(Re)framing the Relationship between Discourse and Materiality in Feminist Security Studies and Feminist IPE


Hudson, Heidi. 2015. “(Re)framing the Relationship between Discourse and Materiality in Feminist Security Studies and Feminist IPE.” Politics & Gender 11 (2): 413–19. 

Author: Heidi Hudson


"While feminists usually try to ground the meanings that they study, theorizing the mundane or the everyday may very well represent a detour—or even a dead end—if bread-and-butter issues related to the security and economic well-being of ordinary women and men are ignored. What value does feminist theorizing (even if it draws from women's lived experiences) have in war-affected contexts where meeting immediate needs is paramount? At what point does the theorizing of the body under such circumstances become a means to satisfying intellectual fetishes? Theorizing the everyday is messy because it has to contend with the immediate social setting in which popular culture is inseparable from the economic materiality of the conditions of oppression.
"In response to this dilemma, my aim is to argue for a productive rather than a reductive relationship between Feminist Security Studies (FSS) and Feminist (International) Political Economy (FPE), achieved through a reframed relationship between discursive subjectivity and a structure-centred materiality. I argue for a more systematic feminist analysis that reunites FPE and cultural FSS critiques. This analytical synthesis is based on an understanding of the co-constituted agency of discourse and materiality underpinned by a postcolonial-feminist attention to the politics of space" (Hudson 2015, 413-414).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Political Economies, Security

Year: 2015

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