Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Leaning on Legionnaires: Why Modern States Recruit Foreign Soldiers

  • Elizabeth M.F. Grasmeder
| Summer 2021

Modern states recurrently buttress their militaries by recruiting legionnaires—individuals who are neither citizens nor subjects of the governments for which they fight. When facing severe territorial threats, political constraints on domestic recruitment, or both, states lean on legionnaires to balance the competing imperatives of national security and domestic politics. Because states often reach beyond their citizenries to secure combat personnel, legionnaires demonstrate how frequently this central component of national military power is, in fact, international.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:

Elizabeth M.F. Grasmeder, "Leaning on Legionnaires: Why Modern States Recruit Foreign Soldiers," International Security, Vol. 46, No. 1 (Summer 2021), pp. 147–195,

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