Support the Troops: Military Obligation, Gender, and the Making of Political Community

Sandwiches served at 12.40.

Dr Millar will discuss her newly published book, which is the first book to systematically examine “supporting the troops” as a distinct phenomenon both in general, and as specifically manifest in the US and UK from 2001-2010, during the first decade of the war on terror. She takes a feminist reading on liberalism (and social contract theory in particular), to look at how gendered, masculinised obligations to commit and/or support collective violence are important to a) making liberal wars possible and b) creating political community. Empirically, the book argues that “support” for the military, in an era of professionalised armed forces and often distant wars, has supplanted military service as the hallmark of “good” gendered citizenship. Theoretically, it argues for the importance of loyalty and solidarity in making liberal violence.

Dr Katharine Millar is an Assistant Professor of International Relations in the Department of International Relations at the London School of Economics. Her broad research interests lie in examining the gendered cultural narratives underlying the modern collective use of force.