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Gender and International Politics: The Intersections of Patriarchy and Militarisation


Chenoy, Anuradha. 2004. "Gender and International Politics: The Intersections of Patriarchy and Militarisation." Indian Journal of Gender Studies 11 (1): 27-42.

Author: Anuradha Chenoy


The policies of globalisation and militarisation are lending a muscular discourse to international politics, which provide continuity to the principle of patriarchy and privilege, especially during times of threat and conflict. This kind of politics has a structural impact on society because it endorses traditional gender roles and places people in binary categories like 'with us' or 'against us', 'civilised' and 'uncivilised', 'warriors' or 'wimps'. The militarist discourse marginalises opposition, diversity and difference, and with this the value of force as part of power is privileged, and militant nationalism exaggerated. Each local culture has its variant of the muscular discourse. As women try and increase their agency, the perception is that when women accept militarist notions of power it is easier for them to become part of national security and state institutions. This is a major challenge to feminist culture and thinking.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Globalization, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Militarization, Nationalism, Security

Year: 2004

Nepal: A Gender View of the Armed Conflict and the Peace Process


Arino, Maria Villellas. 2008. "Nepal: A Gender View of the Armed Conflict and the Peace Process." Quaderns de Construccion de Pao 4. 

Author: María Villellas Ariño


Nepal is going through a period that is crucial to its future. After two years of a long and not always easy peace process, important reforms are beginning in an attempt to lay the basis of a new society, tackling some of the structural causes that led to the outbreak of the armed conflict. Nepali women have been deeply affected by this armed conflict, and, as with many other conflicts, its origin and course have had a notable gender dimension. Various factors provide evidence of this dimension, such as the use of gender violence or the large number of women combatants in the Maoist ranks, as well as the fact that the negotiation process which has led to the signing of the peace agreement largely excluded women. The purpose of this paper is to offer an analysis of the armed conflict and peace process Nepal is going through from a gender standpoint, analysing this situation from a feminist point of view. With this intention, the armed conflict that took place between 1996 and 2006 in Nepal is analysed from a gender perspective, paying particular attention to the consequences of the war and women's active involvement in it. Secondly, the peace process that put an end to the armed conflict is analysed, concerning the negotiations and the involvement of civil society and the international community from a gender standpoint. Finally, some of the most important challenges to be faced so that the post-war rehabilitation process takes place in the most inclusive and least discriminatory way possible, giving room for broad transformations in order to put an end to the exclusion of Nepali women, are noted.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Society, Combatants, Female Combatants, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2008

Gender, Violence, and International Crisis


Caprioli, Mary, and Mark A. Boyer. 2001. "Gender, Violence, and International Crisis." The Journal of Conflict Resolution 45 (4): 503-18.

Authors: Mary Caprioli, Mark A. Boyer


Women work for peace, and men wage war--cooperative women, conflictual men. These images pervade conventional wisdom about the efficacy of women in leadership roles and decision-making environments, but imagery is not always grounded in reality . Feminist international relations literature is examined to understand how domestic gender equality may help predict a state's international crisis behavior. The authors use the record of female leaders as primary decision makers during international crises and then test the relationship between domestic gender equality and a state's use of violence internationally. The International Crisis Behavior (ICB) data set and multinomial logistic regression are used to test the level of violence exhibited during international crises by states with varying levels of domestic gender equality. Results show that the severity of violence in crisis decreases as domestic gender equality increases.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Violence

Year: 2001

The Gender−Culture Double Bind in Israeli−Palestinian Peace Negotiations: A Narrative Approach


Aharoni, Sarai B. 2014. “The Gender-Culture Double Bind in Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations: A Narrative Approach.” Security Dialogue 45 (4): 373–90. doi:10.1177/0967010614537329.

Author: Sarai B. Aharoni


This article investigates structural conditions for women’s inclusion/exclusion in peace negotiations by focusing on the linkage between acts of gender stereotyping and cultural framing. Through a narrative analysis of semi-structured interviews with Israeli negotiators and administrators who participated in official negotiations during the Oslo peace process, I link two recent claims about how gender may affect negotiators’ understandings of strategic exchange: the gendered devaluation effect and the gender–culture double bind hypothesis. Building upon postcolonial feminist critique, I argue that narratives about women and cultural difference (a) demonstrate and engage with Israeli essentialist and Orientalist discourses about Arab culture and masculinity; (b) manifest how ideas about strategic dialogue and negotiations are gendered; and (c) convey how policymakers and negotiators may use cultural claims to rationalize women’s exclusion from diplomatic and strategic dialogue. Furthermore, the study implies that dominant framings of Israeli–Palestinian negotiations as a binary East–West encounter need to be replaced by a more nuanced conceptualization of cultural identity that captures contextual aspects of difference, including the existence of military power and masculine dominance.

Keywords: gender, Narratives, Peace Negotiations, postcolonial feminism, Israeli-Arab conflict

Topics: Armed Conflict, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Discourses, Peace Processes Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Israel, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2014

Contending Masculinities: the Gendered (re) Negotiation of Colonial Hierarchy in the United Nations Debates on Decolonization


Patil, Vrushali. 2009. “Contending Masculinities: the Gendered (re) Negotiation of Colonial Hierarchy in the United Nations Debates on Decolonization.” Theory and Society 38 (2): 195-215.

Author: Vrushali Patil


The emergence of legal decolonization in the mid-twentieth century, as evidenced by the 1960 United Nations Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, is often understood through the lens of race and the disruption of racial hierarchy. If we take seriously the transnational feminist contention that the colonial racial order was also gendered, however, how might this perspective shift our understanding of decolonization? In this article, I explore the debates on decolonization that take place in the UN General Assembly from 1946–1960 that lead to the 1960 Declaration from a transnational feminist perspective to answer this question. Specifically, I use comparative historical and discourse methods of analysis to explore how colonialists and anti-colonialists negotiate the onset of legal decolonization, focusing especially on how colonialist hierarchies of race, culture, and gender are addressed in these debates. I argue that, on the one hand, colonialists rely on a paternalist masculinity to legitimate their rule (i.e., our dependencies require our rule the way a child requires a father). In response, anti-colonialists reply with a resistance masculinity (i.e., “colonialism is emasculating;” “decolonization is necessary for a return of masculine dignity”). I argue that decolonization in the United Nations transpires via contentions among differentially racialized masculinities. Ultimately, a transnational feminist perspective that centers the intersection of race and gender offers a richer analysis than a perspective that examines race alone.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, International Law, International Organizations, Race

Year: 2009

Does ‘Gender’ Make the World go Round? Feminist Critiques of International Relations


Jones, Adam. 1996. “Does ‘Gender’ Make the World go Round? Feminist Critiques of International Relations.” Review of International Studies 22: 405–429.

Author: Adam Jones


In the last two decades, the classical tradition in international relations has come under sustained attack on a number of fronts, and from a diverse range of critics. Most recently, feminist thinkers, following in the footsteps of neo-Marxists and critical theorists, have denounced IR as ‘one of the most gender-blind, indeed crudely patriarchal, of all the institutionalized forms of contemporary social and political analysis’. Feminists have sought to subvert some of the most basic elements of the classical paradigm: the assumption of the state as a given; conceptions of power and ‘international security’; and the model of a rational human individual standing apart from the realm of lived experience, manipulating it to maximize his own self-interest. Denouncing standard epistemological assumptions and theoretical approaches as inherently ‘masculinist’, feminists, particularly those from the radical band of the spectrum, have advanced an alternative vision of international relations: one that redefines power as ‘mutual enablement’ rather than domination, and offers normative values of cooperation, care giving, and compromise in place of patriarchal norms of competition, exploitation, and self-aggrandizement.

Topics: Feminisms

Year: 1996

Some Humans Are More Human than Others: Troubling the ‘Human’ in Human Security from a Critical Feminist Perspective


Marhia, N. 2013. "Some Humans Are More Human than Others: Troubling the 'Human' in Human Security from a Critical Feminist Perspective." Security Dialogue 44 (1): 19--35. doi: 10.1177/0967010612470293.

Author: Natasha Marhia


This article develops critical feminist engagement with human security by interrogating the taken-for-granted category of the 'human' therein. Failure to reflectively deconstruct this category has contributed to human security's reproduction of dominant norms and the emptiness of its apparent radical promise. The article shows how the 'human' has historically been constructed as an exclusionary - and fundamentally gendered - category, and examines its construction in human security discourse and the capabilities approach in which the latter is rooted, as well as its discursive effects. The article troubles the model of the autonomous, rational human subject who is the bearer of capabilities, which human security inherits from the liberal humanist tradition of thought, and which obscures the matrices of power through which individuals become socially differentiated. It then considers the implication of human security in demarcating differences as 'morally relevant', including its instrumentalization in the 'war on terror'.

Keywords: gender, human security, feminist theory, capabilities, Subjectivity, critical theory

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Security, Human Security

Year: 2013

"How Can She Claim Equal Rights When She Doesn't Have to Do as Many Push-Ups as I Do?": The Framing of Men's Opposition to Women's Equality in the Military


Cohn, Carol. 2000. “‘How Can She Claim Equal Rights When She Doesn’t Have to Do as Many Push-Ups as I Do?’: The Framing of Men’s Opposition to Women’s Equality in the Military.” Men and Masculinities 3 (2): 131–51. doi:10.1177/1097184X00003002001.

Author: Carol Cohn


The public arguments for and against women in the military and in combat are numerous, well-worn, and readily accessible in congressional testimony, books, and articles. But the laundry list of arguments does not necessarily tell us much about how military men actually make sense to themselves of their own experiences and opinions, or the ways that they frame their feelings about the issue. Drawing on in-depth interviews with military officers, this article describes and analyzes a dominant form in which male officers frame their opposition to women in the military, the "PT (physical training) protest," a variance of "standards discourse." Having different physical training standards for men and women is seen as special treatment for women, lowering standards for women, and/or evidence that women cannot cut it in the military. Although standards discourse invokes an apparently "objective" and neutral ideology that links equal status with same standards, the author shows that the discursive context in which male officers utter the PT protest reveals strong feelings of loss and anger about changes in the way the organization is gendered.

Keywords: gender, military, physical training, sex differences, gendered organizations, standards, difference dilemma

Topics: Combatants, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries

Year: 2000

The Women's Movement in the Philippines


Friesen, Dorothy. 1989. "The Women's Movement in the Philippines." NWSA Journal 1 (4): 676-88.

Author: Dorothy Friesen


Characterizes women's movement in the Philippines. Contributions of the women's movement in the country on international feminism; Historical influences to the country's women's movement; Social conditions of women in the country. (EBSCO)

Topics: Class, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Nationalism, NGOs Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Philippines

Year: 1989

Middle East Masculinity Studies: Discourses of "Men in Crisis," Industries of Gender in Revolution


Amar, Paul. 2011. “Middle East Masculinity Studies: Discourses of ‘Men in Crisis,’ Industries of Gender in Revolution.” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 7 (3): 36–70. doi:10.2979/jmiddeastwomstud.7.3.36.

Author: Paul Amar


This article examines how everyday theories of masculinity and vernacular discourses of “masculinities in crisis” play crucial roles in misrecognizing, racializing, moralistically-depoliticizing, and class-displacing emergent social forces in the Middle East. Public discourses and hegemonic theories of male trouble render illegible the social realities of twenty-first-century multipolar geopolitics and the changing shapes of racialism, humanitarianism, nationalism, security governance, and social movement. In order to help generate new kinds of critical research on Middle East masculinities, this article creates a larger map of discourses and methods, drawing upon studies of coloniality and gender in and from the global South. This mapping puts masculinity studies into dialogue with critiques of liberalism and security governance and with work in postcolonial queer theory, public health studies, and feminist international relations theory.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Health, LGBTQ, Race Regions: Africa, MENA, Asia, Middle East

Year: 2011


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