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Messing with Gender in Feminist Political Ecology


Mollett, Sharlene, and Caroline Faria. 2013. “Messing with Gender in Feminist Political Ecology.” Geoforum 45 (March): 116–25.

Authors: Sharlene Mollett , Caroline Faria


Feminist political ecology (fpe) is at a crossroads. Over the last 2 years, feminist political ecologists have begun to reflect on and debate the strengths of this subfield. In this article, we contribute by pointing to the limited theorization of race in this body of work. We argue that fpe must theorize a more complex and messier, notion of ‘gender’, one that accounts for race, racialization and racism more explicitly. Building on the work of feminist geography and critical race scholarship, we argue for a postcolonial intersectional analysis in fpe – putting this theory to work in an analysis of race, gender and whiteness in Honduras. With this intervention we demonstrate how theorizing race and gender as mutually constituted richly complicates our understanding of the politics of natural resource access and control in the Global South.

Keywords: feminist political ecology, race, whiteness, postcolonial intersectionality

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Race Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Honduras

Year: 2013

Earth Matters: Indigenous Peoples, the Extractive Industries and Corporate Social Responsibility


O’Faircheallaigh, Ciaran, and Saleem Ali. 2008. Earth Matters: Indigenous Peoples, the Extractive Industries and Corporate Social Responsibility. Sheffield, South Yorkshire, GBR: Greenleaf Publishing.

Authors: Saleem Ali , Ciaran O’Faircheallaigh

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Development, Economies, Environment, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Land grabbing, Multi-national Corporations, Rights, Indigenous Rights, Land Rights

Year: 2008

The Fight for Control of African Women’s Mobility in Colonial Zimbabwe, 1900-1939


Barnes, Teresa A. 1992. “The Fight for Control of African Women’s Mobility in Colonial Zimbabwe, 1900-1939.” Signs 17 (3): 586–608.

Author: Teresa Barnes

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Women Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zimbabwe

Year: 1992

'We Do It So That We Will Be Men': Masculinity Politics in Colonial Namibia, 1915-1949


McCullers, Molly. 2011. “’We Do It So That We Will Be Men’: Masculinity Politics in Colonial Namibia, 1915-1949.” Journal of African History 52 (1): 43-62. 

Author: Molly McCullers


This article examines struggles for masculinity among Herero elders, South African colonial administrators, and the Otruppa, a Herero youth society that appropriated a German military aesthetic, in Namibia between 1915 and 1949. As previous scholars have argued, masculinities are mutually constituted through competitions for authority, though dominance is rarely achieved. Such contestations were integral to processes of Herero societal reconstruction following German rule and during South African colonial state formation, beginning in 1915. Different generational experiences of colonial violence and the destruction of the material resources that undergirded elders' authority led to conflicts between elders and youths over how to define Herero masculinity and negotiate authority in a rapidly changing colonial milieu.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Boys, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Violence Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Namibia

Year: 2011

Philippine Commonwealth and Cult of Masculinity


McCoy, Alfred W. 2000. “Philippine Commonweath and Cult of Masculinity.” Philippine Studies 48 (3): 315-46. 

Author: Alfred McCoy

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Philippines

Year: 2000

Subjectivity and Imperial Masculinity: A British Soldier in Dhofar (1968-1970)


Kaiksow, Sarah A. 2008. “Subjectivity and Imperial Masculinity: A British Soldier in Dhofar (1968-1970).” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 4 (2): 60-80. 

Author: Sarah Kaiksow


This paper explores imperial masculinity from the perspective of a British soldier who fought against the Dhofar revolution from 1968 to 1970 while serving in the British-led Army of the Sultan of Oman. Previous writings on masculinity in the context of empire have largely focused on cultural narratives, representational ideals, and intellectual debates. This paper shifts the emphasis to the subjectivity of imperial masculinity in order to identify how a notion of “superior” manhood is sustained and negotiated amidst the demands of everyday life. Interrogating a military memoir, this paper finds that the soldier justified British imperialism in Dhofar through his implicit assumptions of “knowing more” and “knowing better” than the Dhofaris/Arabs, even concerning their own nature, desires, and interests. Using these assumptions, the soldier was able to imagine himself as an “imperial adventure hero,” allowing gendered relations of power to recoup in the face of challenges to imperial masculinity.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Combatants, Male Combatants, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Race Regions: Africa, MENA Countries: Oman

Year: 2008

Models for Masculinity in Colonial and Postcolonial Papua New Guinea


Fife, Wayne. 1995. “Models for Masculinity in Colonial and Postcolonial Papua New Guinea.” The Contemporary Pacific 7 (2): 277-302. 

Author: Wayne Fife


This paper discusses the kinds of models that became available in the colonial context for indigenous men to be men in what eventually became the country of Papua New Guinea. One of the legacies of colonialism and the missionization of masculinity is the development of a new hierarchy of masculine values. These newer norms are in marked contrast to older forms of male effectiveness, and they have helped to define social distinctions within contemporary Papua New Guinea. At the same time, the reality of human behavior spills over the confines of both older and newer cultural norms, and the results can be confusing for individual males. However, individual confusion does not affect the overall saliency of these historically engendered forms of masculinity, nor the importance they may have for the justification of emerging social and economic inequalities within the country.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Economies, Economic Inequality, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Oceania Countries: Papua New Guinea

Year: 1995

United States-India Nuclear Relations Post-9/11: Neo-Liberal Discourses, Masculinities and Orientalism in International Politics


Das, Runa. 2013. “United States-India Nuclear Relations Post-9/11: Neo-Liberal Discourses, Masculinities and Orientalism in International Politics.” Journal of Asian and African Studies. 

Author: Runa Das


In this article I explore how the post-9/11 neo-liberal climate of globalization has served as the context within which is articulated masculinist and orientalist forms of nuclear discourses between India and the United States (US). To this extent, I draw from feminist international relations (IR), that security is a gendered phenomenon, to explore the linkages between masculinities and nuclear weapons as underpinning the nuclear security discourses between India and the US. Yet considering issues of international hierarchy and power relations between India and the US, I also draw from Edward Said’s Orientalism to explore how assumptions of orientalism are also sustained in these masculinist nuclear discourses. My contribution lies in enriching feminist IR with a post-colonial angle by suggesting that feminist IR continue to engage with post-colonial feminist perspectives to comprehend the masculinist and orientalist forms of identity politics that underpin security relations/discourses between Western and post-colonial states.

Keywords: globalization, India, masculinity, nuclear security, orientalism, Pakistan, United States

Topics: Armed Conflict, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Globalization, Security, Violence, Weapons /Arms Regions: Americas, North America, Asia, South Asia Countries: India, United States of America

Year: 2013

Militarism, conflict and women's activism in the global era: Challenges and prospects for women in three West African contexts


Mama, Amina and Margo Okazawa-Rey. 2012. "Militarism, conflict and women's activism in the global era: challenges and prospects for women in three West African contexts." Feminist Review 101 (1): 97-123.

Authors: Amina Mama, Margo Okazawa-Rey


This article develops a feminist perspective on militarism in Africa, drawing examples from the Nigerian, Sierra Leonean and Liberian civil wars spanning several decades to examine women’s participation in the conflict, their survival and livelihood strategies, and their activism. We argue that postcolonial conflicts epitomise some of the worst excesses of militarism in the era of neoliberal globalisation, and that the economic, organisational and ideological features of militarism undermine the prospects for democratisation, social justice and genuine security, especially for women, in post-war societies. Theorisations of ‘new wars’ and the war economy are taken as entry points to a discussion of the conceptual and policy challenges posed by the enduring and systemic cultural and material aspects of militarism. These include the contradictory ways in which women are affected by the complex relationship between gendered capitalist processes and militarism, and the manner in which women negotiate their lives through both. Finally, we highlight the potential of transnational feminist theorising and activism for strengthening intellectual and political solidarities and argue that the globalised military security system can be our ‘common context for struggle’1 as contemporary feminist activist scholars.

Keywords: militarism, gender, armed conflict, West Africa, feminism, security

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Democracy / Democratization, Economies, Gender, Femininity/ies, Globalization, Justice, Livelihoods, Militarized livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Security Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone

Year: 2012

Corporatising Sport, Gender and Development: postcolonial IR feminisms, transnational private governance and global corporate social engagement


Hayhurst, Lyndsay. 2011. “Corporatising Sport, Gender and Development: Postcolonial IR Feminisms, Transnational Private Governance and Global Corporate Social Engagement.” Third World Quarterly 32 (3): 531–49.

Author: Lyndsay Hayhurst


The ‘Girl Effect’ is a growing but understudied movement that assumes girls are catalysts capable of bringing social and economic change for their families, communities and countries. The evolving discourse associated with this movement holds profound implications for development programmes that focus on girls and use sport and physical activity to promote gender equality, challenge gender norms, and teach confidence and leadership skills. Increasingly sport, gender and development (SGD) interventions are funded and implemented by multinational corporations (MNCs) as part of the mounting portfolio of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives in international development. Drawing on postcolonial feminist IR theory and recent literature on transnational private governance, this article considers how an MNC headquartered in the global North that funds a SGD programme informed by the ‘Girl Eeffect’ movement in the Two-Thirds World is implicated in the postcolonial contexts in which it operates. Qualitative research methods were used, including interviews with MNC CSR staff members. The findings reveal three themes that speak to the colonial residue within corporate-funded SGD interventions: the power of brand authority; the importance of ‘authentic’ subaltern stories; and the politics of the ‘global’ sisterhood enmeshed in saving ‘distant’ others. The implications of these findings for SGD are discussed in terms of postcolonial feminist approaches to studying sport for development and peace more broadly.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Development, Feminisms, Gender, Girls, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Multi-national Corporations

Year: 2011


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