‘Like a hair drawn from flour': everyday militarisation and female recruitment for church security teams in Pakistan

Naheem Jabbar, Usman Ali

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Abstract

This article is about the motivation of Christian women to volunteer for security teams that protect their community from political violence. Our qualitative data shows how the acquisition of manpower – the military’s capacity to enlist support from civil society – has also shaped these subaltern groups into informal specialists of violence. School caterers, homemakers, labourers, stitchers in a garment factory, sanitary workers and welders all find their place in the security complex of urban Lahore. Women’s lives at the lowest social strata, their sense of duty and sacrifice, are absorbed into this complex where trans-border networks of state incumbents, parasitic social groups, diasporas, and strongmen usually subsist. The result of this process is that traditionally autonomous domains of civic action are invested with securitising norms. In these church security teams, the ‘governmentalization of the state’ contains residues of pastoral power and this power requires women to embody the right disposition.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberksab034
Number of pages11
JournalGlobal Studies Quarterly
Volume1
Issue number4
Early online date19 Oct 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Subaltern
  • Christian
  • Pakistan
  • Governmentality
  • Security

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