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What's Feminist about Feminist Foreign Policy? Sweden's and Canada's Foreign Policy Agendas

Citation:

Thomson, Jennifer. 2020. “What's Feminist about Feminist Foreign Policy? Sweden's and Canada's Foreign Policy Agendas.” International Studies Perspectives.  doi:10.1093/isp/ekz032. 

Author: Jennifer Thomson

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
Across politics and public discourse, feminism is experiencing a global renaissance. Yet feminist academic work is divided over the burgeoning use of the term, particularly in reference to economic and international development policy. For some, feminism has been co-opted for neoliberal economic ends; for others, it remains a critical force across the globe. This article explores the nascent feminist foreign policies of Sweden and Canada. Employing a discourse analysis of both states’ policy documents, it asks what the term “feminist” meant in preliminary attempts at constructing a feminist foreign policy. It argues that although both use the term “feminist,” they understand the term very differently, with Sweden centering it in domestic and international commitments to change, while Canada places greater emphasis on the private sector. This suggests that this policy agenda is still developing its central concepts, and is thus ripe for intervention on the part of policymakers and civil society organizations.

SPANISH ABSTRACT:
A través de la política y el discurso público, el feminismo está experimentando un renacimiento global. Sin embargo, el trabajo académico feminista está dividido por el uso creciente del término, particularmente en referencia a la política de desarrollo económico e internacional. Para algunos, el feminismo ha sido cooptado para fines económicos neoliberales; para otros, sigue siendo una fuerza fundamental en todo el mundo. Este artículo analiza las incipientes políticas exteriores feministas de Suecia y Canadá. Al emplear un análisis del discurso de los documentos de las políticas de ambos estados, se pregunta qué significaba el término «feminista» en los intentos preliminares de construir una política exterior feminista. Se argumenta que si bien ambos estados usan el término «feminista», entienden el término de manera muy diferente, ya que Suecia se centra en los compromisos nacionales e internacionales de cambio, mientras que Canadá pone un mayor énfasis en el sector privado. Esto sugiere que este proyecto aún está desarrollando sus conceptos centrales; por lo tanto, es propicio para la intervención de los responsables de formular políticas y las organizaciones de la sociedad civil.

FRENCH ABSTRACT:
On assiste actuellement à une renaissance du féminisme dans la politique et le débat public à l’échelle mondiale. Cependant, les spécialistes académiques du féminisme sont divisés sur l'utilisation naissante du terme, notamment en référence à la politique économique et de développement international. Pour certains, le féminisme a été coopté à des fins économiques néolibérales ; pour d'autres, il demeure une force majeure dans le monde. Cet article étudie les politiques étrangères féministes naissantes de la Suède et du Canada. S'appuyant sur une analyse du discours de la politique des deux états, il s'interroge sur le sens entendu du terme « féministe » lors des premières tentatives d’élaboration d'une politique étrangère féministe. Il soutient que, bien que les deux états utilisent le terme « féministe », ils le comprennent de manière très différente : en effet, la Suède place le féminisme au cœur des engagements nationaux et internationaux de changement, tandis que le Canada le situe davantage dans le domaine privé. Cela suggère que cet agenda politique est encore en train de développer ses concepts centraux et que, par conséquent, le moment est venu pour les décideurs politiques et les organisations de la société civile d'intervenir.

Keywords: feminism, feminist theory, foreign policy, feminist foreign policy, sweden, Canada

Topics: Civil Society, Development, Economies, Feminisms, Feminist Foreign Policy Regions: Americas, North America, Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Canada, Sweden

Year: 2020

The Embodied Politics of Climate Change: Analysing the Gendered Division of Environmental Labour in the UK

Citation:

Wilson, Joanna, and Eric Chu. 2019. "The Embodied Politics of Climate Change: Analyzing the Gendered Division of Environmental Labour in the UK." Environmental Politics: 1-20. 

Authors: Joanna Wilson, Eric Chu

Abstract:

The intersection between gender and climate change action has received little scholarly attention. To facilitate a critical orientation towards the informal economies of social reproduction, the ways that the UK’s climate politics are rooted in masculinist discourses of a green economy are illustrated. Adopting an intersectional approach, it is argued that such a green economy perspective diverts attention from labouring bodies in climate politics, invisibilising the ‘who’ in the experience of climate solutions. Through critically engaging divisions of labour in climate policy, evidenced through a feminist critical discourse analysis, it is shown how a surface-level inclusion of gender perpetuates the labouring bodies associated with specific labour markets. In response, it is suggested that an intersectional approach to climate policy can account for these omissions and highlights the ways in which a more just, intersectional climate politics might be formulated.

Keywords: climate change, politics, gender, feminism, intersectionality, environmental justice

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Livelihoods Regions: Europe, Northern Europe Countries: United Kingdom

Year: 2019

Invisible Lives: Gender, Dispossession, and Precarity amongst Syrian Refugee Women in the Middle East

Citation:

Canefe, Nergis. 2018. "Invisible Lives: Gender, Dispossesion, and Precarity amongst Syrian Refugee Women in the Middle East." Refuge 34 (1): 39-49. 

Author: Nergis Canefe

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
This article attends to the connections between neo-liberal and neo-developmentalist labour regimes, asylum and immigration management, and the exploitation of undocumented, refugee, and migrant women, based on the experiences of Syrian refugee women in Turkey. The concept of precarity is explored as a selectively applied strategy by states to people who lack “status” or who are unable to benefit from “membership rights.” Forced migrants, illegal migrants, and asylum seekers are directly implicated in highly precarious work experiences at the bottom end of labour markets across the Global South, becoming trapped in forced labour and human trafficking arrangements. The article establishes a link between extreme forms of migrant labour exploitation in precarious life worlds and gender-based  profiling of life chances.
 
FRENCH ABSTRACT:
Cet article concerne les connexions entre les régimes de travail néo-libéraux et néo-développementistes, la gestion de l’asile et de l’immigration, et l’exploitation de femmes migrantes, réfugiées, sans papiers, à partir du vécu de réfugiées syriennes en Turquie. Le concept de précarité est exploré en tant que stratégie appliquée de manière sélective par les états aux personnes qui n’ont « pas de statut » ou ne peuvent pas bénéficier de « droits d’appartenance ». Les migrants forcés, les migrants illégaux et les demandeurs d’asile sont directement concernés par des expériences de travail fortement précaire au plus bas des marchés du travail sur l’ensemble des pays du Sud, et deviennent alors prisonnier du travail forcé et du trafic d’êtres humains. L’article établit un lien entre des formes extrêmes d’exploitation des migrants au travail dans des contextes de vie précaires et un profilage des opportunités de vie en fonction du genre.

 

Keywords: political economy of crisis, precarity, forced migration, gender and migration, gender and precarity, Middle Eastern States

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Forced Migration, Refugees, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gender, Women, Livelihoods, Political Economies, Trafficking, Human Trafficking Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East, Europe, Southern Europe Countries: Syria, Turkey

Year: 2018

A Gendered Approach to the Syrian Refugee Crisis

Citation:

Jane Freedman, Zeynep Kivilcim, and Nurcan Özgür Baklacıoğlu, eds. 2017. A Gendered Approach to the Syrian Refugee Crisis. New York: Routledge. 

Authors: Jane Freedman, ed. , Zeynep Kivilcim, ed. , Nurcan Özgür Baklacıoğlu, ed.

Annotation:

Summary:
The refugee crisis that began in 2015 has seen thousands of refugees attempting to reach Europe, principally from Syria. The dangers and difficulties of this journey have been highlighted in the media, as have the political disagreements within Europe over the way to deal with the problem. However, despite the increasing number of women making this journey, there has been little or no analysis of women’s experiences or of the particular difficulties and dangers they may face.
 
A Gendered Approach to the Syrian Refugee Crisis examines women’s experience at all stages of forced migration, from the conflict in Syria, to refugee camps in Lebanon or Turkey, on the journey to the European Union and on arrival in an EU member state. The book deals with women’s experiences, the changing nature of gender relations during forced migration, gendered representations of refugees, and the ways in which EU policies may impact differently on men and women. The book provides a nuanced and complex assessment of the refugee crisis, and shows the importance of analysing differences within the refugee population.
 
Students and scholars of development studies, gender studies, security studies, politics and middle eastern studies will find this book an important guide to the evolving crisis.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Forced Migration, Refugees, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, International Organizations Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East, Europe, Southern Europe Countries: Lebanon, Syria, Turkey

Year: 2017

Reconsidering Nationalism and Feminism: the Kurdish Political Movement in Turkey

Citation:

Al‐Ali, Nadje, and Latif Tas. 2018. "Reconsidering Nationalism and Feminism: The Kurdish Political Movement in Turkey." Nations and Nationalism 24 (2): 453-73.

Authors: Nadje Al-Ali, Latif Tas

Abstract:

Feminist scholars have documented with reference to multiple empirical contexts that feminist claims within nationalist movements are often side-lined, constructed as ‘inauthentic’ and frequently discredited for imitating supposedly western notions of gender-based equality. Despite these historical precedents, some feminist scholars have pointed to the positive aspects of nationalist movements, which frequently open up spaces for gender-based claims. Our research is based on the recognition that we cannot discuss and evaluate the fraught relationship in the abstract but that we need to look at the specific historical and empirical contexts and articulations of nationalism and feminism. The specific case study we draw from is the relationship between the Kurdish women’s movement and the wider Kurdish political movement in Turkey. We are exploring the ways that the Kurdish movement in Turkey has politicised Kurdish women’s rights activists and examine how Kurdish women activists have reacted to patriarchal tendencies within the Kurdish movement.

Keywords: ethnic nationalism, feminism, Kurdish women's movement, middle east, PKK, Turkey

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Nationalism Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East, Europe, Southern Europe Countries: Turkey

Year: 2018

Traumatic Stress Among Sexual and Gender Minority Refugees from the Middle East, North African, and Asia who Fled to the European Union

Citation:

Alessi, Edward J., Sarilee Kahn, Leah Woolner, and Rebecca Van Der Horn. 2018. "Traumatic Stress Among Sexual and Gender Minority Refugees From the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia Who Fled to the European Union." Journal of Traumatic Stress 31 (6): 805-15.

Authors: Edward J. Alessi, Sarilee Kahn, Leah Woolner, Rebecca Van Der Horn

Abstract:

In 2015, more than 600,000 individuals from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan fled to Europe in search of protection. Among the most understudied of this population are individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ). These individuals have not only fled war but also violence due to their sexual and/or gender identities. At the same time, LGBTQ individuals from other parts of the Middle East, Central and South Asia, and North Africa have also fled to Europe to escape persecution. The purpose of this multimethod study was to understand how traumatic stress shaped the experiences of 38 LGBTQ individuals who fled to Austria (n = 19) and the Netherlands (n = 19) from these regions. We assessed participants for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and conducted qualitative interviews to understand their migration experiences. Of the 37 participants assessed for PTSD, 33 (89.2%) reported that their most distressing event occurred prior to migration. For the 24 (64.9%) participants who met criteria for a provisional diagnosis of PTSD, 15 reported that the precipitating event was related to their sexual and/or gender identities and 9 reported that it was related to another type of event (e.g., war). Grounded theory was used to analyze qualitative data. Themes demonstrated that participants encountered targeted violence and abuse throughout migration and upon their arrival in Austria and the Netherlands. Findings indicate that LGBTQ refugees may be vulnerable to ongoing trauma from other refugees and immigration officials. Recommendations for protecting and supporting LGBTQ refugees during humanitarian emergencies are provided.

 

Topics: Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Gender, Health, PTSD, Trauma, Humanitarian Assistance, Sexuality, Violence Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa, Asia, Central Asia, Middle East, South Asia, Europe, Western Europe Countries: Afghanistan, Austria, Iraq, Netherlands, Syria

Year: 2018

Duped: Examining Gender Stereotypes in Disengagement and Deradicalization Practices

Citation:

Schmidt, Rachel. 2020. “Duped: Examining Gender Stereotypes in Disengagement and Deradicalization Practices.” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism. doi: 10.1080/1057610X.2020.1711586.

Author: Rachel Schmidt

Abstract:

In narratives around insurgencies, terrorism, and other forms of political violence, the media—and policymakers—frequently portray women as victims or unintelligent pawns of men. But these violent women get more media attention than their male counterparts because they are a shocking departure from gendered expectations of nurturing, peaceful women. However, even such narratives of deviance can reinforce societal stereotypes about women by emphasizing that they are emotional but not political, easily manipulated, often deranged, or simply unintelligent. Using in-depth interviews in Ireland and the United Kingdom with practitioners in counter terrorism (CT) and countering violent extremism (CVE), this paper argues that a failure to ask meaningful questions about women’s roles in extremist violence has reinforced gender stereotypes, leading to disengagement and deradicalization practices that ignore or downplay women’s importance in fostering violence.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Media, Post-Conflict, Terrorism, Violence Regions: Europe, Western Europe Countries: Ireland, United Kingdom

Year: 2020

"Without Women, the War Could Never Have Happened": Representations of Women’s Military Contributions in Non-State Armed Groups

Citation:

Gilmartin, Niall. 2017. “‘Without Women, the War Could Never Have Happened’: Representations of Women’s Military Contributions in Non-State Armed Groups.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 19 (4): 456–70.

Author: Niall Gilmartin

Abstract:

Feminist international relations theory argues that male consolidation of power in the aftermath of armed conflict often occurs as men gain the status of heroes in the post-war appraisals. Explorations of republican commemoration in the North of Ireland have uncovered the dominance of the male protagonist with a notable relative absence of militant republican women. Militarized masculine narratives and patriarchal understandings of what is deemed a combatant role, and therefore deemed worthy of commemorating, consistently fail to value or recognize women’s multiple and vital wartime contributions. This article argues that conventional definitions of military contributions and combatant roles are imprecise, highly gendered and ultimately function as a mechanism to denigrate and exclude women’s wartime labor. Based on in-depth interviews with former combatants, the article critically explores the ways in which republican women themselves conceptualize their contributions to armed struggle. Emerging from this is a theoretically rich narrative of women’s multiple and diverse military roles which firmly challenge the limited definition of “a person with a weapon.” It is suggested that by paying careful attention to the lives of combatant women, feminist scholars can use their experiences, narratives and meanings to challenge existing frameworks and discourses, and redefine combatant roles and wartime contributions.

Keywords: female combatants, Conflict Transition, combatant roles, commemoration, Republican women

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Post-Conflict Regions: Europe, Western Europe Countries: United Kingdom

Year: 2017

The Gendered Effects of Violence on Political Engagement

Citation:

Hadzic, Dino and Margrit Travis. 2019. “The Gendered Effects of Violence on Political Engagement.” The Journal of Politics 81 (2): 676-80. 
 

Authors: Dino Hadzic, Margrit Travis

Abstract:

How does civil conflict affect political engagement? As violence of various forms—from war to terrorism—is becoming more frequent even in the developed world, understanding its political consequences is a pressing concern. We argue that violence makes citizens view politics as more combative and aggressive. Because the traits that align with these perceptions (e.g., dominance, aggressiveness, decisiveness) are associated more with masculinity than femininity, we hypothesize that violence increases engagement among men while reducing it among women. To test our argument, we conduct an experiment in Bosnia, the site of a major ethnic civil war in 1992–95. The evidence confirms that past violence, when made salient, leads women to express significantly less and men significantly more desire to engage in politics. We conclude from these findings that violent conflict can introduce disparities in political engagement across gender, underscoring a significant challenge policy makers face in postconflict societies.

 

Keywords: political engagement, gender, violence, postconflict, Eastern Europe

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Development, Gender, Women, Men, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Post-Conflict, Political Participation, Terrorism, Violence Regions: Europe, Balkans Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 2019

What has Justice got to do with it? Gender and the Political Economy of Post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina

Citation:

Lai, Daniela. 2019. “What has Justice got to do with it? Gender and the Political Economy of Post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina.” Review of International Political Economy: 1-23. doi.org/10.1080/09692290.2019.1679221. 
 

Author: Daniela Lai

Abstract:

While International Financial Institutions (IFIs) play an increasingly relevant role in post-war countries, the interplay between their interventions and other aspects of post-conflict transitions, such as those related to dealing with the consequences of wartime violence, has not received much attention in the literature. This paper tackles this gap and suggests that, in post-conflict contexts, gendered forms of socioeconomic violence and injustice can be perpetuated through economic reforms led by IFIs. Overlooking justice considerations in post-war economic reforms not only reflects and reinforces a limited understanding of wartime violence and justice issues, but also entrenches gendered forms of socioeconomic injustice that had their roots in the war. A feminist approach to the study of political economy encompassing both gender and socioeconomic justice is adopted here to show how complex and overlapping forms of injustice are supported by wartime and post-war political-economic power structures. To illustrate how and why justice considerations are important for post-war economic reforms, the paper looks at the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and analyses the rationale and gendered effects of economic reforms that reorganized welfare and jobs, and promoted privatisations that accelerated deindustrialisation and economic decline.

 

 

Keywords: international financial institutions, post-war justice, feminist IPE, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Topics: Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Gender, International Financial Institutions, Justice, Post-Conflict, Violence Regions: Europe, Balkans Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 2019

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