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Göteborgs universitets publikationer

Recruiting the “enterprising soldier”: military recruitment discourses in Sweden and the United Kingdom

Författare och institution:
Sanna Strand (Institutionen för globala studier); Joakim Berndtsson (Institutionen för globala studier)
Publicerad i:
Critical Military Studies, 1 ( 3 ) s. 233–248
Artikel, refereegranskad vetenskaplig
Sammanfattning (abstract):
This article analyses the recruitment discourses of the Swedish and British armies through a lens of governmentality. The aim of the article is to contribute to our understanding of the ways in which military recruitment discourses in neo-liberal democracies of the global North are articulated, and how they help produce certain subjectivities. The empirical material includes official documents, manuals, and recruitment material, but also interviews with armed forces officials in Sweden and the UK. Drawing on the work of Miller and Rose, we demonstrate that in both cases, the recruitment of “voluntary” soldiers to military service focuses to a large extent on a “marketized” rhetoric, and images of individual self-fulfilment and self-enterprise. Furthermore, we show that although there are many similarities in the recruitment messaging in Sweden and the UK, the two cases also differ in terms of how soldiering is explained to prospective applicants. In the case of the UK, recruitment messages clearly draw on the “war-fighting” tradition of the armed forces; in Sweden, soldiering is presented as connected to more altruistic activities and the tradition of “peacekeeping”. Probing the imagery of military recruitment, we argue, is an important undertaking, not least because it helps lay bare the logics and rationalities involved in “selling” an occupation ultimately centred on war and war preparedness to young individuals.
Ämne (baseras på Högskoleverkets indelning av forskningsämnen):
Annan samhällsvetenskap ->
Tvärvetenskapliga studier ->
Freds- och konfliktforskning
military recruitment; governmentality; Sweden; United Kingdom;
Postens nummer:
Posten skapad:
2015-10-30 09:54
Posten ändrad:
2015-11-11 08:33

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