The Culture of Whiteness in Private Security

Authored by: Amanda Chisholm

The Routledge Research Companion to Security Outsourcing in the Twenty-first Century

Print publication date:  June  2016
Online publication date:  June  2016

Print ISBN: 9781472426833
eBook ISBN: 9781315613376
Adobe ISBN: 9781317042228


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This chapter explores how logics of whiteness are called upon to legitimise claims of authority and power within private security by drawing upon and critiquing the existing scholarship on race and gender located within the larger critical gender scholarship on private security. This growing work on critical gender scholarship on private security has made significant contributions to the understanding of private security companies (PSCs) and commercialisation of security more broadly (Eichler 2015). Such scholarship has highlighted the gendered and racial dimensions of the security industry and drawn our attention to how the industry remasculinises security and privileges masculine notions of international relations (IR) (Stachowitsch 2013; 2014; 2015). It has specifically explored how certain forms of violence become legitimised through security operations (Higate and Stachowitsch 2012; Joachim and Schneiker 2012), and how the industry rests upon and reproduces gendered hierarchies in its public and private ‘faces’ (Joachim and Schneiker, this volume). Gender scholars have also drawn upon postcolonial theories to explore the use of global South labourers to demonstrate how the industry rests upon colonial and racial logics in procuring its global workforce (Barker 2009; 2015; Chisholm 2014a; 2014b; 2015; Chisholm and Stachowitch 2016).

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