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Combatants

Why Women Rebel: Understanding Women’s Participation in Armed Rebel Groups

Citation:

Henshaw, Alexis Leanna. Why Women Rebel: Understanding Women’s Participation in Armed Rebel Groups. Routledge Studies in Gender and Global Politics. London; New York: Routledge, 2017.

Author: Alexis Leanna Henshaw

Abstract:

‘Why Women Rebel’ presents a global analysis of the extent to which women are engaged in armed, organized rebellions, and why they choose to join such rebellions. Henshaw has collected and analyzed data on women's participation in over 70 post-Cold War rebel groups and provides a theoretical analysis drawing upon both mainstream literature in the social sciences and critical, feminist inquiry on women and political violence to offer a new gendered theory on why women rebel. The book demonstrates that women are active in well over half of all rebel groups sampled and that, while the majority of rebel groups have women serving in support roles away from direct combat, approximately a third of groups employ women in the conduct of armed attacks, and just over a quarter have women in a leadership capacity. Henshaw reaffirms the idea that women are more likely to be engaged in left-wing political organizations, but does suggest that more conservative or traditional movements may also successfully incorporate women by appealing to concerns about community rights. This book will be of interest to academics in the fields of political science, international relations, security studies, and gender and women's studies. (Abstract from WorldCat)

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-state armed groups

Year: 2017

Bringing Women’s Voices Back In: Conducting Narrative Analysis in IR

Citation:

Harel-Shalev, Ayelet, and Shir Daphna-Tekoah. “Bringing Women’s Voices Back In: Conducting Narrative Analysis in IR.” International Studies Review 18, no. 2 (June 2016): 171–94.

Authors: Ayelet Harel-Shalev, Shir Daphna-Tekoah

Abstract:

In exploring wars and conflicts, Critical Security Studies and Feminist International Relations (IR) use various methodologies, including nontraditional avenues of inquiry. This study follows these theoretical and methodological perspectives and suggests a methodology that will contribute to contemporary debates in IR. Specifically, the study offers an innovative application of Carol Gilligan’s method, the “Listening Guide” (LG). The research demonstrates the utility of the LG analysis in uncovering additional forms of knowledge regarding armed conflicts. The context for analysis is women in combat. The implementation of the LG assists us in uncovering various voices, representing different aspects of the women combatants’ experiences in a conflict zone. In this study, this analytical tool, applied to conduct narrative research, enabled the researchers to hear both multiple and silenced voices. We suggest that this methodology should continue to be used in future studies and incorporated into the Security Studies and IR toolkit. (Abstract from original source)

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, Military Forces & Armed Groups

Year: 2016

Sex and World Peace

Citation:

Hudson, Valerie M., Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill, Mary Caprioli, and Chad F. Emmett. 2012. Sex and World Peace. New York: Columbia University Press.

Authors: Valerie M. Hudson, Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill, Mary Caprioli, Chad F. Emmett

Annotation:

Sex and World Peace unsettles a variety of assumptions in political and security discourse, demonstrating that the security of women is a vital factor in the security of the state and its incidence of conflict and war. The authors compare micro-level gender violence and macro-level state peacefulness in global settings, supporting their findings with detailed analyses and color maps. Harnessing an immense amount of data, they call attention to discrepancies between national laws protecting women and the enforcement of those laws, and they note the adverse effects on state security of abnormal sex ratios favoring males, the practice of polygamy, and inequitable realities in family law, among other gendered aggressions. The authors find that the treatment of women informs human interaction at all levels of society. Their research challenges conventional definitions of security and democracy and shows that the treatment of gender, played out on the world stage, informs the true clash of civilizations. In terms of resolving these injustices, the authors examine top-down and bottom-up approaches to healing wounds of violence against women, as well as ways to rectify inequalities in family law and the lack of parity in decision-making councils. Emphasizing the importance of an R2PW, or state responsibility to protect women, they mount a solid campaign against women's systemic insecurity, which effectively unravels the security of all. (Summary from Columbia University Press).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Conflict Prevention, Domestic Violence, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Gender Balance, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, peace and security, Governance, Constitutions, Quotas, Political Participation, Rights, Reproductive Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, Violence, Weapons /Arms

Year: 2012

Re-Thinking Hegemonic Masculinities in Conflict-Affected Contexts

Citation:

Myrttinen, Henri, Lana Khattab and Jana Naujoks. 2017. “Re-Thinking Hegemonic Masculinities in Conflict-Affected Contexts.” Critical Military Studies 3 (2): 103-19.

Authors: Henri Myrttinen, Lana Khattab, Jana Naujoks

Abstract:

Masculinities in conflict-affected and peacebuilding contexts have generally speaking been under-researched. Much of the existing research focuses relatively narrowly on men and their ‘violences’, especially that of combatants. Conceptually, much of the policy debate has revolved around either men’s ‘innate’ propensity to violence or relatively simplistic uses of frameworks such as hegemonic, military/militarized, or ‘hyper’-masculinities. These discourses have often been reinforced and reproduced without relating them to their respective local historical, political, and socio-economic contexts. In academic circles, the discussion is more advanced and progressive, but this has yet to filter through to on-the-ground work. Considering the overwhelming role men play in producing and reproducing conflict-related and other forms of violence, a better understanding of the links between masculinities and violence – as well as non-violence – should be central to examining gender, conflict, and peace. Nonetheless, currently a large part of masculinities are side-lined in research, such as those of non-combatants or displaced persons, the associated challenges of ‘thwarted masculinities’, or the positive agency of peacebuilders. Non-heterosexual masculinities also are largely invisible. Based on recent multi-country field research, we aim to highlight some of the under-researched issues revolving around conflict-affected masculinities while also discussing some conceptual challenges arising as a result. Our two key arguments are that the notion of ‘hegemonic masculinities’ in conflict-affected situations needs to be re-examined and re-articulated in more nuanced ways, and that the scope of studying masculinities in these situations needs to be broadened to go beyond merely examining the violences of men.

Keywords: masculinities, conflict, peacebuilding

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Discourses, conflict, peace and security, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Nonviolence, Peacebuilding, Violence

Year: 2017

Combat as a Moving Target: Masculinities, the Heroic Soldier Myth, and Normative Martial Violence

Citation:

Millar, Katharine M. and Joanna Tidy. 2017. “Combat as a Moving Target: Masculinities, the Heroic Soldier Myth, and Normative Martial Violence.” Critical Military Studies 3 (2): 142-60.

Authors: Katharine M. Millar, Joanna Tidy

Abstract:

This article problematizes the conceptualization and use of ‘combat’ within critical scholarship on masculinities, militaries, and war. We trace, firstly, how combat appears as an empirical category within traditional war studies scholarship, describing an ostensibly self-evident physical practice. We then examine how feminist and gender approaches – in contrast – reveal ‘combat’ as a normative imagination of martial violence. This imagination of violence is key to the constitution of the masculine ideal, and normalization of military force, through the heroic soldier myth. We argue, however, that despite this critical impulse, much of feminist and gender analysis exhibits conceptual ‘slippage’: combat is still often treated as a ‘common-sense’ empirical category – a thing that ‘is’ – in masculinities theorizing. This treatment of gendered-imaginary-as- empirics imports a set of normative investments that limit the extent to which the heroic soldier myth, and the political work that it undertakes, can be deconstructed. As a consequence, whilst we know how masculinities are constituted in relation to ‘combat’, we lack the corollary understanding of how masculinities constitute combat, and how the resulting imagination sustains military authority and the broader social acceptance of war. We argue that unpacking these dynamics and addressing this lacuna is key to the articulation of a meaningfully ‘critical’ gender and military studies.

Keywords: combat, military masculinities, critical, soldiers, violence

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Analysis, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization

Year: 2017

Demobilized Women Combatants: Lessons from Colombia

Citation:

Giraldo, Saridalia. 2012. “Demobilized Women Combatants: Lessons from Colombia.” Paper presented at the Thinking Gender Conference, UCLA Center for the Study of Women, Los Angeles, February 3.

Author: Saridalia Giraldo

Abstract:

In Colombia, a country with one of the longest civil wars in the world, women combatants return to civil society in the midst of ongoing tension. In this transition, women suffer triple difficulties: the reaction of their home communities; hostility from armed illegal groups still engaged in conflict, and disregarding from the government itself. What accounts for these obstacles? First, in a patriarchal society such as Colombia, demobilized women face the denigration of their community which views women’s participation in armed conflict as an infringement on traditional female roles. Second, in the midst of continued conflict, demobilized women are also in danger of being rerecruited, tortured, killed or displaced from their home towns by their former peers in combat who perceive them as traitors, or by active criminal groups who consider them as enemies. Third, public policy designed to demobilize and reintegrate combatants gives little attention to women´s special needs as victims of gender violence. Recognizing that women and their needs remain invisible, this paper proposes that formal and informal post-conflict measures in Colombia must be gendersensitized in order to effectively reintegrate women and men into civilian life.
 

Keywords: women combatants, demobilization, reintegration, DDR, peace-building, Colombia, civil war, guerrillas, FARC, sexual violence

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, Female Combatants, DDR, Gender, Gender Roles, Gender-Based Violence, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Sexual Violence, Violence, Weapons /Arms Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2012

Gendered Patterns of Mobilization and Recruitment for Political Violence, Experiences from Three Latin American Countries

Citation:

Dietrich Ortega, Luisa Maria. 2012. “Gendered Patterns of Mobilization and Recruitment for Political Violence, Experiences from Three Latin American Countries.” In Understanding Collective Political Violence, 84–104. Conflict, Inequality and Ethnicity. Palgrave Macmillan: London.

Author: Luisa Maria Dietrich Ortega

Abstract:

Over the past decades a feminist perspective on international relations, security studies and conflict has broadened the scope of the field.1 Troubled by the absence of women as research objects and subjects, feminist scholars have started to ask different questions and to employ alternative methodologies in order to unveil gendered distortions, namely, male bias and gender-neutral appearance. Both are inherent in the study of political violence and mobilization research. Male bias is deeply rooted in the study of political violence, which centres on male-connoted concepts such as nation-states, war, military and armed groups and predominantly male actors, such as presidents, soldiers, rebel leaders, presuming a connection between violence and masculinities. Thus, a worldview that equates male experiences to the norm continually reproduces a male value system that excludes women from conventional accounts of political violence and constructs a symbolic ‘woman’ as deviant from or in respect to male-as-norm criteria (Ackerly et al. 2006: 4; Peterson and True 1998: 15). Due to the absence of women from conflict narratives, the invisibility of gender regimes operating in the context of conflict, mainstream scholars maintain the normative fiction that conflicts are gender-free (Ní Aoláin and Rooney 2007: 342). (Abstract from Springer)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Analysis, Violence, Weapons /Arms Regions: Americas, South America

Year: 2012

Unmaking Militarized Masculinity: Veterans and the Project of Military-to-Civilian Transition

Citation:

Bulmer, Sarah, and Maya Eichler. 2017. “Unmaking Militarized Masculinity: Veterans and the Project of Military-to-Civilian Transition.” Critical Military Studies 3 (2): 161-81.

Authors: Sarah Bulmer, Maya Eichler

Abstract:

Feminist scholarship on war and militarization has typically focussed on the making of militarized masculinity. However, in this article, we shed light on the process of ‘unmaking’ militarized masculinity through the experiences of veterans transitioning from military to civilian life. We argue that in the twenty-first century, veterans’ successful reintegration into civilian society is integral to the legitimacy of armed force in Western polities and is therefore a central concern of policymakers, third-sector service providers, and the media. But militarized masculinity is not easily unmade. Veterans often struggle with their transition to civilian life and the negotiation of military and civilian gender norms. They may have an ambivalent relationship with the state and the military. Furthermore, militarized masculinity is embodied and experienced, and has a long and contradictory afterlife in veterans themselves. Attempts to unmake militarized masculinity in the figure of the veteran challenge some of the key concepts currently employed by feminist scholars of war and militarization. In practice, embodied veteran identities refuse a totalizing conception of what militarized masculinity might be, and demonstrate the limits of efforts to exceptionalize the military, as opposed to the civilian, aspects of veteran identity. In turn, the very liminality of this ‘unmaking’ troubles and undoes neat categorizations of military/civilian and their implied masculine/feminine gendering. We suggest that an excessive focus on the making of militarized masculinity has limited our capacity to engage with the dynamic, co-constitutive, and contradictory processes which shape veterans’ post-military lives.

Keywords: militarized masculinity, veterans, experience, gender, military-to-civilian transitions, militarization

Topics: Combatants, Male Combatants, DDR, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Discourses, Livelihoods, Militarized livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Peacebuilding

Year: 2017

Living Archives and Cyprus: Militarized Masculinities and Decolonial Emerging World Horizons

Citation:

Agathangelou, Anna M. 2017. “Living Archives and Cyprus: Militarized Masculinities and Decolonial Emerging World Horizons”. Critical Military Studies 3 (2): 206-11.

Author: Anna M. Agathangelou

Abstract:

Huddled within the most influential theorisations and praxes of war and violence are imaginations of collating masculinities, texts and their embodiments. Interpreting and reading my mother as a non-dominant body, and her stories about war, violence, and Cyprus as re-iterative corporeal insights and practices challenging such toxic masculinities, I argue that such performances and embodiments (what I call living archives), albeit with multiple tensions, re-orient us to emerging decolonial horizons. In doing so, I directly challenge and unsuture the complacent IR historiographies of security and war and the ways they insist on composing and writing by bringing together certain archives (i.e., images of violent places and state documents) and silencing those which systematically and consistently point to modernity’s violent frameworks including their production of violent masculinities on which extinguishment and futures lie. Such an insistence colludes with certain toxic regimes of representation expecting certain subjects, sovereigns, and institutions to order and reiterate (produce) colonial and violent racialized masculine (and racialized feminized) practices between ourselves and the world. Living archives are also those invented signs, imaginations, and excesses that press materiality and its impasses (i.e., in the form of capture, blackness, non-genders, etc. and resolution of signs and fictions), exposing the limits of modernity’s fictioning, and against any resolution and labor that produces violence all the while sublating it.

Keywords: militarized masculinities, international relations grammars, Cyprus, living archives, the colonial, imperial wars, decolonial struggles

Topics: Armed Conflict, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Combatants, Male Combatants, DDR, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Masculinism, Livelihoods, Militarized livelihoods, Post-Conflict, Race, Violence Regions: Europe, Southern Europe Countries: Cyprus

Year: 2017

'I Acted like a Man’: Exploring Female Ex-Insurgents’ Narratives on Nigeria’s Oil Insurgency

Citation:

Oriola, Temitope. 2016. “‘I Acted like a Man’: Exploring Female Ex-Insurgents’ Narratives on Nigeria’s Oil Insurgency.” Review of African Political Economy 43 (149): 451–69. doi:10.1080/03056244.2016.1182013.

Author: Temitope Oriola

Abstract:

English Abstract:
This paper explores how a small sample of female ex-insurgents make sense of their engagement in Nigeria’s oil insurgency. The study is informed by three key questions: How did Delta women join the insurgency? Why did they join? How do they frame their participation? The paper analyses the prevalence of a masculinising rhetoric among participants. The majority of participants view their roles in the insurgency as antithetical to their gender. The implications of these findings are explored. Overall, the paper contributes to the growing body of work on women’s engagement in armed conflict as perpetrators rather than victims of violence.
 
French Abstract:
[« J’ai agi comme un homme » : l’étude des histoires des ex-insurgées sur l’insurrection liée au pétrole au Nigeria.] Cet article examine comment quelques ex-insurgées donnent du sens à leur engagement dans l’insurrection liée au pétrole au Nigéria. Cette étude tente de répondre à trois questions clés : Comment est-ce que les femmes du Delta ont rejoint l’insurrection? Pourquoi l’ont-elles rejoint? Comment est-ce qu’elles formulent leur participation? L’article analyse la prévalence d’une rhétorique masculinisante parmi les participants. La majorité des participants voit son rôle dans l’insurrection comme opposé à son genre. Les implications de ces résultats sont examinées. Dans l’ensemble, l’article contribue à la masse croissante de travail sur l’engagement des femmes dans les conflits armés, où elles sont considérées comme des responsables de la violence plutôt que comme des victimes.

Keywords: Niger Women, women and political violence, oil insurgency, Nigeria

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Female Perpetrators Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2016

Pages

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