Cosmopolitan Militaries and Dialogic Peacekeeping: Danish and Swedish Women Soldiers in Afghanistan

Citation:

Rosamond, Annika Bergman, and Annica Kronsell. 2018. "Cosmopolitan Militaries and Dialogic Peacekeeping: Danish and Swedish Women Soldiers in Afghanistan." International Feminist Journal of Politics 20 (2): 172-87.

Authors: Annika Bergman Rosamond, Annica Kronsell

Abstract:

Feminist security studies (FSS) scholarship advocates the analysis of women's war experiences and narratives to understand conflict and military intervention. Here we add a non-great power focus to FSS debates on the gendered discourses of military interventionism. We zoom in on Danish and Swedish women soldiers' reflections on their involvement in the ISAF operation in Afghanistan. Their stories are deconstructed against the backdrop of their states' adoption of a cosmopolitan-minded ethic on military obligation. Both states employed women soldiers in dialogic peacekeeping in Afghanistan to establish links with local women and to gather intelligence, tasks that we less frequently afforded to male soldiers. However, feminist FSS scholarship locates military intelligence gathering within racial, gendered and imperialist power relations that assign victimhood to local women. This feminist critique is pertinent, but the gendered and racial logics governing international operations vary across national contexts. While such gender binaries were present in Danish and Swedish military practice in Afghanistan, our article shows that dialogic peacekeeping offered an alternative to stereotypical constructions of women as victims and men as protectors. Dialogic peacekeeping helped to disrupt such gendering processes, giving women soldiers an opportunity to rethink their gender identities while instilling dialogical relations with local women. 

Keywords: feminist security studies, cosmopolitanism, dialogic peacekeeping, women soldiers, non-great powers, Narratives

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Discourses, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Peacekeeping, Security Regions: Asia, South Asia, Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Afghanistan, Denmark, Sweden

Year: 2018

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