Marketing the Gurkha security package: Colonial histories and neoliberal economies of private security.
Security Dialogue. Aug2014, Vol. 45 Issue 4, p349-372. 24p.
Abstract: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.