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Between the Human, the Citizen and the Tribal


Bora, Papori. 2010. “Between the Human, the Citizen and the Tribal.” International Feminist Journal Of Politics 12 (3): 341-60.

Author: Bora Papori


On 15 July 2004, a public protest was staged in the state of Manipur, in India's Northeast, to oppose the rape and custodial killing of a young Meitei woman, Thangjam Manorama, by soldiers of a counter-insurgency paramilitary battalion, the Assam Rifles, who suspected she was a militant. At this protest, several women appeared nude, holding a banner that read 'Indian army rape us'. This analysis considers how we might read the nudity and the statement 'Indian army rape us'. I argue that the language of law, human rights and women's rights as human rights, are inadequate to analyze the protest and the events surrounding it because they do not situate the protest within larger political struggles in the Northeast. Further, such universalist approaches take categories like 'Indian citizen', 'woman' and 'tribal' as a given and do not allow for an engagement with how these categories are mutually constituted, or the law's complicity in their constitution. Accordingly, concerns about contested notions of citizenship that are at the heart of the Manipur protest cannot be adequately addressed within this framework. Instead, I suggest a postcolonial feminist analytics as an alternative means to engage with the political questions raised by the protest.

Keywords: women and political participation in India, rape as a weapon of war

Topics: Armed Conflict, Citizenship, Democracy / Democratization, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gender-Based Violence, Governance, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Paramilitaries, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, Rape, SV against Women, Tribe, Violence Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2010

Masculinity, Citizenship, and the Making of War


Hartsock, Nancy C.M. 1984. “Masculinity, Citizenship, and the Making of War.” PS 17 (2): 198-202.

Author: Nancy C.M. Hartsock

Topics: Armed Conflict, Citizenship, Gender, Masculinity/ies

Year: 1984

Gender & Nation


Yuval-Davis, Nira. 2000. Gender & Nation. London: SAGE Publications.

Author: Nira Yuval-Davis


Nira Yuval-Davis provides an authoritative overview and critique of writings on gender and nationhood, presenting an original analysis of the ways gender relations affect and are affected by national projects and processes. In Gender and Nation Yuval-Davis argues that the construction of nationhood involves specific notions of both `manhood' and `womanhood'. She examines the contribution of gender relations to key dimensions of nationalist projects - the nation's reproduction, its culture and citizenship - as well as to national conflicts and wars, exploring the contesting relations between feminism and nationalism.

Gender and Nation is an important contribution to the debates on citizenship, gender and nation. (Amazon)


Table of Contents:


1. Theorizing Gender and Nation

2. Women and the Biological Reproduction of the Nation

3. Cultural Reproduction and Gender Relations

4. Citizenship and Difference

5. Gendered Militaries, Gendered Wars

6. Women, Ethnicity and Empowerment: Towards Transversal Politics

Topics: Armed Conflict, Citizenship, Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Nationalism

Year: 2000

The Indispensable Metaphor of War: On Populist Politics and the Contradictions of the State's Monopoly of Force


Steinert, Heinz. 2003. “The Indispensable Metaphor of War: On Populist Politics and the Contradictions of the State’s Monopoly of Force.” Theoretical Criminology 7 (3): 265–91.

Author: Heinz Steinert


The hegemonic use of the war metaphor, especially in the field of `crime and punishment', is explained by its usefulness for the `populist structure' of politics. Warfare, punishment and policing are three different forms of the state monopoly of force with different logics and restrictions. The universalization of the experience of war is examined historically. Military basic training is a training in helplessness and authoritarianism. The `process of civilization' has led to war as mass destruction of population and infrastructure in the 20th century. In the populist appeal, value orientations such as `(patriarchal) family/community' and `warrior/masculinity' are mobilized. Populist politics connects these social values to `warfare' as well as to `crime and punishment'.

Keywords: army basic training, military history, policing, populist politics, war metaphor

Topics: Armed Conflict, Citizenship, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Justice, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Militarization

Year: 2003

Gender Integration in Israeli Officer Training: Degendering and Regendering the Military


Sasson-Levy, Orna, and Sarit Amram-Katz. 2007. “Gender Integration in Israeli Officer Training: Degendering and Regendering the Military.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 33 (1): 105–33.

Authors: Orna Sasson‐Levy, Sarit Amram‐Katz


This article examines the nature and meaning of gender integration in an officer training course in the Israeli military, in light of the hegemonic status of combat masculinity. The above quote is taken from an interview with Lieutenant Colonel Yoav Golan, a male battalion commander in the newly gender‐integrated course. The quote starts by recognizing gender differences as legitimate: women’s crying no longer frightens him. However, in the same breath, Yoav recreates the gendered hierarchy: the women’s crying bothers the male cadets, and “legitimate” tears quickly turn into hysterics. This discursive multiplicity is indicative of the simultaneous degendering and regendering processes that take place in the course. Though the Israeli military has restructured officer training in order to degender its route for promotion, it nonetheless goes on to reconstruct and reify hierarchical gender differences. Since military service is a sine qua non of full citizenship in Israel, the simultaneous processes of degendering and regendering expose the countless barricades that Israeli women have to overcome in order to be considered full citizens.

Topics: Citizenship, Combatants, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Militarism, Militarization, Rights Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Israel

Year: 2007

Constructing Identities at the Margins: Masculinities and Citizenship in the Israeli Army


Sasson-Levy, Orna. 2002. “Constructing Identities at the Margins: Masculinities and Citizenship in the Israeli Army.” The Sociological Quarterly 43 (3): 357–83.

Author: Orna Sasson-Levy


This article examines the construction of multiple gendered and national identities in the Israeli army. In Israel, hegemonic masculinity is identified with the masculinity of the Jewish combat soldier and is perceived as the emblem of good citizenship. This identity. I argue, assumes a central role in shaping a hierarchal order of gendered and civic identities that reflects and reproduces social stratification and reconstructs differential modes of participation in, and belonging to, the Israeli state. In-depth interviews with two marginalized groups in the Israeli army—women in “masculine” roles and male soldiers in blue-collar jobs—suggest two discernible practices of identity. While women in “masculine” roles structure their gender and national identities according to the masculinity of the combat soldier, the identity practices of male soldiers in blue-collar jobs challenge this hegemonic masculinity and its close link with citizenship in Israel. However, while both identity practices are empowering for the groups in question, neither undermines the hegemonic order, for the military's practice of “limited inclusion” prohibits the development of a collective consciousness that would challenge the differentiated structure of citizenship.

Topics: Citizenship, Combatants, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Militarism, Militarization Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Israel

Year: 2002

Individual Bodies, Collective State Interests: The Case of Israeli Combat Soldiers


Sasson-Levy, Orna. 2007. “Individual Bodies, Collective State Interests: The Case of Israeli Combat Soldiers.” Men and Masculinities 10 (3): 296–321.

Author: Orna Sasson-Levy


The primary question this article raises is how democratic societies, whose liberal values seem to contradict the coercive values of the military, persuade men to enlist and participate in fighting. The author argues that part of the answer lies in alternative interpretation of transformative bodily and emotional practices. Drawing on in-depth interviews with Israeli combat soldiers, the author claims that the warrior's bodily and emotional practices are constituted through two opposing discursive regimes: self-control and thrill. The nexus of these two themes promotes an individualized interpretation frame of militarized practices, which blurs the boundaries between choice and coercion, presents mandatory military service as a fulfilling self-actualization, and enables soldiers to ignore the political and moral meanings of their actions. Thus, the individualized body and emotion management of the combat soldier serves the symbolic and pragmatic interests of the state, as it reinforces the cooperation between hegemonic masculinity and Israeli militarism.

Keywords: hegemonic masculinity, body and emotion management, military, combat soldiers, individualism, collectivism, Israeli society

Topics: Citizenship, Combatants, Male Combatants, Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Militarism Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Israel

Year: 2007

Married Women’s Property Rights in Mexico: A Comparative Latin American Perspective and Research Agenda


Deere, Carmen Diana. 2007. “Married Women’s Property Rights in Mexico: A Comparative Latin American Perspective and Research Agenda.” In Decoding Gender: Law and Practice in Contemporary Mexico. New Brunswick, edited by Helga Baitenmann, Victoria Chenaut, and Ann Varley, 213-30. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Author: Carmen Diana Deere

Topics: Citizenship, Gender, Women, Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico

Year: 2007

Gendered Political Economy and the Politics of Migrant Worker Rights: The View from South-East Asia.


Elias, Juanita. 2010. “Gendered Political Economy and the Politics of Migrant Worker Rights: The View from South-East Asia.” Australian Journal of International Affairs 64 (1): 70–85.

Author: Juanita Elias


Focusing on the South-East Asian region and looking specifically at activism around the position of migrant domestic workers in the region, this article seeks to evaluate why migrant activist organisations appear to have had, at best, modest influence on gendering the International Labour Organization's approach to labour rights. The author argues that this is largely due to how dominant understandings of labour rights have neglected the significance of social relations of reproduction (i.e. those ‘care-related’ activities associated with the household) to the functioning of the labour market. Furthermore, a transnationalisation of social relations of reproduction is manifested in the increased feminisation of labour migration in the region and this highlights further problems with dominant labour rights perspectives that remain largely state-centric in their approach. The significance of South-East Asian states in promoting localised regimes of citizenship/immigration and industrial relations greatly limits the ability of activist groups to claim and utilise the language of human rights. Nonetheless, the article argues that a concern with the human rights of female migrants can potentially destabilise dominant understandings of labour and human rights. More generally, the article seeks to demonstrate the insights that a critical feminist human rights approach can bring to studies of work and employment within international political economy.

Topics: Citizenship, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Feminisms, Gender, Livelihoods, Political Economies, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia

Year: 2010


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