Does ‘Gender’ Make the World go Round? Feminist Critiques of International Relations

Citation:

Jones, Adam. 1996. “Does ‘Gender’ Make the World go Round? Feminist Critiques of International Relations.” Review of International Studies 22: 405–429.

Author: Adam Jones

Abstract:

In the last two decades, the classical tradition in international relations has come under sustained attack on a number of fronts, and from a diverse range of critics. Most recently, feminist thinkers, following in the footsteps of neo-Marxists and critical theorists, have denounced IR as ‘one of the most gender-blind, indeed crudely patriarchal, of all the institutionalized forms of contemporary social and political analysis’. Feminists have sought to subvert some of the most basic elements of the classical paradigm: the assumption of the state as a given; conceptions of power and ‘international security’; and the model of a rational human individual standing apart from the realm of lived experience, manipulating it to maximize his own self-interest. Denouncing standard epistemological assumptions and theoretical approaches as inherently ‘masculinist’, feminists, particularly those from the radical band of the spectrum, have advanced an alternative vision of international relations: one that redefines power as ‘mutual enablement’ rather than domination, and offers normative values of cooperation, care giving, and compromise in place of patriarchal norms of competition, exploitation, and self-aggrandizement.

Topics: Feminisms

Year: 1996

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