Gender and Politics
Conflict Processes & War
Feminist International Relations
Feminist Security Studies
Critical Military Studies
Counterterrorism And Counterinsurgency
Jillian Terry is a feminist scholar of International Relations theory, focusing in particular on the ethics of war and moral justifications of contemporary warfare practices. She is currently an LSE Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where she completed her PhD in International Relations in 2016. Jillian's scholarship considers timely questions in critical International Relations, including current projects on ethics in feminist security studies and the relationship between art, experience, and war. More generally, her research interests are in feminist theories of international relations, the impact of war on women, and feminist surveillance studies. Prior to her doctoral work at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Jillian completed an MA in Political Science at Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada) and a BA (Honours) in Political Science at Memorial University (St. John’s, Canada). She was funded for both her MA and PhD research by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and was also a Commonwealth Scholar from 2011 to 2014 while completing her PhD. Recently, Jillian’s work has been published in the International Feminist Journal of Politics and by Oxford University Press in the 2015 volume Gender and Private Security in Global Politics (ed. Maya Eichler).
The transmission and interpretation of information generated from full-body scanners is increasingly becoming a site of contestation in airport security queues all over the world. Body scanning technology raises questions surrounding the rights of governments to images of human bodies, acts of surveillance and to what extent technologies such as full-body scanners are helping to make us more ‘secure’ – or are disadvantaging particular groups of bodies. We examine the use of full-body scanners and their consequences from a feminist perspective, demonstrating how the scanners constitute both a ‘gendered technology’ and a ‘gendered practice’. In addition we present a typology outlining several forms of feminist resistance that have manifested in reaction to the use of this technology. While these acts do not necessarily pose an overt challenge to the larger airport security structure, as they occur within rigidly defined boundaries, they do offer the space for individuals to exercise some autonomy and control over their bodies. By engaging with feminist security scholarship as well as theoretical approaches concerned with reclaiming the ‘everyday’ as a space for feminist agency, we begin to unravel the complicated web of full-body scanning technology.
This chapter brings the field of feminist ethics together with the growing body of critical scholarship in international relations devoted to examining the impact of private military and security companies (PMSCs) in order to assess the complex moral and ethical implications of employing private force in contemporary war. It argues that using a feminist ethical framework premised on empathy and responsibility acknowledges the relational and contextual nature of PMSC employees’ lived experiences, resulting in a more complex and varied set of moral uncertainties than existing analyses have suggested when stressing individualistic and self-motivated ethical dilemmas. Rather than articulate a set of abstract moral principles from which to make judgments about private force, this framework exposes the ethical ambiguities present in contemporary PMSC realities and demonstrates the relevance of empathy and responsibility in thinking about the changing nature of modern warfare.