachowitsch is a research fellow and lecturer at the Department of Political Science at the University of Vienna. Her research areas are gender and the military, private security, feminist international relations, security studies, and global political economy. Recent publications include “Military Privatization as a Gendered Process: A Case for Integrating Feminist International Relations and Feminist State Theories”, in: Eichler, Maya (ed.): Gender and Private Security in Global Politics, Oxford University Press.