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What's Feminist about Feminist Foreign Policy? Sweden's and Canada's Foreign Policy Agendas

Citation:

Thomson, Jennifer. 2020. “What's Feminist about Feminist Foreign Policy? Sweden's and Canada's Foreign Policy Agendas.” International Studies Perspectives.  doi:10.1093/isp/ekz032. 

Author: Jennifer Thomson

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
Across politics and public discourse, feminism is experiencing a global renaissance. Yet feminist academic work is divided over the burgeoning use of the term, particularly in reference to economic and international development policy. For some, feminism has been co-opted for neoliberal economic ends; for others, it remains a critical force across the globe. This article explores the nascent feminist foreign policies of Sweden and Canada. Employing a discourse analysis of both states’ policy documents, it asks what the term “feminist” meant in preliminary attempts at constructing a feminist foreign policy. It argues that although both use the term “feminist,” they understand the term very differently, with Sweden centering it in domestic and international commitments to change, while Canada places greater emphasis on the private sector. This suggests that this policy agenda is still developing its central concepts, and is thus ripe for intervention on the part of policymakers and civil society organizations.

SPANISH ABSTRACT:
A través de la política y el discurso público, el feminismo está experimentando un renacimiento global. Sin embargo, el trabajo académico feminista está dividido por el uso creciente del término, particularmente en referencia a la política de desarrollo económico e internacional. Para algunos, el feminismo ha sido cooptado para fines económicos neoliberales; para otros, sigue siendo una fuerza fundamental en todo el mundo. Este artículo analiza las incipientes políticas exteriores feministas de Suecia y Canadá. Al emplear un análisis del discurso de los documentos de las políticas de ambos estados, se pregunta qué significaba el término «feminista» en los intentos preliminares de construir una política exterior feminista. Se argumenta que si bien ambos estados usan el término «feminista», entienden el término de manera muy diferente, ya que Suecia se centra en los compromisos nacionales e internacionales de cambio, mientras que Canadá pone un mayor énfasis en el sector privado. Esto sugiere que este proyecto aún está desarrollando sus conceptos centrales; por lo tanto, es propicio para la intervención de los responsables de formular políticas y las organizaciones de la sociedad civil.

FRENCH ABSTRACT:
On assiste actuellement à une renaissance du féminisme dans la politique et le débat public à l’échelle mondiale. Cependant, les spécialistes académiques du féminisme sont divisés sur l'utilisation naissante du terme, notamment en référence à la politique économique et de développement international. Pour certains, le féminisme a été coopté à des fins économiques néolibérales ; pour d'autres, il demeure une force majeure dans le monde. Cet article étudie les politiques étrangères féministes naissantes de la Suède et du Canada. S'appuyant sur une analyse du discours de la politique des deux états, il s'interroge sur le sens entendu du terme « féministe » lors des premières tentatives d’élaboration d'une politique étrangère féministe. Il soutient que, bien que les deux états utilisent le terme « féministe », ils le comprennent de manière très différente : en effet, la Suède place le féminisme au cœur des engagements nationaux et internationaux de changement, tandis que le Canada le situe davantage dans le domaine privé. Cela suggère que cet agenda politique est encore en train de développer ses concepts centraux et que, par conséquent, le moment est venu pour les décideurs politiques et les organisations de la société civile d'intervenir.

Keywords: feminism, feminist theory, foreign policy, feminist foreign policy, sweden, Canada

Topics: Civil Society, Development, Economies, Feminisms, Feminist Foreign Policy Regions: Americas, North America, Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Canada, Sweden

Year: 2020

'There's always Winners and Losers': Traditional Masculinity, Resource Dependence, and Post-Disaster Environmental Complacency

Citation:

Milnes, Travis, and Timothy J. Haney. 2017. "'There's always Winners and Losers': Traditional Masculinity, Resource Dependence, and Post-Disaster Environmental Complacency." Environmental Sociology 3 (3): 260-73. 

Authors: Travis Milnes, Timothy J. Haney

Abstract:

The 2013 Southern Alberta flood was a costly and devastating event. The literature suggests that such disasters have the potential to spur greater environmentalism and environmental action, as residents make connections between global environmental change and local events. However, the literature also suggests that residents in communities dependent on fossil fuel extraction might see technological disasters, like oil spills, as threats to their economic well-being, thereby limiting environmental reflexivity. Given that Alberta is home of the tar sands, how might a flood disaster affect men’s environmental views, given both traditional notions of masculinity and men’s economic dependence on oil production? Using a survey of 407 flood-affected residents of Calgary and in-depth qualitative interviews with 20 men directly impacted by the flood, this article demonstrates men’s decreased tendency to change their environmental views after the flood. The qualitative data reveal that men justify this reluctance by shifting blame for climate change to the Global South, by arguing for the economic centrality of the tar sands for Alberta, and by discussing how a warming climate will largely be a positive outcome for Alberta. The article concludes with discussion of relevance for environmental sociology and for public policy.

Keywords: environmental views, disaster, fossil fuels, oil sands, masculinities

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Masculinity/ies Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2017

'There's always Winners and Losers': Traditional Masculinity, Resource Dependence and Post-Disaster Environmental Complacency

Citation:

Milnes, Travis, and Timothy J. Haney. 2017. "'There's Always Winners and Losers': Traditional Masculinity, Resource Dependence, and Post-Disaster Environmental Complacency." Environmental Sociology 3 (3): 260-73. 

Authors: Travis Milnes, Timothy J. Haney

Abstract:

The 2013 Southern Alberta flood was a costly and devastating event. The literature suggests that such disasters have the potential to spur greater environmentalism and environmental action, as residents make connections between global environmental change and local events. However, the literature also suggests that residents in communities dependent on fossil fuel extraction might see technological disasters, like oil spills, as threats to their economic well-being, thereby limiting environmental reflexivity. Given that Alberta is home of the tar sands, how might a flood disaster affect men’s environmental views, given both traditional notions of masculinity and men’s economic dependence on oil production? Using a survey of 407 flood-affected residents of Calgary and in-depth qualitative interviews with 20 men directly impacted by the flood, this article demonstrates men’s decreased tendency to change their environmental views after the flood. The qualitative data reveal that men justify this reluctance by shifting blame for climate change to the Global South, by arguing for the economic centrality of the tar sands for Alberta, and by discussing how a warming climate will largely be a positive outcome for Alberta. The article concludes with discussion of relevance for environmental sociology and for public policy.

Keywords: environmental views, disaster, fossil fuels, oil sands, masculinities

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Livelihoods Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2017

Leading the Operationalisation of WPS

Citation:

Hutchinson, Susan. 2018. "Leading the Operationalisation of WPS." Security Challenges 14 (2): 124-43.

Author: Susan Hutchinson

Annotation:

Summary:
"This paper considers how an intervening security force can implement the relevant components of the suite of United Nations Security Council resolutions on Women, Peace and Security (WPS). The analytical framework of the paper is a generic operational cycle comprised of preplanning, planning, conduct, and transition. Specific tasks identified in the resolutions are organised in this generic operational cycle. The tasks are those commonly led by security forces, or directed by government, and include: conflict analysis or intelligence; deliberate planning; force structure; population protection; female engagement; support to the rule of law; security sector reform; and disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration. This paper focuses on the experiences of the Australian Defence Force, with additional examples from militaries of Canada, Ireland, Sweden and the United States as well as organisational experiences from NATO and the United Nations. The paper draws on operations including, but not limited to, in Afghanistan, Rwanda, Yugoslavia and East Timor. Overall, the paper makes a unique contribution to the military operationalisation of the WPS agenda" (Hutchinson 2018, 124).

Topics: Armed Conflict, DDR, Gender, Women, Governance, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Security, Security Sector Reform, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Americas, North America, Asia, South Asia, Europe, Balkans, Nordic states, Northern Europe, Western Europe, Oceania Countries: Afghanistan, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Rwanda, Sweden, Timor-Leste, United States of America, Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 2018

Gender, Peacekeeping, and Child Soldiers: Training and Research in Implementation of the Vancouver Principles

Citation:

Johnson, Dustin, and Allyssa Walsh. 2020. "Gender, Peacekeeping, and Child Soldiers: Training and Research in Implementation of the Vancouver Principles." Allons-yJournal of Children, Peace and Security 4: 51-60.

Authors: Dustin Johnson, Alyssa Walsh

Abstract:

Since the passage of UN Security Council resolution 1325, there has been a growing focus on the involvement of women in peacekeeping operations. Ambitious UN targets, the Vancouver Principles, and the Canadian government’s Elsie Initiative all aim to support the increased inclusion of uniformed women in peacekeeping missions. This article discusses three areas in which the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative (Dallaire Initiative) is working to support Vancouver Principle (VP) 11 through the training of women security sector actors, training on gendered dimensions of the recruitment and use of child soldiers and SGBV against child soldiers, and through research on how gender matters in peacekeeping operations. Based on these experiences and an engagement with the academic literature, it makes a number of policy recommendations in support of VP 11.

Keywords: gender, peacekeeping, training, child soldiers, SGBV

Topics: Age, Combatants, Child Soldiers, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, International Organizations, Peacekeeping, Sexual Violence, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2020

Women and Income Security in the Post-War Period: The Case of Unemployment Insurance

Citation:

Porter, Ann. 1993. “Women and Income Security in the Post-War Period: The Case of Unemployment Insurance, 1945-1962.” Labour/Le Travail 31: 111-44.

Author: Ann Porter

Annotation:

Summary:
Federal labour market policies after World War II crucially shaped both the nature of women's labour force participation and their access to the postwar welfare state's social security provisions. This article explores how Canadian federal policy helped shape women's economic status during that period by examining how they fared in the unemployment insurance (Ul) scheme from the end of the war until the early 1960s. It is argued that the federal state, in part through the implementing of the UI plan, played a critical role in reinforcing women's marginal economic position. In the case of Ul, this occurred by channelling women into low-wage sectors and by limiting women's access to income security benefits. The latter resulted, in particular, from a special Ul regulation for married women which was in effect from 1950 to 1957. The rationale for this regulation, its implications for women, and the  factors leading to its eventual revocation, is a major focus of the article (Porter, 1993, 111).

Topics: Economies, Gender, Women, Governance, Livelihoods, Post-Conflict Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 1993

Women and Gender Perspectives in the Military: An International Comparison

Citation:

Egnell, Robert, and Mayesha Alam, eds. 2019. Women and Gender Perspectives in the Military: An International Comparison. Washington, D.C: Georgetown University Press. 

Authors: Robert Egnell, Mayesha Alam

Annotation:

Summary:
“Women and Gender Perspectives in the Military compares the integration of women, gender perspectives, and the women, peace, and security agenda into the armed forces of eight countries plus NATO and United Nations peacekeeping operations. This book brings a much-needed crossnational analysis of how militaries have or have not improved gender balance, what has worked and what has not, and who have been the agents for change.

The country cases examined are Sweden, the Netherlands, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, Australia, and South Africa. Despite increased opportunities for women in the militaries of many countries and wider recognition of the value of including gender perspectives to enhance operational effectiveness, progress has encountered roadblocks even nearly twenty years after United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 kicked off the women, peace, and security agenda. Robert Egnell, Mayesha Alam, and the contributors to this volume conclude that there is no single model for change that can be applied to every country, but the comparative findings reveal many policy-relevant lessons while advancing scholarship about women and gendered perspectives in the military.” (Egnell and Alam 2019)

Table of Contents: 

1. Introduction: Gender and Women in the Military—Setting the Stage

Robert Egnell and Mayesha Alam

2. Women in UN Peacekeeping Operations

Sabrina Karim

3. Sweden's Implementation of a Gender Perspective: Cutting Edge but Momentum Lost

Robert Egnell

4. The Gender Perspective and Canada's Armed Forces: Internal and External Dimensions of Military Culture

Stéfanie von Hlatky

5. The Role and Impact of Change Catalysts on the Netherlands Defense Organization: Integration of Women and Gender in Operations

Yvette Langenhuizen

6. Women and Gender in the US Military: A Slow Process of Integration

Brenda Oppermann

7. Women, Gender, and Close Combat Roles in the UK: "Sluts," "Bitches," and "Honorary Blokes"

Anthony King

8. Are Women Really Equal in the People's Army? A Gender Perspective on the Israel Defence Forces

Hanna Herzog

9. The Case of Australia: From "Culture" Reforms to a Culture of Rights

Susan Harris Rimmer

10. Three Waves of Gender Integration: The Causes, Consequences, and Implications for the South African Armed Forces

Lindy Heinecken

11. Integrating Gender Perspectives at NATO: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Charlotte Isaksson

12. Conclusion: Lessons of Comparison and Limits of Generalization

Robert Egnell and Mayesha Alam

Topics: Gender, Women, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Peacekeeping, Peace and Security, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Africa, MENA, Southern Africa, Americas, North America, Asia, Middle East, Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe, Western Europe, Oceania Countries: Australia, Canada, Israel, Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States of America

Year: 2019

Smart Peacekeeping: Deploying Canadian Women for a Better Peace?

Citation:

Biskupski-Mujanovic, Sandra. 2019. "Smart Peacekeeping: Deploying Canadian Women for a Better Peace?" International Journal: Canada's Journal of Global Policy Analysis 74 (3): 405-21.

Author: Sandra Biskupski-Mujanovic

Abstract:

Canada announced its renewed commitment to United Nations peacekeeping with a special mission to increase the representation of women through the Elsie Initiative. That announcement marks a crucial time to examine peacekeeping as a gendered project that requires reflection on power and inequality between states and peacekeepers through an intersectional analysis that pays attention to gender and race. The major justification for increasing the number of women in peacekeeping operations has remained instrumental: deploying more women will lead to kinder, gentler, less abusive, and more efficient missions. However, there is little empirical evidence to support these claims. This paper looks at Canadian peacekeeping and arguments for women’s increased representation in peacekeeping operations for improved operational effectiveness as a “smart” peacekeeping strategy. It looks at the contradictions and controversies in Canadian peacekeeping and gender and smart peacekeeping that includes the Women, Peace, and Security agenda in general and within Canada, operational effectiveness claims, militarized masculinity, and militarized femininity. Without qualitative empirical data from Canadian women peacekeepers themselves, smart peacekeeping claims, which “add women and stir,” are largely anecdotal and do not adequately facilitate meaningful change.

Keywords: peacekeeping, gender, Canada, inequality, race

Topics: Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Peacekeeping, Race, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2019

Canada’s Feminist Foreign Policy Promises: An Ambitious Agenda for Gender Equality, Human Rights, Peace, and Security

Citation:

Tiessen, Rebecca, and Emma Swan. 2018. “Canada’s Feminist Foreign Policy Promises: An Ambitious Agenda for Gender Equality, Human Rights, Peace, and Security.” In Justin Trudeau and Canadian Foreign Policy, edited by Norman Hillmer and Philippe Lagassé. Cham: Palgrave MacMillan.

Authors: Rebecca Tiessen, Emma Swan

Abstract:

In June 2017, the Liberal government launched its first Feminist International Assistance Policy, setting a course for an ambitious agenda for the promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment. A renewed commitment to human rights and gender equality became evident in the early days of the Trudeau government with a series of events that placed gender equality at the center of national and international commitments. This chapter traces the numerous steps toward a feminist foreign policy between 2015 and 2017, with attention to how this strategy diverges from previous Canadian governments. Civil society organization (CSO) reactions to these early promises of improved gender equality programming are examined, particularly in relation to peace and security efforts abroad. Feminist international relations and foreign policy scholarships have long argued for a feminist foreign policy. In this chapter, the contributions of this feminist scholarship are analyzed in relation to the discursive, rhetorical, and feminist policy commitments observed to date. (SpringerLink)

Topics: Development, Feminisms, Feminist Foreign Policy, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Peace and Security, Rights, Human Rights Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2018

The Origins of Canada’s Feminist Foreign Policy

Citation:

Chapnick, Adam. 2019. “The Origins of Canada’s Feminist Foreign Policy.” International Journal: Canada’s Journal of Global Policy Analysis 74 (2): 191–205. 

Author: Adam Chapnick

Abstract:

In January 2019, a leading Canadian foreign policy blog, OpenCanada.org, declared that “[u]nder the government of Justin Trudeau, Canada has embraced a feminist foreign policy—gradually at first, and with fervor over the past year.” Although critics have debated the policy’s effectiveness, the embrace, if not also the fervor, was indisputable. By 2019, the Trudeau government’s second foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, was proclaiming Canada’s feminist approach to international relations openly and regularly. The international community had also noticed. This article investigates the origins of the new Canadian foreign policy “brand.” It finds that, contrary to popular thinking, the prime minister himself played at most a minor role in the initiation of what became a full-fledged transformation of Canada’s global image.

Topics: Feminisms, Feminist Foreign Policy Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2019

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