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‘We Want Empowerment for Our Women’: Transnational Feminism, Neoliberal Citizenship, and the Gendering of Women’s Political Subjectivity in Postconflict South Sudan


Erickson, Jennifer, and Caroline Faria. 2011. “‘We Want Empowerment for Our Women’: Transnational Feminism, Neoliberal Citizenship, and the Gendering of Women’s Political Subjectivity in Postconflict South Sudan.” Signs 36 (3): 627–52. doi:10.1086/657494.

Authors: Jennifer Erickson, Caroline Faria

Topics: Citizenship, Civil Society, Displacement & Migration, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Nationalism, Peacebuilding, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: South Sudan

Year: 2011

Gender and Global Restructuring: Sightings, Sites and Resistances


Marchand, Marianne H., and Anne Sisson Runyan, eds. 2010. Gender and Global Restructuring: Sightings, Sites and Resistances. New York: Routledge.

Authors: Marianne H. Marchand, Anne Sisson Runyan


In this new edition of this best selling text, interdisciplinary feminist experts from around the world provide new analyses of the ongoing relationship between gender and neoliberal globalization under the new imperialism in the post-9/11 context.

Divided into Sightings, Sites and Resistances, this book examines:

  • the disciplining politics of race, sexuality and modernity under securitized globalization, including case studies on domestic workers in Hong Kong
  • heteronormative development policies and responses to the crisis of social reproduction and colonizing responses to AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa
  • migration, human rights and citizenship, including studies on remittances, the emergence of neoliberal subjectivities among rural Mexican women, Filipina migrant workers and women’s labor organizing in the Middle East and North Africa
  • feminist resistance, incorporating the latest scholarship on transnational feminism and feminist critical globalization movement activism, including case studies on men’s violence on the Mexico/US border, pan-indigenous women’s movements and cyberfeminism.

Providing a coherent and challenging approach to the issues of gender and the processes of globalization in the new millennium, this important text will be of interest to students and scholars of IPE, international relations, economics, development and gender studies. (Amazon)

Topics: Citizenship, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Development, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Globalization, Indigenous, Race, Rights, Human Rights, Sexuality

Year: 2010

Refugee Women in Serbia: Invisible Victims of War in the Former Yugoslavia


Nikolic-Ristanovic, Vesna. 2003. “Refugee Women in Serbia: Invisible Victims of War in the Former Yugoslavia.” Feminist Review 73: 104–113.

Author: Vesna Nikolic-Ristanovic


In this paper, I explore the experiences of women who found refuge in Serbia during the war in the former Yugoslavia. I look at the women's experiences of both leaving home and coping with everyday life in refuge. The exploration of refugee women's experiences is mainly based on analyses of their own stories, which I collected while researching women and war. In spite of all the hardship of their lives, refugee women who fled to Serbia have been treated by Western media, the public and aid organizations as 'UNPEOPLE' or as non-existent. Making their experiences visible as women, refugees and citizens is the main purpose of this article.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Citizenship, Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Gender, Women Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Serbia, Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 2003

Saving Private Sychev: Russian Masculinities, Army Hazing, and Social Norms


Lowry, Anna U. 2008. “Saving Private Sychev: Russian Masculinities, Army Hazing, and Social Norms.” Berkeley Journal of Sociology 52: 73-100.

Author: Anna U. Lowry


This paper examines the recent case of Andrei Sychev, a former soldier in the Russian army who lost his legs and genitals as a result of a violent hazing. Reviewing extensive media coverage of and debate over the significance of this incident, the author identifies the debate's main participants, including military officials, politicians, members of the Soldiers' Mothers movement, and medical experts. An analysis of their discourses (nationalist, liberal, medical-scientific) and premises, informed by Foucauldian theory and masculinity studies, is presented, revealing important discrepancies and occasionally surprising overlap among their interpretations of the incident. Ultimately, the paper seeks to understand the Sychev affair as a discursive knot in which conflicting notions of Russian masculinity and norms of citizenship are tied together. It concludes with a reflection on the challenges that the human rights group Soldiers ' Mothers face in their struggle to redefine the dominant norms.

Topics: Citizenship, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Nationalism, Violence Regions: Asia, Europe Countries: Russian Federation

Year: 2008

Citizenship Rights and Women’s Roles in Development in Post-conflict Nepal


Pant, Bijan, and Kay Standing. 2011. “Citizenship Rights and Women’s Roles in Development in Post-conflict Nepal.” Gender & Development 19 (3): 409–21. doi:10.1080/13552074.2011.625656.

Authors: Bijan Pant, Kay Standing


Despite human rights abuses, the ten-year conflict in Nepal brought aspects of empowerment to women, changing their role in the family and community, as women became active outside the home, challenged the security forces, and began to assert their rights as citizens. Drawing on a research project into the participation of women in community development projects in three areas of Nepal, the present article examines how far development agencies in the post-conflict period have succeeded in furthering women’s citizenship rights, and in giving voice to women’s concerns and participation. It argues that development organisations and agencies have continued to operate mostly without including the voices of women, and women are disappointed by these non-participatory and top-down development models, which are leaving women’s status as second-class citizens unchallenged. Women are consequently exploring alternatives. The article uses examples from the field and interviews and focus groups with marginalised women and non-government organisation workers to suggest ways in which development agencies can work with participatory models to advance women’s citizenship rights. Given the diversity of social groups and peoples and gender relations in Nepal, the present article will also raise critical questions about the form and content of women’s participation, and the intersections of gender, class, caste, and ethnicity on citizenship rights.


  • Bijan and Standing analyze the ways in which women’s quest for citizenship in both a formal / legal sense and an informal / practical sense were made manifest in post-conflict Nepal. Although great atrocities were committed against women by both sides of the conflict, the civil war was a source of empowerment for some women, particularly for the large numbers of women who joined the Maoist movement, and there were hopes that this new agency would translate into greater citizenship rights for women in the post conflict period and that this, in turn, would give women greater agency in local community management institutions (over resources such as water). The authors’ approach was to approach this issue obliquely by investigating whether participation in NGO-sponsored activities (which play a large role in Nepal’s economy) could challenge women’s marginalized societal status. Challenging characterizations of women as second-class citizens and empowering women as active agents of change instead of objects of development was found to prompt a marked increase in the participation of women not only in NGO’s, but also in neighboring communities.


“Women articulated how NGOs contributed to the problem by employing top-down methods of project planning, informed by ideas about development and women’s economic and social roles which focus on the worth of women’s labour to the development process, rather than seeing women themselves as actors who can bring valuable contributions to the consultation and decision-making process.” (416)

Topics: Caste, Citizenship, Class, Development, Ethnicity, Gender, Women, NGOs, Post-Conflict, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2011

Local Citizens or Internally Displaced Persons? Dilemmas of Long Term Displacement in Sri Lanka


Brun, Cathrine. 2003. “Local Citizens or Internally Displaced Persons? Dilemmas of Long Term Displacement in Sri Lanka.” Journal of Refugee Studies 16 (4): 376–97.

Author: Cathrine Brun


People who seek refuge from conflict, but do not cross an internationally recognized border, have attracted increased attention from the international humanitarian community since the end of the Cold War. While refugees who flee the country may obtain a legal status and protection under the Refugee Convention, IDPs are still under the jurisdiction of their own state, and should in principle have the same rights as other citizens of the country. The article aims at analysing local consequences of people being designated as IDPs, exemplified by Sri Lanka's protracted crisis of internal displacement. Locally, ‘internally displaced persons’ becomes a social category and the meaning of the category is modified from the original definition made by the humanitarian regime. War and the forced and voluntary movement of people within Sri Lanka create unequal access to citizenship rights. The IDP status is often regarded as essential in order to secure special needs for assistance and protection. However, the article shows that the IDP status in Sri Lanka also separates IDPs from other citizens, and may restrict rather than secure rights.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Citizenship, Displacement & Migration, IDPs, Refugees, Humanitarian Assistance, Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Sri Lanka

Year: 2003

Update on the Women’s Movement in Botswana: Have Women Stopped Talking?


Bauer, G. 2011. “Update on the Women’s Movement in Botswana: Have Women Stopped Talking?” African Studies Review 54 (2): 23–46.

Author: G. Bauer


Across Africa in the early twenty-first century, autonomous women's movements have transformed the political landscape. With their support, African women are lobbying for constitutional reforms, entering political office in unprecedented numbers, and initiating legislation to expand women's rights. African women's movements have been emboldened by changes in international and regional norms concerning women's rights and representation, a new availability of resources to enhance women's status, and in many places, an end to conflict. In Botswana, the 1980s and 1990s were a period of heightened women's mobilization. Led by the women's organization Emang Basadi, the women's movement accomplished many significant victories, including winning a landmark citizenship case, prompting a comprehensive review of laws to identify instances of gender discrimination, issuing the first women's manifesto in Africa, and organizing workshops for political parties and women candidates. Some scholars have suggested that Emang Basadi's work was responsible not just for increasing women's representation in parliament, but also for broadening democracy in Botswana. Since 2010, however, a once vibrant women's movement has gone quiet. This article seeks to understand this development and to explore how the movement might be revitalized. The article concludes by drawing comparisons with other women's movements in the region and suggesting that the women's movement in Botswana, like others in the region, may be, in the words of one scholar, "in abeyance."

Topics: Armed Conflict, Citizenship, Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Women, Governance, Constitutions, Political Participation, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Botswana

Year: 2011

Toward a Broader Perspective


Bennett, Vivienne, Sonia Dávila-Poblete, and María Nieves Rico. 2005. “Toward a Broader Perspective.” In Opposing Currents: The Politics of Water and Gender in Latin America, edited by Vivienne Bennett, Sonia Dávila-Poblete, and María Nieves Rico, 190-207. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.

Authors: Vivienne Bennett, Sonia Dávila-Poblete, María Nieves Rico


This concluding chapter threads the various strands of research explored in prior chapters of the book into a comprehensive framework for thinking about the meaningful inclusion of women in water management systems. The authors argue that the neoliberal privatization model associated with globalization transforms water from a human right to an economic good. Case studies showed that the resulting marketization and inflation of water prices prompted women to mobilize and assume positions of leadership by pursuing strategies specific to their status as women and their complex relationships to water. Furthermore, the authors explore women’s participation in water projects, both in the context of management and technology transfer, and find that intentional inclusion of women in participation can have a profound ripple effect on the society as a whole. First, however, the nexus of cultural and socioeconomic barriers impeding women’s equitable participation in water management must be overcome. The authors conclude with recommendations for orienting future research and policy making decisions concerning women and water.


“In its broadest send, the participatory approach is part of the search for a more equitable distribution of the social benefits that can derive from development. It implies that citizenship must be fully exercised by both men and women, respecting the right of every citizen to be involved in matters that affect them… From a gender perspective, participation plays a central role in achieving gender equity and is not conceived of in a pragmatic or instrumentalist form but as the right of both men and women to actively influence decision making and to have a say with real power in the processes that affect them.” (197)

“When women’s informally obtained experience, abilities, and knowledge are acknowledged and valued, their participation in managing water systems is greater and the belief that irrigation work is an exclusively male activity is undermined. As the work carried out by women in managing water systems becomes more visible, women’s roles in the decision-making process of water management will grow, leading in turn to greater recognition of women’s abilities and then to broader changes in gender relations.” (199)

“Experience shows that participation cannot be mandated by decree; it is part of a profound cultural change that has to permeate all social actors. The participatory approach will never generate all its potential benefits if governments or those in charge of programs and projects only allow it when they need to comply with a legal requirement or when they have to implement the recommendations of international agencies. True participation implies embracing a process of community empowerment and adapting institutions so they can support and maintain such strategies in the long run.” (203)

“Four overarching conclusions regarding water and gender emerge from the book. First, the elimination of gender biases is a key mechanism for increasing the effectiveness and reach of water sector investments… Second, equitable planning implies that heterogenous and competing priorities for water usage must be respected… Third, investments in the water sector alter power dynamics at all levels...Fourth, and finally, for gender biases in the water sector to be eliminated there must be an enabling environment. It is not enough to talk about what is needed; formal structures must be created that move the process forward.” (207)

Topics: Citizenship, Economies, Economic Inequality, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Globalization, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, International Organizations Regions: Americas, Central America, South America

Year: 2005

Equality with a Difference: Gender and Citizenship in Transitional Palestine


Hammami, Rema, and Penny Johnson. 1999. “Equality with a Difference: Gender and Citizenship in Transitional Palestine.” Social Politics 6 (3): 314-43.

Authors: Rema Hammami, Penny Johnson


This investigation of gender and citizenship in the Palestinian territories comes at the closing of the five-year transitional period ushered in by the Oslo agreements signed between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization. This article views the "interim self government arrangements" of this period as possibly indicative of global and local constraints on national communities seeking sovereignty, rather than as an exception to normative states and state building, and considers the effect of these constraints on the structure of rule, the conceptualization and practice of citizenship and the engendering of citizenship. The equality strategy of the Palestinian women's movement is considered in this complex context of exclusions and difference, as the movement's "active citizenship" opened up a space for public debate and propelled the movement into direct conflict with the Islamist movement, bringing into sharp relief both competing paradigms of women's citizenship and rights and political and social fault lines in Palestinian society.

Topics: Armed Conflict, National Liberation Wars, Citizenship, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Political Participation Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 1999

Women and War: Ten Years On


Elshtain, Jean Bethke. 1998. “Women and War: Ten Years On.” Review of International Studies 24 (4): 447–60.

Author: Jean Bethke Elshtain


The questions with which I began and ended Women and War remain: How might we locate ourselves in order to create space for a less rigid play of individual and civic identities and virtues than those we have thus far known? What alternatives of citizenship can we draw upon? What perspectives within our reach offer hope for sustaining an ethos that extends the prospect of limiting force and the threat of force? In the book, I recommend a form of civic membership that cannot and does not place duty and loyalty to one's particular political body above all else; never theless, one that honours and gives ethical and civic weight precisely to that form of membership. I called this civic character a 'chastened patriot', one who is critical of the excesses of nationalism and critical, as well, of feminist arguments that express contempt for forms of identity as these are embodied in loyalties to ways of life shared by men and women. At the same time, this civic paragon of mine is also critical of those who defend particular ways of life in a way that generates contempt for the universalistic features of feminist concerns for the dignity and rights of woman. The 'chastened patriot' is one who understands and honours both universalistic and particularistic commitments, one for whom neither automatically trumps the other.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Citizenship, Combatants, Female Combatants, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Livelihoods, Militarized Livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups

Year: 1998


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