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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

'There's always Winners and Losers': Traditional Masculinity, Resource Dependence, and Post-Disaster Environmental Complacency

Citation:

Milnes, Travis, and Timothy J. Haney. 2017. "'There's always Winners and Losers': Traditional Masculinity, Resource Dependence, and Post-Disaster Environmental Complacency." Environmental Sociology 3 (3): 260-73. 

Authors: Travis Milnes, Timothy J. Haney

Abstract:

The 2013 Southern Alberta flood was a costly and devastating event. The literature suggests that such disasters have the potential to spur greater environmentalism and environmental action, as residents make connections between global environmental change and local events. However, the literature also suggests that residents in communities dependent on fossil fuel extraction might see technological disasters, like oil spills, as threats to their economic well-being, thereby limiting environmental reflexivity. Given that Alberta is home of the tar sands, how might a flood disaster affect men’s environmental views, given both traditional notions of masculinity and men’s economic dependence on oil production? Using a survey of 407 flood-affected residents of Calgary and in-depth qualitative interviews with 20 men directly impacted by the flood, this article demonstrates men’s decreased tendency to change their environmental views after the flood. The qualitative data reveal that men justify this reluctance by shifting blame for climate change to the Global South, by arguing for the economic centrality of the tar sands for Alberta, and by discussing how a warming climate will largely be a positive outcome for Alberta. The article concludes with discussion of relevance for environmental sociology and for public policy.

Keywords: environmental views, disaster, fossil fuels, oil sands, masculinities

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Masculinity/ies Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2017

Petro-Masculinity and Climate Change Denial Among White, Politically Conservative American Males

Citation:

Nelson, Joshua. 2020. "Petro‐Masculinity and Climate Change Denial among White, Politically Conservative American Males." International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies: 1-14.

Author: Joshua Nelson

Abstract:

White, politically conservative males in the United States have been widely found to maintain petro-masculine attitudes that include aspects of racism, misogyny, and climate change denial. These beliefs and their associated behaviors, including climate destructiveness, can be conceptualized as compensatory reactions to modern-day racial, gender, and climate-related anxieties that are experienced as threats to traditional white male privilege and power. They then manifest as and energize authoritarian desires and their associated sociopolitical movements, including the current Republican effort to Make American Great Again. This paper utilizes psychoanalytic concepts concerning individual and large-group identity, group psychodynamics and processes, and the intergenerational transmission of idealized myth and fantasy to further elucidate and expand upon these complex phenomena. It then suggests specific strategies for disentangling the strong links between white hegemonic masculinity, fossil fuel use, and climate change denial, thus opening doors to alternative, non climate-destructive yet still empowering notions of individual, large-group, and national identity that are, instead, based in communal concern and climate care.

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Race Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2020

Ecomodern Masculinity, Energy Security, and Green Consumerism: the Rise of Biofuels in the United States

Citation:

Dockstader, Sue, and Shannon Elizabeth Bell. 2019. "Ecomodern Masculinity, Energy Security, and Green Consumerism: the Rise of Biofuels in the United States." Critical Sociology: 1-18. 

Authors: Sue Dockstader, Shannon Elizabeth Bell

Abstract:

Through a case study of a major biofuel company in the United States, we seek to uncover how producers and consumers promote biofuels as a solution to climate change, despite considerable evidence demonstrating that biofuels are socially and environmentally destructive. Analysis of the company’s marketing materials and interviews with the owner and customers reveals that a primary way the company puts a green spin on biofuels is the deployment of “ecomodern masculinity.” This hybrid masculinity invokes a particular class-based environmentalism that positions biofuels as the ethical choice of good men concerned about the environment. This gendered ideology embraces a variant of Ecological Modernization that strategically adopts the appearance of environmental care while promoting the American values of energy security and green consumerism. We argue that this gendered repackaging of biofuels bolsters existing social inequalities, safeguards capital accumulation, and inhibits the systemic changes needed to address the climate crisis.

Keywords: climate change, biofuels, masculinities, green consumerism, energy security, capitalism, Marxism, sociology

Topics: Class, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Masculinity/ies Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2019

'There's always Winners and Losers': Traditional Masculinity, Resource Dependence and Post-Disaster Environmental Complacency

Citation:

Milnes, Travis, and Timothy J. Haney. 2017. "'There's Always Winners and Losers': Traditional Masculinity, Resource Dependence, and Post-Disaster Environmental Complacency." Environmental Sociology 3 (3): 260-73. 

Authors: Travis Milnes, Timothy J. Haney

Abstract:

The 2013 Southern Alberta flood was a costly and devastating event. The literature suggests that such disasters have the potential to spur greater environmentalism and environmental action, as residents make connections between global environmental change and local events. However, the literature also suggests that residents in communities dependent on fossil fuel extraction might see technological disasters, like oil spills, as threats to their economic well-being, thereby limiting environmental reflexivity. Given that Alberta is home of the tar sands, how might a flood disaster affect men’s environmental views, given both traditional notions of masculinity and men’s economic dependence on oil production? Using a survey of 407 flood-affected residents of Calgary and in-depth qualitative interviews with 20 men directly impacted by the flood, this article demonstrates men’s decreased tendency to change their environmental views after the flood. The qualitative data reveal that men justify this reluctance by shifting blame for climate change to the Global South, by arguing for the economic centrality of the tar sands for Alberta, and by discussing how a warming climate will largely be a positive outcome for Alberta. The article concludes with discussion of relevance for environmental sociology and for public policy.

Keywords: environmental views, disaster, fossil fuels, oil sands, masculinities

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Livelihoods Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2017

Men and Nature: Hegemonic Masculinities and Environmental Change

Citation:

MacGregor, Sherilyn, and Nicole Seymour, eds. 2017. “Men and Nature: Hegemonic Masculinities and Environmental Change.” RCC Perspectives: Transformations in Environment and Society (4), 1-93.

Authors: Sherilyn MacGregor, Nicole Seymour

Annotation:

Summary from Environment & Society Portal:
Drawing on ecofeminist theory, environmental politics, and queer theory and ecology, this volume sheds light on the connections between masculinities and environmental change. The essays in this collection examine how hegemonic masculinities are performed and how they are reproduced under conditions of climate change, often perpetuating racial and gender inequalities and unequal power relations. The contributors reveal the making and negotiating of masculinities in very different cultural and economic settings, from central Africa to Central America, to the USA and Japan. Together, these scholars, academics, artists, and activists explore how masculine roles, identities, and practices shape human relationships with the more-than-human world.
 
Table of Contents:
Foreword: Masculinities in the Sociocene
Raewyn Connell
 
Introduction
Sherilyn MacGregor and Nicole Seymour
 
1. Representing Disaster with Resignation and Nostalgia: Japanese Men’s Responses to the 2011 Earthquake
Naoki Kambe
 
2. Excuse Us, While We Fix the Sky: WEIRD Supermen and Climate Engineering
Jim Fleming
 
3. Of Storms, Floods, and Flying Sharks: The Extreme Weather Hero in Contemporary American Culture
Susanne Leikam
 
4. Masculinity, Work, and the Industrial Forest in the US Pacific Northwest
Erik Loomis
 
5. Every Day Like Today: Learning How to Be a Man in Love (An Excerpt from the Manuscript)
Alex Carr Johnson
 
6. Inventing Bushcraft: Masculinity, Technology, and Environment in Central Africa, ca. 750–1250
Kathryn M. de Luna
 
7. “The Love of the Chase Is an Inherent Delight in Man”: Hunting and Masculine Emotions in the Victorian Zoologist’s Travel Memoir
Will Abberley
 
8. Rural Masculinities in Tension: Barriers to Climate Change Adaptation in Nicaragua
Noémi Gonda
 
9. Taking Up Space: Men, Masculinity, and the Student Climate Movement
Jody Chan and Joe Curnow
 
10. Boys Will Be Boys (An Art Installation: Staged Wilderness and Male Dreams)
Nicola von Thurn

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Race, Sexuality Regions: Africa, Central Africa, Americas, Central America, North America, Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan, Nicaragua, United States of America

Year: 2017

Take Back the Future: Global Feminisms and the Coming Crisis of the Beijing Settlement

Citation:

Ergas, Yasmine. 2019. "Take Back the Future: Global Feminisms and the Coming Crisis of the Beijing Settlement." Journal of International Affairs 72 (2): 19-36

Author: Yasmine Ergas

Annotation:

Summary:
"In April 2019, the United States threatened to use its veto in the UN Security Council (UNSC). That was not an unusual move: the Permanent Five members of the UNSC often exercise their right to block a United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR). But what was striking in this case was the content of the resolution against which the US felt both compelled and legitimated to invoke what is, in effect, the Council’s “nuclear option.” Did the draft Resolution introduced by Germany—a US ally—threaten U.S. national security? Did it undermine a friendly nation? In fact, Germany proposed to do neither. Rather, it sought to establish a working group within the UNSC on sexual violence in conflict, and generally strengthen the Council’s monitoring of related processes. Why, then, did the US object? As importantly, why did feminist groups also voice concern about the German initiative? While further research is needed to answer these questions, this essay views the U.S. position on Germany’s draft resolution as an expression of the stance taken by the U.S. administration and other states toward what one could term the “Beijing Settlement,” the general, albeit always contested, consensus rhetorically encapsulated in the slogan that “women’s rights are human rights, and human rights are women’s rights,” which emerged from the fourth world conference on women in 1995. The U.S. administration’s stance is reflective of a broad backlash against gender-related rights, including both women’s rights generally and all persons’ rights related to sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and sexual characteristics" (Ergas 2019, 19).

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, International Organizations, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, Sexuality, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS Regions: Americas, North America, Europe, Central Europe Countries: Germany, United States of America

Year: 2019

Leading the Operationalisation of WPS

Citation:

Hutchinson, Susan. 2018. "Leading the Operationalisation of WPS." Security Challenges 14 (2): 124-43.

Author: Susan Hutchinson

Annotation:

Summary:
"This paper considers how an intervening security force can implement the relevant components of the suite of United Nations Security Council resolutions on Women, Peace and Security (WPS). The analytical framework of the paper is a generic operational cycle comprised of preplanning, planning, conduct, and transition. Specific tasks identified in the resolutions are organised in this generic operational cycle. The tasks are those commonly led by security forces, or directed by government, and include: conflict analysis or intelligence; deliberate planning; force structure; population protection; female engagement; support to the rule of law; security sector reform; and disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration. This paper focuses on the experiences of the Australian Defence Force, with additional examples from militaries of Canada, Ireland, Sweden and the United States as well as organisational experiences from NATO and the United Nations. The paper draws on operations including, but not limited to, in Afghanistan, Rwanda, Yugoslavia and East Timor. Overall, the paper makes a unique contribution to the military operationalisation of the WPS agenda" (Hutchinson 2018, 124).

Topics: Armed Conflict, DDR, Gender, Women, Governance, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Security, Security Sector Reform, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Americas, North America, Asia, South Asia, Europe, Balkans, Nordic states, Northern Europe, Western Europe, Oceania Countries: Afghanistan, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Rwanda, Sweden, Timor-Leste, United States of America, Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 2018

Women and Nation-Building

Citation:

Benard, Cheryl, Seth G. Jones, Olga Oliker, Cathryn Quantic Thurston, Brooke K. Stearns, and Kristen Cordell. 2008. Women and Nation-Building. Santa Monica: RAND Corporation.

Authors: Cheryl Benard, Seth G. Jones, Olga Oliker, Cathryn Quantic Thurston, Brooke K. Stearns, Kristen Cordell

Annotation:

Summary:
"The challenge of nation-building, i.e., dealing with the societal and political aftermaths of conflicts and putting new governments and new social compacts into place, has occupied much international energy during the past several decades. As an art, a process, and a set of competencies, it is still very much in an ongoing learning and experimentation phase. The RAND Corporation has contributed to the emerging knowledge base in this domain through a series of studies that have looked at nation-building enterprises led by the United States and others that were led by the United Nations and have examined the experiences gained during the reconstruction of specific sectors. Our study focuses on gender and nation-building. It considers this issue from two aspects: First, it examines gender-specific impacts of conflict and post-conflict and the ways in which events in these contexts may affect women differently than they affect men. Second, it analyzes the role of women in the nation-building process, in terms of both actual current practices, as far as these could be measured and ascertained, and possible outcomes that might occur if these practices were to be modified.

The study team first surveyed the broader literature on women in development, women and governance, women and conflict, and women in nation-building. It then focused on the case of Afghanistan. This case study was chosen for three reasons: First, it is contemporary, and it offers a longer nation-building “track record” and thus more data than does Iraq, the other contemporary case. Second, the relevant debate and decision line is easy to track because gender issues have been overtly on the table from the beginning of U.S. post-conflict involvement in Afghanistan, in part because of the Taliban’s equally overt prior emphasis on gender issues as a defining quality of its regime. Third, in contrast to earlier cases of nation-building, the issue of women’s inclusion is presently an official part of any development agenda, so that all the active agents in the nation-building enterprise have made conscious choices and decisions in that regard which can be reviewed and their underlying logic evaluated.

The study concludes with a broad set of analytic and policy recommendations. First, we identify the gaps in data collection and provide specific suggestions for improvement. Then, we recommend three shifts in emphasis that we believe are likely to strengthen the prospects of stability and enhance the outcomes of nation-building programs: a more genuine emphasis on the broader concept of human security from the earliest phases of the nation-building effort; a focus on establishing governance based on principles of equity and consistent rule of law from the start; and economic inclusion of women in the earliest stages of reconstruction activities” (Benard, Jones, Oliker, Thurston, Stearns, and Cordell 2008, xiii).

Table of Contents:
1. Introduction
2. The Security Dimension and Women
3. Planning and Implementing Programs for Women's Health and Education: Building Indicators of Success
4. Governance and Women
5. Economic Participation and Women
6. A Case Study: The National Solidarity Program
7. Recommendations

Topics: Development, Economies, Conflict, Education, Gender, Governance, Health, International Organizations, Livelihoods, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Security, Human Security Regions: Americas, North America, Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, United States of America

Year: 2008

Gender, Peacekeeping, and Child Soldiers: Training and Research in Implementation of the Vancouver Principles

Citation:

Johnson, Dustin, and Allyssa Walsh. 2020. "Gender, Peacekeeping, and Child Soldiers: Training and Research in Implementation of the Vancouver Principles." Allons-yJournal of Children, Peace and Security 4: 51-60.

Authors: Dustin Johnson, Alyssa Walsh

Abstract:

Since the passage of UN Security Council resolution 1325, there has been a growing focus on the involvement of women in peacekeeping operations. Ambitious UN targets, the Vancouver Principles, and the Canadian government’s Elsie Initiative all aim to support the increased inclusion of uniformed women in peacekeeping missions. This article discusses three areas in which the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative (Dallaire Initiative) is working to support Vancouver Principle (VP) 11 through the training of women security sector actors, training on gendered dimensions of the recruitment and use of child soldiers and SGBV against child soldiers, and through research on how gender matters in peacekeeping operations. Based on these experiences and an engagement with the academic literature, it makes a number of policy recommendations in support of VP 11.

Keywords: gender, peacekeeping, training, child soldiers, SGBV

Topics: Age, Combatants, Child Soldiers, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, International Organizations, Peacekeeping, Sexual Violence, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2020

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