Men, Militaries and Civilian Societies in Interaction

TitleMen, Militaries and Civilian Societies in Interaction
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsTallberg, Teemu, Johanna Valenius, Anders Ahlbäck, Ville Kivimäki, and Jarna Soilevuo Grønnerød
JournalNORMA: Nordic Journal for Masculinity Studies
Date Published2008

This article introduces new approaches to gendered civil-military relations. It starts with the identification of three currents in contemporary research on men, militaries and civilian societies: war and militaries have for a long time been analyzed both within studies on men and masculinities and in Feminist International Relations. New Military History, involving social and cultural histories of war, has refocused the interest of military history towards gender and civil-military junctions. They do not, however, tend to theorise and conceptualise civil-military relations on the macro level of political and democratic processes, decision-making and security policies. This is done in the realm of more traditional political science and civil-military relations theory. This article proposes a combination of the analysis of men and masculinities with civil-military relations theory. It presents a brief outline of civil-military relation theory and discusses the current state of theory in the context of some contemporary developments of security and defence systems in the Nordic countries (international military operations, conscription and outsourcing). The article ends with five suggestions for future directions in studying men, militaries and civilian societies; (i) an increase of the attention given to the experiences of men in and around war and militaries, (ii) a need for re-analysis of data and studies that have dealt with men without comprehending them as gendered beings, (iii) re-focusing attention towards gendered militarised encounters in the different contexts of conflicts and crises, (iv) highlighting the gendering of military points of the gendered nature of violence, (v) an analysis of men and civil-military encounters in the context of the gender system should examine the construction of masculinities outside and resistant to the man-soldier-military-war tangle.

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