Support the Troops: military obligation, gender and the making of political community

Hosted by the Department of International Relations

Old Theatre, Old Building


Dr Katharine Millar

Dr Katharine Millar

Assistant Professor, Department of International Relations, LSE

Professor Kimberly Hutchings

Professor Kimberly Hutchings

Professor, School of Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary University of London

Dr Maria Rashid

Dr Maria Rashid

LSE Fellow, Department of Gender Studies, LSE

Dr Chris Rossdale

Dr Chris Rossdale

Lecturer, School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies, Bristol University


Dr Milli Lake

Dr Milli Lake

Associate Professor, Department of International Relations, LSE

Join us for the launch of Katharine M Millar’s new book, Support the Troops: Military obligation, gender and the making of political community. Dr Millar will be discussing her book and its themes with a panel of experts.

In the past, it was assumed that men, as good citizens, would serve in the armed forces in wartime. In the present, however, liberal democratic states increasingly rely on small, all-volunteer militaries deployed in distant wars of choice. While few people now serve in the armed forces, our cultural myths and narratives of warfare continue to reproduce a strong connection between military service, citizenship, and normative masculinity.

Katharine Millar's new book systematically examines "support the troops" as a distinct social phenomenon in the US and UK. It examines the gender politics of "support the troops" discourse with an emphasis on military masculinity and is a novel, feminist reading of liberalism to show how solidarity and loyalty are important to making war possible and creating political community. It places "support the troops" discourse in the historical context of US and UK civil-military relations.

Meet our panel and chair

Katharine M Millar (@DrKMillar) is Assistant Professor of International Relations in the Department of International Relations at LSE. Her broad research interests lie in examining the gendered cultural narratives underlying the modern collective use of force.

Kimberly Hutchings is a Professor in the School of Politics and International Relations at Queen Mary, University of London. Her main publications include Kant, Critique and Politics (1996), International Political Theory (1998), Hegel and Feminist Philosophy (2003); Time and World Politics (2008); Global Ethics: an introduction (2nd edition, 2018); Violence and Political Theory (with Elizabeth Frazer) (2020); Women’s International Thought: towards a new canon (Co-Editor with Patricia Owens, Katharina Rietzler and Sarah Dunstan) (2022). 

Maria Rashid is an LSE Fellow in the Department of Gender Studies at LSE. Her research explores service and death in the Pakistani Military and situates militarism as a set of gendered governing practices that not only control affective selves but also produce them by reworking affect and attachment through the concerns of the military. Her monograph: Dying to Serve, Militarism, Affect and the Politics of Sacrifice in the Pakistan Army was published with Stanford University Press in 2020.

Chris Rossdale (@crossdale) is a Lecturer in the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies at Bristol University. His research sits at the intersection between international relations theory and the study of resistance, looking at the ways in which our understandings of international politics shift when we begin from the perspective of radical social movements.

Milli Lake (@MilliLake) is Associate Professor of International Security in the Department of International Relations at LSE. Her expertise lies in political violence, institutions, law, poverty, and gender. She co-directs the Women's Rights After War project, a project that falls under LSE’s Gender Justice and Security HUB, and is jointly funded by the National Science Foundation and the UKRI Global Challenges Research Fund.

Read Katharine M Millar's Q&A with the LSE Review of Books blog about her new book.

More about this event

The Department of International Relations (@LSEIRDept) at LSE is now in its 95th year, and is one of the oldest as well as largest IR departments in the world, with a truly international reputation. The Department is ranked 2nd in the UK and 4th in the world in the QS World University Ranking by Subject 2022 tables for Politics and International Studies.

The hashtag for this event is #LSEMilitary&Gender

Listen to the podcast


From time to time there are changes to event details so we strongly recommend that if you plan to attend this event you check back on this listing on the day of the event.

Whilst we are hosting this listing, LSE Events does not take responsibility for the running and administration of this event. While we take responsible measures to ensure that accurate information is given here this event is ultimately the responsibility of the organisation presenting the event.