Mercenary Masculinities' Imagine Security: The Case of the Private Military Contractor
This Fellowship seeks to generate new forms of critical knowledge with a focus on the ideas and beliefs of private military contractors in regard to security. Its first goal is to solicit 'grass-roots' views and attitudes from contractors in respect of the current state of regulation of the Private Military Security Industry, as well as any future direction regulation might take. The second goal is to elicit and analyse the meanings contractors attach to security and insecurity with a specific focus on those working in 'close protection' and/or as part of 'personal security details' in either Iraq or Afghanistan. It will also investigate contractor's understanding of those incidents that culminate in 'random shootings' or other acts that exacerbate the insecurity of host populations. The theoretical framework used for this study synthesises sociological and political science approaches within the context of Critical Men's Studies. In a methodological sense, the Fellowship will draw on longitudinal interviews with contractors, ethnographic fieldwork in Kabul and visual textual analyses of a variety of sources including the 'mercenary' magazine Soldiers of Fortune.