What is Feminist Foreign Policy? An Explanatory Evaluation of Foreign Policy in OECD Countries

Citation:

Alwan, Christine, and S. Laurel Weldon. 2017. “What is Feminist Foreign Policy? An Explanatory Evaluation of Foreign Policy in OECD Countries.” Paper prepared for 2017 European Conference on Politics and Gender, University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

Authors: Christine Alwan, S. Laurel Weldon

Abstract:

In 2015, Sweden’s foreign affairs minister boldly acclaimed that the state had a feminist foreign policy, with rights, representation, and resources at its core (Patel 2015). While these criteria may be a helpful for understanding the variety of issues foreign policy makers must consider to develop and implement gender equitable policy, they do not provide a specific framework for a feminist foreign policy theory. We hope to address this lack of specificity by drawing on existing theories of foreign policy and feminist IR.  We argue why the idea of a feminist foreign policy is radical given the nature of international politics, state militaries, and government actors. We point to the symbiotic relationship between militarism and masculinity with militarism and the state. This androcentric view of international politics does not adequately address the ways in which women’s lives affect and are affected by foreign policy decisions. We hope that these initial discussions will help both policy scholars and practitioners develop and incorporate a feminist theory of foreign policy into foreign policy decision-making.

Topics: Feminisms, Feminist Foreign Policy, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Militarism, Rights

Year: 2017

© 2019 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.