Messy Feminist Knowledge Politics: A Double Reading of Post-Conflict Gender Mainstreaming in Liberia

Citation:

Kunz, Rahel. 2020. "Messy Feminist Knowledge Politics: A Double Reading of Post-Conflict Gender Mainstreaming in Liberia." International Feminist Journal of Politics 22 (1): 63-85.

Author: Rahel Kunz

Abstract:

The debate around the production and circulation of feminist knowledge has been rekindled since the emergence of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda. While much attention focuses on the diffusion of WPS norms, less is paid to the sociocultural context within which feminist ideas circulate through WPS gender-mainstreaming (GM) interventions, its broader implications, and what happens beyond. I propose a double reading of GM as a site of feminist knowledge production and circulation: I combine anthropological and feminist governmentality insights to analyze GM as a form of (disciplinary) governing with insights from post/decolonial scholars that call for an engagement with the “exteriority” of interventions, with what lies outside our grid of intelligibility of the narrow political terrain of GM. Through a case study of the post-conflict GM intervention in Liberia, I illustrate how this double reading reveals the ways in which GM works as a gendered form of governing to prescribe dualistic social roles and (re)produce social differentiation mechanisms linked to “civilization.” An engagement with the exteriority of the GM intervention reveals critiques and alternative forms of feminist knowledge production and circulation that emphasize non-dualistic and non-judgmental attitudes and propose invited partnership and dialogue.

Keywords: feminist knowledge circulation, gender mainstreaming, governmentality, post/decolonial feminism, norm diffusion, women, peace and security

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender Mainstreaming, Governance, Post-Conflict, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia

Year: 2020

© 2020 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.