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The Curious Feminist: Searching for Women in a New Age of Empire


Enloe, Cynthia H. 2004. The Curious Feminist: Searching for Women in a New Age of Empire. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Author: Cynthia H. Enloe


In this collection of lively essays, Cynthia Enloe makes better sense of globalization and international politics by taking a deep and personal look into the daily realities in a range of women's lives. She proposes a distinctively feminist curiosity that begins with taking women seriously, especially during this era of unprecedented American influence. This means listening carefully, digging deep, challenging assumptions, and welcoming surprises. Listening to women in Asian sneaker factories, Enloe reveals, enables us to bring down to earth the often abstract discussions of the global economy. Paying close attention to Iraqi women's organizing efforts under military occupation exposes the false global promises made by officials. Enloe also turns the beam of her inquiry inward. In a series of four candid interviews and a new set of autobiographical pieces, she reflects on the gradual development of her own feminist curiosity. Describing her wartime suburban girlhood and her years at Berkeley, she maps the everyday obstacles placed on the path to feminist consciousness—and suggests how those obstacles can be identified and overcome. 
The Curious Feminist shows how taking women seriously also challenges the common assumption that masculinities are trivial factors in today's international affairs. Enloe explores the workings of masculinity inside organizations as diverse as the American military, a Serbian militia, the UN, and Oxfam. A feminist curiosity finds all women worth thinking about, Enloe claims. She suggests that we pay thoughtful attention to women who appear complicit in violence or in the oppression of others, or too cozily wrapped up in their relative privilege to inspire praise or compassion. Enloe's vitality, passion, and incisive wit illuminate each essay. The Curious Feminist is an original and timely invitation to look at global politics in an entirely different way.
(University of California Press)

Topics: Development, Economies, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Globalization, Post-Conflict, Violence

Year: 2004

Rape and Sexual Violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo: A Case Study of Gender-Based Violence


Banwell, Stacy. 2014. “Rape and Sexual Violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo: A Case Study of Gender-Based Violence.” Journal of Gender Studies 23 (1): 45–58. doi:10.1080/09589236.2012.726603.

Author: Stacy Banwell


The just war tradition is based on two principles: jus ad bellum – just war-making, and jus in bello – just war-fighting. Jus in bello contains the non-combatant immunity principle. This ‘protects’ civilians during war, giving them ‘immunity’ from the violence of war-fighting. Women are, for the most part, non-combatants. Still, their experiences during war are far from ‘protected’. Following the widespread use of rape in the conflicts in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, the raping of women in combat and occupation zones is now considered a human rights violation and treated as a crime against humanity. Yet, despite developments in international law and policy-making on sexual violence in armed conflict, the systematic rape of girls and women during armed conflict continues. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), this type of gender-based violence is being perpetrated and facilitated at a macro, meso, and micro level. This article will explore these levels through a feminist lens and will consider what is necessary to achieve just post bellum (just peace) in the DRC.

Keywords: rape, sexual violence, armed conflict, hegemonic masculinity, globalization, Democratic Republic of Congo

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Globalization, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against women Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2014

The End of Queer (as We Knew It): Globalization and the Making of a Gay-Friendly South Africa


Oswin, Natalie. 2007. “The End of Queer (as We Knew It): Globalization and the Making of a Gay-Friendly South Africa.” Gender, Place & Culture 14 (1): 93–110. doi:10.1080/09663690601122358.

Author: Natalie Oswin


In J. K. Gibson-Graham's The End of Capitalism (as we knew it), the authors (Julie Graham and Katherine Gibson) provocatively deploy queer theory to further their project of telling non-capitalist stories of globalization. In short, they reject the narrative that globalization is always and only penetrative in the hope that global capital will ‘lose its erection’ and ‘other openings’ in the body of capitalism can be considered. I adopt their strategy of looking at stories of globalization. But, while they are concerned with the homophobia of economic theorizing, I consider the gay-friendly discourse of post-apartheid South Africa. Recent expressions of official tolerance by various nation-states around the globe have been dismissed as the mere appropriation of difference by hegemonic forces. Against such interpretations, I look at the ways in which the inclusion of ‘sexual orientation’ in post-apartheid South Africa's constitutional Equality Clause can instead be read as a queer globalization. Based on this reading, I problematize the presumption that queer globalizations take place beyond the realm of the hegemonic and point to the need for queer theorists to think through the political ramifications of homosexuality's repositioning as saviour rather than scapegoat of certain nation-states.

Keywords: globalization, queer theory, South Africa, post-apartheid, homosexuality

Topics: Civil Society, Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Women, Gendered Discourses, Globalization, Governance, Constitutions, LGBTQ, Post-Conflict, Sexuality Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2007

Women Reclaiming Sustainable Livelihoods: Spaces Lost, Spaces Gained


Harcourt, Wendy, ed. 2012. Women Reclaiming Sustainable Livelihoods: Spaces Lost, Spaces Gained. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK.

Author: Wendy Harcourt


This volume highlights women's work sustaining local economies and environments, particularly in response to the current food, fuel and climate crises. It includes women's role in the green entrepreneurship, women's reproductive and productive work in the care economy, and a further examination of eco feminist debates.

Topics: Development, Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Globalization, Livelihoods, Political Economies

Year: 2012

Globalization and Third World Women: Exploitation, Coping and Resistance


Lindio-McGovern, Ligaya, and Isidor Wallimann, eds. 2009. Globalization and Third World Women: Exploitation, Coping and Resistance. Burlington, VT: Routledge.

Authors: Ligaya Lindio-McGovern, Isidor Wallimann


Adopting the notion of 'third world' as a political as well as a geographical category, this volume analyzes marginalized women's experiences of globalization. It unravels the intersections of race, culture, ethnicity, nationality and class which have shaped the position of these women in the global political economy, their cultural and their national history. In addition to a thematically structured and highly informative investigation, the authors offer an exploration of the policy implications which are commonly neglected in mainstream literature. The result is a must have volume for sociological academics, social policy experts and professionals working within non-governmental organizations.


Topics: Armed Conflict, Class, Democracy / Democratization, Development, Economies, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Globalization, Political Economies, Post-Conflict, Religion

Year: 2009

"Singers" in the Band

"David Goodman has worked for nearly 30 years to document the very challenging subject of prostitution and global sex trafficking in and around U.S. Military bases abroad. “ ‘Singers’ in the Band” exposes an incredibly elaborate and insidious scam that involves three nations, global sex traffickers, bar/club/hotel owners and the U.S. military all as links in a chain that entraps innocent victims.

Reclaiming Third World Feminism: or Why Transnational Feminism Needs Third World Feminism


Herr, Ranjoo Seodu. “Reclaiming Third World Feminism: Or Why Transnational Feminism Needs Third World Feminism.” Meridians 12, no. 1 (2014): 1–30. doi:10.2979/meridians.12.1.1.

Author: Ranjoo Seodu Herr


Third World and transnational feminisms have emerged in opposition to white second-wave feminists' single-pronged analyses of gender oppression that elided Third World women's multiple and complex oppressions in their various social locations. Consequently, these feminisms share two “Third World feminist” mandates: First, feminist analyses of Third World women's oppression and resistance should be historically situated; and second, Third World women's agency and voices should be respected. Despite these shared mandates, they have diverged in their proper domains of investigation, with transnational feminism concentrating on the transnational level and Third World feminism focusing on local and national contexts. Further, their respective positions regarding nation-states and nationalism have been antithetical, as leading transnational feminists have categorically rejected nation-states and nationalism as detrimental to feminism. In recent decades, transnational feminism has become the dominant feminist position on Third World women, overshadowing Third World feminism, and the dismissal of nation-states and nationalism as irrelevant to feminism has become fashionable. Against this current trend, this article argues for the relevance of nation-states and nationalism for transnational feminism and the urgency of reclaiming Third World feminism.

Topics: Feminisms, Globalization, Nationalism

Year: 2014

Introduction: Feminist Security Studies and Feminist Political Economy: Crossing Divides and Rebuilding Bridges


Elias, Juanita. 2015. “Introduction: Feminist Security Studies and Feminist Political Economy: Crossing Divides and Rebuilding Bridges.” Politics & Gender 11 (2): 406–8.

Author: Juanita Elias


"The essays here reflect on the need to rebuild bridges between two key strands of feminist International Relations (IR) scholarship: feminist security studies (FSS) and feminist (international) political economy (FPE/FIPE). As many of the contributions to this section point out, feminist IR scholarship has long emphasized how gender relations and identities are constituted globally in relation to processes of militarization, securitization, globalization, and governance. In more recent years, however, feminist IR scholarship has come to be dominated by a concern with security (Prügl 2011). Of course, FPE scholarship has continued to provide critical accounts of the gendered nature of global production, work, and financial crises (among other issues). But it is notable that, in doing so, much FPE scholarship has tended to avoid questions of security and/or violence. This CP section, then, looks to the growing divide between FSS and FPE with all of the contributors seeking to analyse how these two traditions of feminist scholarship might be reintegrated and why this reintegration is important" (Elias 2015, 406).

Topics: Economies, Feminisms, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Globalization, Governance, Militarization, Political Economies, Security

Year: 2015

Doing Vernacularization: The Encounter between Global and Local Ideas about Women’s Rights in Peru


Levitt, Peggy, Sally Engle Merry, Rosa Alayza, and Mercedes Crisótomo Meza. 2013. “Doing Vernacularization: The Encounter between Global and Local Ideas about Women’s Rights in Peru.” In Feminist Strategies in International Governance. London: Routledge.

Authors: Peggy Levitt, Sally Engle Merry, Rosa Alayza, Mercedes Crisótomo Meza

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Discourses, Globalization, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Peru

Year: 2013

How Do Women’s Rights Norms Travel? Peace-Building Operations as Opportunity Structures in Bosnia


Jenichen, Anne. 2013. “How Do Women’s Rights Norms Travel? Peace-Building Operations as Opportunity Structures in Bosnia.” In Feminist Strategies in International Governance. London: Routledge.

Author: Anne Jenichen

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Globalization, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Human Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 2013


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