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Military Forces & Armed Groups

‘Masculinities Perspectives’: Advancing a Radical Women, Peace and Security Agenda?

Citation:

Wright, Hanna. 2020. “‘Masculinities Perspectives’: Advancing a Radical Women, Peace and Security Agenda?” International Feminist Journal of Politics 22 (5): 652–74.

Author: Hanna Wright

Abstract:

Feminist scholars have long explored the relationships between masculinities, femininities, and war, yet men are rarely named in Women, Peace and Security (WPS) policies, and masculinities even less commonly. Some activists in favor of bringing analysis of masculinities into WPS policies propose that a focus on reshaping masculinities and femininities as a strategy for resisting militarism is necessary to return the agenda to what they perceive as its “original” purpose of preventing war. Drawing on my personal experiences as an NGO advocate, and on participant observation and interviews with UK government officials, this article explores what we can learn from efforts to integrate a “masculinities perspective” into WPS policies. I argue that, while some language concerning men and boys and, to a lesser degree, masculinity/ies has been incorporated into these policies, this is usually done in ways that subvert the intentions of civil society actors who have advocated for this shift. As a result, these concepts have been assimilated in ways that do not challenge militarism, and indeed at times serve to normalize it. I argue that this demonstrates the limitations of WPS policies as a vehicle for pursuing feminist anti-militarist goals.

Topics: Civil Society, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS

Year: 2020

'People Want to See Tears’: Military Heroes and the ‘Constant Penelope’ of the UK’s Military Wives Choir

Citation:

Cree, Alice. 2020. “'People Want to See Tears’: Military Heroes and the ‘Constant Penelope’ of the UK’s Military Wives Choir.” Gender, Place & Culture 27 (2): 218–38. 

Author: Alice Cree

Abstract:

This article offers a feminist analysis of the UK’s Military Wives Choir as a vehicle for depicting the subject of the ‘Penelope’ military wife. The Penelope subject is characterised by patriotic feminine stoicism, and is a figure through which the masculine military hero is created and reflected. This paper will use the example of the Military Wives Choir to the argue that the making of the Penelope military wife subject in the national imagination is an important means through which women married to servicemen are rendered useful for the military. Drawing on primary fieldwork with the Plymouth branch of the choir alongside an analysis of secondary material such as song lyrics and Gareth Malone’s BBC television programme The Choir: Military Wives, my discussion will centre on three themes; lyrics & music, history & time of the state, and violence & representation. By discussing the making of the Penelope subject through these lenses, this paper will contend that there are clear, yet often nuanced, forms of violence at work in the representation of the choir. And yet, as this article will conclude, in order to shed a more textured light on this violence what is needed is a critical and in-depth engagement with the lived experiences of the women of the choir.

Keywords: critical military studies, feminist geopolitics, military wives, military wives choir, gender

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Nationalism, Violence Regions: Europe, Northern Europe Countries: United Kingdom

Year: 2020

Women-to-Women Diplomacy in Georgia: A Peacebuilding Strategy in Frozen Conflict

Citation:

Cárdenas, Magda Lorena. 2019. “Women-to-Women Diplomacy in Georgia: A Peacebuilding Strategy in Frozen Conflict.” Civil Wars 21 (3): 385–409.

Author: Magda Lorena Cárdenas

Abstract:

This research explores strategies led by women's grassroots organisations and discusses how they can offer opportunities for peacebuilding in frozen conflict settings such as Georgia and the breakaway territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. These conflicts are related to separatist aspirations which are based, on the surface, on ethnic differences. However, the precedent of inter-ethnic dialogue shows that there is not an inherent ‘us-against-them’ narrative separating Georgia from Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Therefore, it is possible to create alternative arenas for dialogue and mutual understanding among the parties. To this end, this study adopts a broad approach to peacebuilding as a process of social transformation of hostile attitudes and exclusive narratives. I argue that women-to-women diplomacy is a peacebuilding strategy with the potential to address the roots of polarisation by humanising the other and identifying common ground for cooperation and inter- ethnic dialogue. The empirical research based on the experiences of women’s organisations in Georgia illustrates the contribution of women-to-women diplomacy to peacebuilding as an alternative platform for coalition building based on the common goal of achieving equal rights.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Civil Society, Gender, Women, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Peacebuilding Regions: Asia, Central Asia, Europe, South Caucasus Countries: Georgia

Year: 2019

Strategies for Including Women’s and LGBTI Groups in the Columbian Peace Process

Citation:

Cóbar, Kosé Alvarado. 2020. Strategies for Including Women’s and LGBTI Groups in the Columbian Peace Process. Stockholm: SIPRI.

Author: José Alvarado Cóbar

Annotation:

Summary: 

In order to have a more nuanced understanding of inclusive peace processes, it is important to understand how civil society can connect to formal peace negotiations. The Colombian peace negotiation process is highly regarded as one of the most inclusive processes; involving civil society groups from diverse backgrounds, including both women’s and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/ transsexual and intersex (LGBTI) groups. But how do these groups leverage influence among the main conflict actors, and what specific challenges and opportunities do they face? This paper applies a conflict resolution and negotiation framework to assess the involvement of women’s and LGBTI groups in the most recent Colombian peace negotiation process. In doing so, the suggested framework provides a practical application of conflict resolution and negotiation strategies that can further complement discussions on inclusion of marginalized groups in other peace negotiation processes. (Summary from original source)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Society, Justice, LGBTQ, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Peace and Security, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2020

Gender and Jihad: Women from the Caucasus in the Syrian Conflict

Citation:

Kvakhadze, Aleksandre. 2020. “Gender and Jihad: Women from the Caucasus in the Syrian Conflict.” Perspectives on Terrorism 14 (2): 69-79.

Author: Aleksandre Kvakhadze

Abstract:

According to media reports, hundreds of women from the North Caucasian republics, Georgia and Azerbaijan have migrated to jihadi-controlled territories. This article has a threefold aim: to discuss the motivational features of female volunteers from the Caucasus region, to describe their functional role, and to explain their limited involvement in the hostilities. The findings indicate that the motivation for most women volunteers from the Caucasus has involved family relationships; further, rather than participating in combat, they have served in various supportive positions.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Conflict, Gender, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Religion, Terrorism Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East, Europe, South Caucasus Countries: Azerbaijan, Georgia, Syria

Year: 2020

Working through Warfare in Ukraine: Rethinking Militarization in a Ukrainian Theme Café

Citation:

Uehling, Greta Lynn. 2020. “Working through Warfare in Ukraine: Rethinking Militarization in a Ukrainian Theme Café.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 22 (3): 335–58.

Author: Greta Lynn Uehling

Abstract:

The conflict between Ukraine and Russia in the Donbas region has led both countries to strengthen their respective militaries. The literature on militarization emphasizes the subtle and largely unconscious ways in which militarization spreads through society. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork conducted between 2015 and 2017, I argue that attention to the intersubjective aspects of the process exposes the self-conscious working through of military realities. I make this argument using the case study of a restaurant run by demobilized fighters, Café Patriot. Specifically, I show how the café’s proprietors aimed to provide an anti-depressive atmosphere for fighters, and to provoke critical thinking among non-combatant patrons. The café challenged theorizing on militarization by effacing the separation between military and civilian as predicted, but doing so in the interest of reminding people of militarization rather than blinding them to it. These findings highlight veterans’ constructive efforts to re-inhabit a fractured world, and contrast with portrayals in critical studies of militarized masculinity. In sum, the café represented an effort to intervene in the process of militarization using, strangely enough, the trappings of militarization. At stake is the definition of militarization as an insidious process.

Keywords: militarization, masculinity, gender, emotions, veterans, feminism

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization Regions: Europe, Eastern Europe Countries: Ukraine

Year: 2020

When Are Women Deployed? Operational Uncertainty and Deployment of Female Personnel to UN Peacekeeping

Citation:

Tidblad-Lundholm, Kajsa. 2020. “When Are Women Deployed? Operational Uncertainty and Deployment of Female Personnel to UN Peacekeeping.” International Peacekeeping 27 (4): 673–702.

Author: Kajsa Tidblad-Lundholm

Abstract:

This study explores how the duration of missions affects the participation of women in United Nations (UN) peace operations. I argue that women are less likely to be deployed in the early stages of missions because new missions are associated with high levels of operational uncertainty, which is ultimately a type of risk. Instead, women’s participation will increase over time as the uncertainty decreases and the operating environment becomes more predictable. In an extended analysis, I also explore if the level of gender equality in a troop contributing country affects the decision to deploy women to the early phases of missions. Applying a large-N approach, I study the proportion of women in military contributions to UN peace operations between 2009 and 2015. Using a set of multilevel mixed-effects generalized linear models, the main argument find empirical support. However, when the robustness of the findings is challenged, there is indication that there could be additional factors that affect operational uncertainty and the perceived risk associated with an operating environment. The result of the extended analysis indicate that more gender equal countries are more prone to deploy larger proportions of female military personnel, regardless of when the deployment takes place.
 

Keywords: women's participation, UNSCR 1325, peacekeeping, United Nations, peace operations

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Peacekeeping

Year: 2020

Gendered Preferences: How Women’s Inclusion in Society Shapes Negotiation Occurrence in Intrastate Conflicts

Citation:

Nagel, Robert Ulrich. 2020. “Gendered Preferences: How Women’s Inclusion in Society Shapes Negotiation Occurrence in Intrastate Conflicts.” Journal of Peace Research (April): 1-16.

Author: Robert Ulrich Nagel

Abstract:

To what extent do gender relations in society influence the likelihood of negotiations during intrastate disputes? A substantial body of literature recognizes gendered inequalities as integral to understanding conflict, yet they have received little attention in systematic studies of conflict management. I argue that patriarchal gender relations that reflect a preference for masculinity over femininity influence states’ propensity to negotiate with rebels. I draw on the concept of practices to explain how gender relations shape government preferences for negotiations. Specifically, I contend that practices of excluding women from fully participating in public life institutionalize violence as the preferred way of managing conflict. The implication is that countries with more patriarchal gender relations are less likely to engage in negotiations during intrastate conflicts. I test this argument on all civil conflict dyads between 1975 and 2014. The analyses show that countries that marginalize women’s participation in public life are significantly less likely to engage in negotiations. The results provide strong support for my theoretical argument and offer systematic evidence in support of core claims of the feminist peace theory.

Keywords: conflict, negotiation, gender inequality

Topics: Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Femininity/ies, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Patriarchy, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-State Armed Groups, Peace Processes

Year: 2020

Militarized Peace: Understanding Post-Conflict Violence in the Wake of the Peace Deal in Colombia

Citation:

Meger, Sara, and Julia Sachseder. 2020. “Militarized Peace: Understanding Post-Conflict Violence in the Wake of the Peace Deal in Colombia.” Globalizations 17 (6): 953–73.

Authors: Sara Meger, Julia Sachseder

Abstract:

After more than 50 years of war, in 2016, the Colombian government signed a historic peace accord with the country’s largest rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Although the cessation of hostilities between the rebel group and the government is a monumental step, violence remains rife in the country. By drawing attention to the correlation between neoliberal economic development in the country and militarism, this paper sheds light on several structural issues that have been left potentially unresolved by the peace negotiations, each with the potential to ignite further violence. We introduce the concept of militaristic neoliberalism to argue that there is a fundamental link between Colombia’s neoliberal development and a culture of militarism, which relies on gendered and racialized constructions of ‘self’ and ‘other’, that exacerbate structural inequalities and severely hampers prospects for achieving peace for many of Colombia’s citizens post-conflict.

Keywords: Colombia, peace accord, paramilitaries, political economy, feminist theory, militaristic neoliberalism

Topics: Gender, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Non-State Armed Groups, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Race, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2020

Girl Soldiering in Rebel Groups, 1989–2013: Introducing a New Dataset

Citation:

Haer, Roos, and Tobias Böhmelt. 2018. “Girl Soldiering in Rebel Groups, 1989–2013: Introducing a New Dataset.” Journal of Peace Research 55 (3): 395–403. 

Authors: Roos Haer, Tobias Böhmelt

Abstract:

Most existing work assumes that child soldiers are under-aged males. Girl soldiers have largely been neglected so far, although they frequently have important roles in rebel groups. One reason for this shortcoming has been the lack of comprehensive and systematic data on female child soldiers over a larger time period. To address this gap, the following article introduces the Girl Child Soldier Dataset (G-CSDS), which provides – based on academic, IGO, NGO, government, and media sources – information on the number of girl soldiers and their functions (supporters or combatants) in rebel groups between 1989 and 2013. The dataset can be easily combined with other data based on the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP), and we demonstrate its usefulness with descriptive statistics and a regression analysis that is informed by previous research on women’s participation in armed groups. Among other interesting findings, the corresponding results suggest that there are crucial differences between girl combatants and those active in more supportive roles. We conclude that the G-CSDS provides a central platform of easily accessible information that will be useful to scholars and practitioners working on civil conflict, human rights, armed groups, or demobilization, disarmament, and reintegration (DDR) programs.

Keywords: dataset, girl fighters, girl soldiers, rebel groups

Topics: Combatants, Child Soldiers, Gender, Girls, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-State Armed Groups

Year: 2018

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