Military recruitment tactics are increasingly fine-tuned to where a person lives, and how they perceive the world’s geography
‘The basic argument is that military recruitment has a geography. It happens in certain places, and maps on to broader trends in society – particularly inequality,’ says Matthew Rech, a researcher at Newcastle University who specialises in geopolitics and military recruitment.
‘There’s also an imagined geography to military recruitment. The military has to persuade people of a particular vision or version of the world, which is based on assumptions of cultural difference and otherness,’ says Rech.
Different services present the world in different ways. ‘The Royal Air Force, for instance, is distinct. It promises world travel. There’s also an idea bound up in the theatre and romance of flight. The pilot is a transcendent person,’ he says.