Thinking Allowed - Private military security; whisky tourism
Laurie Taylor explores why British private military security workers see their American counterparts as 'trigger happy cowboys'. Also, 'whisky tourism' in Scotland.
The MIddle Eastern conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have been characterised by widespread deployment of private military and security companies. Their job has been to provide protection to army compounds, aid agencies and governments. Most of these men are American but a third are British. Laurie Taylor hears about new research by Professor Paul Higate, a Reader in Gender and Security at Bristol University. His study finds that British operatives see themselves as cool headed professionals but regard their American counterparts as 'trigger happy cowboys'. But is this perception an objective reality or a self serving illusion? The sociologist, Professor Anthony King, joins this discussion. Also, artifice versus authenticity on the traveller trail. Professor Karl Spracklen from Leeds Metropolitan University talks about the quest for the 'real' and 'authentic'' in tourism. Whisky tours are now as central to Scottish tourism as buying heather or eating haggis. Has 'tasting a dram' become just another element in the construction of invented tradition? Producer: Jayne Egerton.