The Gender−Culture Double Bind in Israeli−Palestinian Peace Negotiations: A Narrative Approach

Citation:

Aharoni, Sarai B. 2014. “The Gender-Culture Double Bind in Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations: A Narrative Approach.” Security Dialogue 45 (4): 373–90. doi:10.1177/0967010614537329.

Author: Sarai B. Aharoni

Abstract:

This article investigates structural conditions for women’s inclusion/exclusion in peace negotiations by focusing on the linkage between acts of gender stereotyping and cultural framing. Through a narrative analysis of semi-structured interviews with Israeli negotiators and administrators who participated in official negotiations during the Oslo peace process, I link two recent claims about how gender may affect negotiators’ understandings of strategic exchange: the gendered devaluation effect and the gender–culture double bind hypothesis. Building upon postcolonial feminist critique, I argue that narratives about women and cultural difference (a) demonstrate and engage with Israeli essentialist and Orientalist discourses about Arab culture and masculinity; (b) manifest how ideas about strategic dialogue and negotiations are gendered; and (c) convey how policymakers and negotiators may use cultural claims to rationalize women’s exclusion from diplomatic and strategic dialogue. Furthermore, the study implies that dominant framings of Israeli–Palestinian negotiations as a binary East–West encounter need to be replaced by a more nuanced conceptualization of cultural identity that captures contextual aspects of difference, including the existence of military power and masculine dominance.

Keywords: gender, Narratives, Peace Negotiations, postcolonial feminism, Israeli-Arab conflict

Topics: Armed Conflict, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Discourses, Peace Processes Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Israel, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2014

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