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Feminist Political Economy

Beyond Hybridity: A Feminist Political Economy of Timor-Leste’s Problematic Post-Conflict Peacebuilding


Johnston, Melissa Frances. 2017. “Beyond Hybridity: A Feminist Political Economy of Timor-Leste’s Problematic Post-Conflict Peacebuilding.” Paper presented at International Studies Association Annual Convention 2017, Baltimore, February 22-25.

Author: Melissa Frances Johnston


Hybrid theories of peacebuilding explain the problematic outcomes of intervention as a result of a hybrid between the aims and norms of ‘liberal’ internationals and ‘non-liberal’ locals. This paper critiques such theories via a case study of East Timor post-conflict peacebuilding. Using a feminist political economy approach, and drawing on extensive primary data, the paper argues that there are no discrete groups of ‘liberal’ interveners and ‘local’ subjects, or any hybrids thereof. Problematic results cannot be located in hybrid peacebuilding. Rather, it explains how an elite class coalition has risen to dominate the post-conflict East Timorese state relying on a highly gendered allocation of the country’s petroleum fund resources. This gendered access to resources has allowed the elite coalition to shore up materially exploitative patriarchal relations, strongest among the rural base, and to consolidate a fragile, yet historically resilient, socio-political coalition crucial to its rule.

Topics: Class, Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict Regions: Oceania Countries: Timor-Leste

Year: 2017

Decolonising Gender and Peacebuilding: Feminist Frontiers and Border Thinking in Africa


Hudson, Heidi. 2016. “Decolonising Gender and Peacebuilding: Feminist Frontiers and Border Thinking in Africa.” Peacebuilding 4 (2): 194–209.

Author: Heidi Hudson


The article seeks to theorise an integrated decolonised feminist frame for peacebuilding in an African context. Arguing that a decolonial-feminist lens has the potential to change the way we look at peacebuilding practices, I propose the notion of ‘feminist frontiers’ – an engaged yet stabilising heuristic tool for analysing racialised and gendered relations post-conflict. The argument is structured around three pillars, namely: metageographies as metaphoric mental-space constructions of a colonial peace; masks that constrain the introduction of complicated and intersected human subjecthoods; and mundane matter that elicits ambivalent engagements between human and post-human subjectivities in the areas of everyday political economies and infrastructural rule of peacebuilding. I conclude that such feminist frontiers represent intermediate and mediated spaces or epistemological borderlands from where the undertheorised and empirically understudied discursive and material dimensions of peacebuilding from a gender perspective can be investigated.

Keywords: decoloniality, gender, peacebuilding, africa, intersectionality, feminist

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Gender, Infrastructure, Intersectionality, Political Economies, Post-Conflict, Peacebuilding, Race Regions: Africa

Year: 2016

Global Violence and Security from a Gendered Perspective


True, Jacqui, and Maria Tanyag. 2017. "Global Violence and Security from a Gendered Perspective." In Global Insecurity, edited by Anthony Burke and Rita Parker, 43-63. London: Palgrave Macmillan. 

Authors: Jacqui True, Maria Tanyag


This chapter reconceptualises global violence and security through a feminist political economy framework. Violence and insecurity is intimately related to unequal political and economic power. However, the ‘continuum of violence’ is obscured by masculinist norms of security within gendered structures of political economy especially the division of public/private spheres, of production/reproduction activities, and of war/peace. These divisions are reproduced despite processes of globalisation that increasingly materially displace them. Feminist political economy analysis allows us not only to see the range of forms of violence and insecurity in war and conflict contexts but moreover, to understand how they are structurally connected to violence and insecurity within apparently peaceful societies and households. Applying this framework the chapter challenges the ‘silo-ing’ of the political-military and socioeconomic stabilisation pillars of international security. It reveals the disproportionately negative impact that this dichotomous approach to security has on individuals and communities, particularly on women’s rights to protection and participation in peace and security. Economic and political marginalisation exacerbates experiences of physical and structural violence both in and outside of conflict and hinders the achievement of sustainable peace. Fundamental change in global security governance must involve transforming the underlying structures of political, social, and economic inequality rather than prescribing more ‘good governance’, and ‘gender mainstreaming’ grafted onto security and humanitarian interventions.

Keywords: sexual violence, gender inequality, armed conflict, international peace, structural violence

Topics: Armed Conflict, Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Masculinism, Peace and Security, Rights, Women's Rights, Security, Violence

Year: 2017

The UN Security Council and the Political Economy of the WPS Resolutions


Basu, Soumita. 2017. "The UN Security Council and the Political Economy of the WPS Resolutions." Politics & Gender 13 (4): 721-7.

Author: Soumita Basu


"This contribution to the forum links these themes, which dominate discussions of the political economy of the WPS resolutions — funding, economic rights of women, and neoliberal peacebuilding — to a fourth dimension that has remained largely unexplored in feminist international relations scholarship so far: the materiality of the Security Council. Particularly in light of the attention paid to UNSCR 1325 in a number of contributions to the previous Politics & Gender forum on feminist security studies (FSS) and feminist political economy (FPE), this contribution presents the council as an arena in which the meeting of the two strands of feminist international relations can yield valuable insights about the trajectory of the WPS resolutions. It considers not just the politics of financing the provisions of the WPS resolutions but also the broad frames of understanding — of market, state, and society — within which the resolutions are conceived at the council" (Basu 2017, 722).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, Peace and Security, Peace Processes, Political Economies, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Women's Rights, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS

Year: 2017

The Political Economy of Post-conflict Violence against Women


True, Jacqui. 2018. "The Political Economy of Post-conflict Violence against Women." In Handbook on the International Political Economy of Gender, edited by Juanita Elias and Adrienne Roberts, 184-195. London: Edward Elgar Publishing. 

Author: Jacqui True


Eliminating violence against women and girls globally is one of the major challenges of the twenty-first century. Transformations in the political economy of gender relations, including the increasing mobilisation of women’s labour beyond the household in the public sphere and the globalisation of women’s activism, have contributed to the breaking of silence on the problem of violence against women and girls. This chapter examines the opportunity to remake political and economic institutions to redress injustices and inequalities that contribute to various forms of violence against women and girls. Contrary to hunches about post-conflict bringing a social rupture in gender roles, post-conflict transitions often heighten gender inequality in power and economic power and exacerbate sexual and gender-based violence. The chapter shows how a feminist political economy method analyses the gendered economic inequalities underlying political inequalities and applies this analysis to explain the continuum of gendered violence in transitions from conflict to peace.

Topics: Economies, Economic Inequality, Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Gender, Women, Girls, Gender Roles, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Livelihoods, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence, SV against women

Year: 2018

Subverting Economic Empowerment: Towards a Postcolonial-Feminist Framework on Gender (In)Securities in Post-War Settings


Martin de Almagro, Maria, and Caitlin Ryan. 2019. "Subverting Economic Empowerment: Towards a Postcolonial-Feminist Framework on Gender (In)Securities in Post-War Settings." European Journal of International Relations 25 (4): 1059-79.

Authors: Maria Martin De Almagro, Caitlin Ryan


This article demonstrates that the inability of the United Nations Women, Peace and Security agenda to realize greater peace and security for women in post-war states stems to a great extent from its failure to engage deeply with the materiality of women’s lives under economic empowerment projects. We argue that the Women, Peace and Security agenda reproduces a neoliberal understanding of economic empowerment that inadequately captures the reality of women’s lives in post-war settings for two reasons: first, it views formal and informal economic activities as dichotomous and separate, rather than as intertwined and constitutive of each other; and, second, it conceptualizes agency as individual, disembodied, abstract, universalizing and conforming to the requirements of the competitive pressures of the market. The article then offers a three-pronged postcolonial-feminist framework to analyse international interventions in which representation, materiality and agency are interconnected. We argue that such a framework helps understand better who is empowered in post-war economies and how they are empowered. This, in turn, makes visible how post-war economies produce gendered and racialized (in)securities that need to be addressed by the Women, Peace and Security agenda. With this, we also hope to reflect on broader international political economy concerns about the problems of making conceptual distinctions between politics and economics, and to challenge the constructed borders between materiality and discourse that have pervaded peace and conflict studies.

Keywords: discourse, feminist political economy, feminist security studies, gender, materiality, postcolonialism

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Economies, Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Gender, Women, Feminist Foreign Policy, Peace and Security, Political Economies, Post-Conflict, Race, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS

Year: 2019

Women Peace and Security: Adrift in Policy and Practice


Davis, Laura. 2019. "Women Peace and Security: Adrift in Policy and Practice." Feminist Legal Studies 27 (1): 95-107.

Author: Laura Davis


This comment refects on how the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda has been translated into policy and put into practice by the European Union and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Although the WPS agenda has enabled many gains by women peacebuilders, this comment identifes important challenges from these two very diferent contexts. First, situating WPS policy areas within a broader feminist political economy analysis demonstrates how little infuence the WPS agenda has across government. Second, the WPS agenda is being (mis)used to promote heteronormative, patriarchal understanding of ‘gender’, stripped of any power dynamics and excluding any gender identities that do not conform. The result, then, is that WPS policies and practice are adrift in the patriarchal policy mainstream.

Topics: Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Peacebuilding, Peace and Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS Regions: Africa, Central Africa, Europe Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2019

Beyond “Market” and “State” Feminism: Gender Knowledge at the Intersections of Marketization and Securitization


Stachowitsch, Saskia. 2019. “Beyond ‘Market’ and ‘State’ Feminism: Gender Knowledge at the Intersections of Marketization and Securitization.” Politics & Gender 15 (1): 151–73.

Author: Saskia Stachowitsch


This article assesses the implications of the shifting market-state relationship for feminism in the neoliberal era. In a case study of the private military and security industry as an actor that is uniquely positioned at the intersections of security governance and global markets, the analysis combines feminist security studies’ critique of securitized gender discourses and feminist global political economy scholarship on corporate-led equality initiatives. Based on a critical discourse analysis of documents from industry and nongovernmental organizations, such as codes of conduct and policy recommendations, I argue that the discourses on gender put forward in the context of security privatization merge securitized and marketized discourses to the effect that the emancipatory potential of “gender” is further curtailed, raising new challenges for feminist knowledge in powerful organizations. The article thus contributes to the critical gender research on private security, debates on the neoliberalization and securitization of feminism, and the integration of feminist security studies and feminist global political economy.

Topics: Economies, Feminist Economics, Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Feminist Foreign Policy, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Security Sector Reform

Year: 2019

Drawing on the Continuum: A War and Post-war Political Economy of Gender-Based Violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina


Kostovicova, Denisa, Vesna Bojicic-Dzelilovic, and Marsha Henry. 2020. "Drawing on the Continuum: A War and Post-war Political Economy of Gender-Based Violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina." International Feminist Journal of Politics 22 (2): 250-72.

Authors: Denia Kostovicova, Vesna Bojicic-Dzelilovic, Marsha Henry


Current understandings of why and how gender-based violence continues beyond the end of conflict remain siloed along theoretical and disciplinary lines. Recent scholarship has addressed the neglected structural dimension when examining the incidence and variation of post-conflict gender-based violence. In particular, continuum of violence and feminist political economy perspectives have offered accounts of gender-based violence during and after conflict. However, these approaches overlook how war and post-war economic processes interact over time and co-constitute the material basis for the continuation of gender-based violence. The war and post-war political economy perspective that we leverage examines critically the distinction, both in theory and practice, between global and local dynamics, and between formal and informal actors in post-conflict societies. Exposing these neglected structural and historical interconnections with evidence from post-conflict Bosnia and Herzegovina, we demonstrate that the material basis of gender-based violence is a cumulative result of political and socio-economic dynamics along the war-to-peace trajectory. Our findings point to the need to be attentive to the enduring material consequences of interests and incentives formed through war, and to the impact of post-war global governance ideologies that transform local conditions conducive to gender-based violence.

Keywords: gender, violence, continuum, political economy, Bosnia

Topics: Armed Conflict, Economies, Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Political Economies, Post-Conflict Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 2020


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