Human Security

The Vulnerability of the Penis: Sexual Violence against Men in Conflict and Security Frames

Citation:

Clark, Janine Natalya. 2017. "The Vulnerability of the Penis: Sexual Violence against Men in Conflict and Security Frames." Men and Masculinities 22 (5): 778-800.

Author: Janine Natalya Clark

Abstract:

Sexual violence remains a persistent scourge of war. The use of sexual violence against men in armed conflict, however, remains underresearched and is often sidelined. As an explanation, this interdisciplinary article situates the issue of sexual violence against men within a new analytical framework. It does so through a focus on the core subtext which this violence reveals—the vulnerability of the penis. Highlighting critical disconnects between what the penis is and what it is constructed as being, it argues that the vulnerable penis destabilizes the edifice of phallocentric masculinity, and hence it has wider security implications. Conflict-related sexual violence has increasingly been securitized within the framework of human security. The concept of human security, however, is deeply gendered and often excludes male victims of sexual violence. This gendering, in turn, reflects a broader gendered relationship between sexual violence and security. Sexual violence against women manifests and reaffirms their long-recognized vulnerability in war. Sexual violence against men, in contrast, exposes the vulnerability of the penis and thus represents a deeper security threat. Fundamentally, preserving the integrity and power of the phallus is critical to the security and integrity of phallocentric masculinity and thus to maintaining a systemic stability that is crucial in situations of war and armed conflict.

Keywords: bodies, conflict, hegemonic masculinity, performativity, violence, war

Topics: Armed Conflict, Conflict, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Security, Human Security, Sexual Violence, SV against Men, Violence

Year: 2017

Gendering Insecurities, Informalization and "War Economies"

Citation:

Peterson, V. Spike. 2016. “Gendering Insecurities, Informalization and ‘War Economies.’” In The Palgrave Handbook of Gender and Development, edited by W. Harcourt, 441-62. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Author: V. Spike Peterson

Abstract:

David Roberts (2008) observes that defining human security is more contentious than defining human insecurity (also Burke 2007). Like many others, Roberts draws on diverse literatures referencing institutional, indirect, or structural violence to generate a definition of insecurity as “avoidable civilian deaths, occurring globally, caused by social, political and economic institutions and structures, built and operated by humans and which could feasibly be changed” (2008, 28). Indirect or structural violence refers to the presumably unintended but recurring patterns of suffering or harm that result from the way social institutions or structures “order” expectations, norms, and practices.1 “War” is arguably a display of structural violence at its extremity. Feminists have produced incisive accounts of how in/security, violence, conflicts, and wars are pervasively gendered.2 But existing analyses tend to focus on masculinist identities and ideologies in the context of embodied and “political” forms of violence, leaving aside how these are inextricably linked to economic phenomena.

Keywords: informal economy, informal activity, human security, international relations, social reproduction

Topics: Conflict, Economies, Informal Economies, War Economies, Feminisms, Gendered Power Relations, Masculinism, Security, Human Security, Violence

Year: 2016

Gendered Legacies of Peacekeeping: Implications of Trafficking for Forced Prostitution in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Citation:

Koester, Diana. 2020. "Gendered Legacies of Peacekeeping: Implications of Trafficking for Forced Prostitution in Bosnia-Herzegovina." International Peacekeeping 27 (1): 35-43.

Author: Diane Koester

Abstract:

A growing body of research shows that peacekeeping missions are ‘gendered’, both in terms of composition and organizational cultures. However, studies have tended to focus on more immediate consequences of these characteristics. This short contribution on effects of trafficking for forced prostitution in Bosnia–Herzegovina suggests that gender norms can also significantly influence longer-term legacies of peace operations. It briefly highlights connections between large-scale peacekeeping and the emergence of Bosnia–Herzegovina as a sex-trafficking destination and discusses enduring implications of these trends for regional, local and human security. This case suggests that considering the role of gender norms and women’s specific experiences can help develop the wider research agenda outlined in this forum: the study of peacekeeping legacies.

Topics: Gender, Women, Peacekeeping, Security, Human Security, Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 2020

Agents of Change? Gender Advisors in NATO Militaries

Citation:

Bastick, Megan, and Claire Duncanson. 2018. "Agents of Change? Gender Advisors in NATO Militaries." International Peacekeeping 25 (4): 554-77.

Authors: Megan Bastick, Claire Duncanson

Abstract:

This paper is about the experiences of Gender Advisors in NATO and partner militaries, and the question of whether militaries can contribute to a feminist vision of peace and security. Gender Advisors are increasingly being adopted as a mechanism to help militaries to implement commitments under the Women, Peace and Security agenda. Based on semi-structured interviews and a workshop with individuals working as Military Gender Advisors from 2009 to 2016 in Afghanistan, Kosovo and in NATO and national military commands and headquarters, this paper explores their own perceptions of their work, its goals, shortcomings and achievements. It highlights Military Gender Advisors’ strong commitment to Women, Peace and Security aims, but the resistance their work faces within their institutions, and challenges of inadequate resourcing, preparation and contextual knowledge. Military Gender Advisors’ experiences paint a picture of NATO and partner Militaries having in some places made progress in protection and empowerment of local women, but fragile and partial. These findings speak to wider debates within feminist security studies around whether and how militaries achieve human security in peacekeeping operations, and the risks of militarization of the Women, Peace and Security agenda.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Peacekeeping, Peace and Security, Security, Human Security Regions: Asia, South Asia, Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Afghanistan, Kosovo

Year: 2018

The Nuclear Ban Treaty and the Cloud Over Trudeau’s ‘Feminist’ Foreign Policy

Citation:

Broadhead, Lee-Anne, and Sean Howard. 2019. “The Nuclear Ban Treaty and the Cloud Over Trudeau’s ‘Feminist’ Foreign Policy.” International Journal: Canada's Journal of Global Policy Analysis 74 (3): 422-44.

Authors: Lee-Anne Broadhead, Sean Howard

Abstract:

The Canadian Liberal government of Justin Trudeau claims to be ushering in a new era of a ‘‘feminist’’ foreign policy. While serious steps have been taken in this direction, this paper focuses on the government’s opposition to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, a treaty that has been negotiated with a logic and language explicitly linking issues of disarmament and gender, reframing ‘‘security’’ as fundamentally a question not of state but of human (and environmental) security. Ignoring its own public statements that repeatedly link women with peace and security, the Trudeau government’s opposition to the Treaty exposes the hollowness of its claims.

Keywords: Canada, foreign policy, nuclear weapons, Trudeau, feminism

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Feminist Foreign Policy, Peace and Security, Rights, Security, Human Security, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2019

Gender, Feminism and Food Studies

Citation:

Lewis, Desiree. 2015. “Gender, Feminism and Food Studies.” African Security Review 24 (4): 414-29.

Author: Desiree Lewis

Abstract:

Policy research and scholarship on food has rapidly increased in recent decades. The attention to ‘gender’ within this work appears to signal important practical and academic efforts to mainstream gendered understandings of food consumption, distribution and production into expansive conceptualisations of human security. This article argues that the gender-related work on food has wide-ranging and often troubling political and theoretical foundations and implications. Often growing out of knowledge regimes for managing social crises and advancing neo-liberal solutions, much gender and food security work provides limited interventions into mainstream gender-blind work on the nexus of power struggles, food resources and globalisation. A careful analysis of knowledge production about gender and food is therefore crucial to understanding how and why feminist food studies often transcends and challenges dominant forms of scholarship and research on food security. This article’s critical assessment of what food security studies in South Africa has entailed at the regional level and in global terms also focuses on the methodological and theoretical feminist interventions that can stimulate rigorous conceptual, research and practical attention to what has come to be understood as food sovereignty.

Keywords: feminist, food security, food studies, food sovereignty, Western Cape, South Africa

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Globalization, Security, Food Security, Human Security Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2015

Food (In)Security, Human (In)Security, Women’s (In)Security: State Policies and Local Experiences in Rural Rwanda

Citation:

Nzayisenga, Marie Jeanne, Camilla Orjuela, and Isabell Schierenbeck. 2016. “Food (In)Security, Human (In)Security, Women’s (In)Security: State Policies and Local Experiences in Rural Rwanda.” African Security 9 (4): 278-98.

Authors: Marie Jeanne Nzayisenga, Camilla Orjuela, Isabell Schierenbeck

Abstract:

Despite the growing importance of the concept [of] human security, security studies in Africa remain largely focused on the threat of direct violence and the role of state actors. This article broadens the security agenda by focusing on food security and discusses how women in rural Rwanda experience and view food security. In making individual women the referent of security, the article exposes the gap between national level reforms, which aim to and have been deemed successful to combat poverty and increase food production, and the experiences of women who report a decline in food availability and increased problems in accessing food in the wake of reforms and who often struggle against hunger in a disadvantaged position within their households and local power structures. Building on 51 interviews with women in western Rwanda conducted in 2013 and 2014, the article illustrates how the human security perspective with a sensitivity to gender relations and positions is important for gaining a fuller picture of the security of individuals. 

Keywords: agricultural reforms, food security, human security, Rwanda, women's security

Topics: Agriculture, Development, Economies, Poverty, Food Security, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Health, Households, Security, Human Security Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2016

Larger Than Life? Decolonising Human Security Studies through Feminist Posthumanism

Citation:

Hudson, Heidi. 2018. "Larger than Life? Decolonising Human Security Studies through Feminist Posthumanism." Strategic Review for Southern Africa 40 (1): 46-64. 

Author: Heidi Hudson

Abstract:

Binary thinking is one of the features of coloniality, manifesting in a zero-sum game between 'our' and 'their' security. The development of human security as an antidote has, however, been marked by a continuation of such divisions in a much subtler way. This state of affairs is exacerbated by the fact that concepts held up as possible solutions, such as the gendering of human security or the broader tool of decolonisation, are often also trapped in unimaginative oppositional thinking which runs the risk of recolonising knowledge and harming those who are supposed to be secured. The focus in this article is therefore on the coloniality of human security scholarship and practices and how this concept can be reinvigorated through a feminist 'post'-humanist lens. I argue that a feminist posthuman security approach that decentres the human (by going beyond asking for the inclusion of women only) and underscores agentic relations between (all) humans, the natural environment, technology and objects more adequately captures the entangled nature of human security practices, especially in the postcolony. The approach draws on a blend of six conceptual pillars, namely a poststructuralist understanding of agency as the product of intra-action rather than interaction; feminist critiques of equating what is male and what is human; the emphasis on intersections between race and gender in feminist postcolonial theory; the importance of situated knowledge; the agency of matter and objects in the construction of security and/ or insecurity; and an acknowledgement of indigenous Africa-centred knowledge forms. I conclude that this kind of posthuman security frame, which merges feminist posthumanism and new materialist posthumanism, not only allows a more nuanced and inclusive understanding of the human condition but also offers a foundation for developing a decolonised human security research agenda.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Education, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Analysis, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Security, Human Security

Year: 2018

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