EISA Pan-European Conference 2017

Join me for a panel part of the section on critical military studies addressing Critical Approaches to the Study of Private Military and Security Companies first thing Thursday morning, 09:00-10:45 (room 20,021) at the EISA Pan-European Conference in Barcelona.

PMSCs and Global Recruitment: When demand from the ‘West’ meets labour from the ‘South’
Whether working for the UN, NATO, states or NGOs, Private Military and Security Contractors (PMSCs) are becoming more visible and invaluable in (post-)conflict zones. Although frequently discussed in relation to state control and legal accountability these companies, especially for more menial and feminised tasks, employ many Third Country Nationals (TCNs). Mainly coming from under-privileged regions and developing states thousands of ‘labour migrants’ have found their way into conflict zones. Different from the dominant image of contractors—as employing former British and US-American elite special forces—PMSC-practices are largely constituted and made possible by labour from the Global South. This paper reflects critically on the way international military engagements have come to rely on global recruitment practices and places this in the broader context of the globalisation of production and labour in general. Exploring the parallels between the use of TCNs by PMSCs and the establishment of Global Production Networks (GPNs) in other industries this paper observes that the establishment of labour supply chains in support of Western warfare changed the distribution of the social, physical, and economic costs and benefits of the production of warfare.

Here is a pdf of the original paper. A later version of this paper was published in ZeFKo (in German).