Gendering Terror: Discourses of Terrorism and Writing Woman-as-Agent


Auchter, Jessica. 2012. “Gendering Terror: Discourses of Terrorism and Writing Woman-as-Agent.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 14 (1): 121–39.

Author: Jessica Auchter


This article problematizes the deployment of the concept of agency in contemporary international relations scholarship. It examines the problems of relying on a foundationalist conception of agency as a tool to achieve meaningful political action by exploring the case of scholarship on the topic of women and terrorism. I argue that scholars on the topic of women and terrorism inscribe agency into women's subjectivities, that is, they place agency as the goal of feminist political action. By tracing the way that scholars write agency into women's subjectivities through an examination of the literature on the topic, I am able to demonstrate how reliance on agency as a foundational concept hinders the goals of feminists.

Keywords: agency, terrorism, performativity, feminism

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Terrorism

Year: 2012

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