A Double-edged Sword of Peace? Reflections on the Tension between Representation and Protection in Gendering Liberal Peacebuilding


Hudson, Heidi. 2012. “A Double-Edged Sword of Peace? Reflections on the Tension between Representation and Protection in Gendering Liberal Peacebuilding.” International Peacekeeping 19 (4): 443–60.

Author: Heidi Hudson


Using a postcolonial-feminist approach, this article argues that the way in which gender is framed in peace interventions is symptomatic of the hegemonic way in which the discourses about the representation and protection of women within the liberal intervention model are constructed and institutionalized. Through an analysis of international discourses on the politics of inclusion/exclusion, protection, as well as sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), it illustrates the disempowering effect of instrumentalist interpretations of women's agency. The article concludes that the embedded violence of liberal peacebuilding becomes even more pronounced when the gendered inner workings of international organizations, among others, are placed under scrutiny. It proposes a critical postcolonial-feminist vision that is resistant to universalist conceptions of women, gender and self to overcome the under-theorized gender dimensions of liberal peacebuilding.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Peacebuilding, Sexual Violence

Year: 2012

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