Masculinities, Militarisation and the End Conscription Campaign: War Resistance in Apartheid South Africa


Conway, Daniel. 2012. Masculinities, Militarisation and the End Conscription Campaign: War Resistance in Apartheid South Africa. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Author: Daniel Conway


Masculinities, militarisation and the End Conscription Campaign explores the gendered dynamics of apartheid-era South Africa's militarisation and analyses the defiance of compulsory military service by individual white men, and the anti-apartheid activism of the white men and women in the End Conscription Campaign (ECC), the most significant white anti-apartheid movement to happen in South Africa. Military conscription and objection to it are conceptualised as gendered acts of citizenship and premised on and constitutive of masculinities. Conway draws upon a range of materials and disciplines to produce this socio-political study. Sources include interviews with white men who objected to military service in the South African Defence Force (SADF); archival material, including military intelligence surveillance of the ECC; ECC campaigning material, press reports and other pro-state propaganda. The analysis is informed by perspectives in sociology, international relations, history and from work on contemporary militarised societies such as those in Israel and Turkey. This book also explores the interconnections between militarisation, sexuality, race, homophobia and political authoritarianism. (Summary from Manchester University Press) 

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, Male Combatants, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Discourses, Livelihoods, Militarized Livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Nationalism Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2012

Explosive Bodies and Bounded States


Wilcox, Lauren. 2014. “Explosive Bodies and Bounded States.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 16 (1): 66–85. doi:10.1080/14616742.2012.750947.

Author: Lauren Wilcox


The bodies produced by the violent practice of suicide bombing are a source of horror and disgust. They are, in feminist psychoanalyst Julia Kristeva's concept, abject: that which defies borders and is expelled to create the self. As ‘abject bodies’, suicide bombers' bodies frustrate attempts at calculation and rational control of security risks, and, in their mutilated flesh, expose as unstable the idea of the body as a whole with clearly defined boundaries between inside and outside. Female suicide bombers, whose bodies are already considered ‘abject’, produce a politics of the body that exceeds narratives of victimhood, and whose very monstrosity symbolically threatens the foundations of the nation-state. Attempts at constructing subjects out of the mutilated bodily remains of victims and perpetrators of suicide bombings are key practices in the production of the state and gendered subjects. The practice of suicide bombing and efforts to recover and resignify bodies reveals how power molds and constitutes the border of the body and state simultaneously. The explosive body of the suicide bomber thus has destabilizing effects beyond the motivations of its perpetrators and exposes the political work necessary to maintain the illusion of secure, bounded bodies and states.

Keywords: abjection, bodies, nationalism, sovereignty, suicide bombing, territory

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Nationalism, Terrorism

Year: 2014

Popular Geopolitics of Chinese Nanjing Massacre Films: A Feminist Approach


An, Ning, Chen Liu, and Hong Zhu. 2016. “Popular Geopolitics of Chinese Nanjing Massacre Films: A Feminist Approach.” Gender, Place & Culture 23 (6): 786–800. doi:10.1080/0966369X.2015.1058762.


Authors: Ning An, Chen Liu, Hong Zhu


This article attempts to deconstruct the masculinised contract among the war narrative, popular culture, and Chinese nationalism by exploring the roles of women in Nanjing Massacre films with war narratives and Chinese audiences' emotional ‘readings’ of these women. Based on the analysis of City of Life and Death (2009) and The Flowers of War (2011) and audiences' comments on these two films from Douban Movie, this article has mapped a popular geopolitics of these two films through a feminist approach. The main argument of this research points out that, through the production and consumption of these two films, the women of the Nanjing Massacre can be territorialised as Nanjing/China and used to represent China's attitudes towards both the historical and current Sino–Japanese relationship. In this way, the women of these films can be considered an articulation of popular culture and politics, and they are empowered to establish Chinese nationalism and construct anti-Japanese identities in Chinese society. To a wider extent, this article can be read as a contribution to the literature on gender, nationalism and popular geopolitics.

Keywords: popular geopolitics, feminist approach, nationalism, Sino – Japanese relationship, Nanjing massacre, China

Topics: Gender, Women, Men, Masculinity/ies, Nationalism Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: China, Japan

Year: 2016

Bengal Border Revisited


Banerjee, Paula. 2012. “Bengal Border Revisited.” Journal of Borderlands Studies 27 (1): 31–44. doi:10.1080/08865655.2012.687208.

Author: Paula Banerjee


This article deals with the notion of how borders have a penchant for becoming a marker of security. The moment borders become securitized the question of flows across them acquires particular importance. In the colonial period this was marked by concern over dacoits, thugees and hooligans who crossed the district border at will. In the post-colonial period concern remains over undocumented migrants and whether their arrival threatens the nation form. Against this background the article addresses the notion of flows and increasing violence at the borders, fencing as the most recent marker of such violence and how women and the evolution of their relationship to the border is shaped through the discourses of violence.

Topics: Citizenship, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Gender, Gender Analysis, Nationalism, Security, Human Security, Violence Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh, India

Year: 2012

Gender Relations and Development in a Weak State: The Rebuilding of Afghanistan


Riphenburg, Carol J. 2003. “Gender Relations and Development in a Weak State: The Rebuilding of Afghanistan.” Central Asian Survey 22 (2-3): 187–207. doi:10.1080/0263493032000157726.

Author: Carol J. Riphenburg

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Development, Gender, Women, Governance, Post-Conflict Governance, Nationalism, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Religion, Terrorism, Tribe Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan

Year: 2003

Stars and Stripes and Sex: Nationalism and Globalization in the Kijich’on


Moon, Katherine H. S. 2004. “Stars and Stripes and Sex: Nationalism and Globalization in the Kijich’on.” Women’s History in Modern Korea.

Author: Katherine Moon

Topics: Citizenship, Gender, Women, Globalization, Nationalism, Sexuality Regions: Asia, East Asia

Year: 2004

Entangling Alliances: Foreign War Brides and American Soldiers in the Twentieth Century


Zeiger, Susan. 2010. Entangling Alliances: Foreign War Brides and American Soldiers in the Twentieth Century. New York: New York University Press.

Author: Susan Zeiger


Throughout the twentieth century, American male soldiers returned home from wars with foreign-born wives in tow, often from allied but at times from enemy nations, resulting in a new, official category of immigrant: the “allied” war bride. These brides began to appear en masse after World War I, peaked after World War II, and persisted through the Korean and Vietnam Wars. GIs also met and married former “enemy” women under conditions of postwar occupation, although at times the US government banned such unions.
In this comprehensive, complex history of war brides in 20th-century American history, Susan Zeiger uses relationships between American male soldiers and foreign women as a lens to view larger issues of sexuality, race, and gender in United States foreign relations. Entangling Alliances draws on a rich array of sources to trace how war and postwar anxieties about power and national identity have long been projected onto war brides, and how these anxieties translate into public policies, particularly immigration.
(New York University Press)

Keywords: history, gender & women's studies, sociology

Topics: Citizenship, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Gender, Women, Men, Nationalism, Post-Conflict

Year: 2010

Gender and Consociational Power-Sharing in Northern Ireland


Hayes, Bernadette C. and Ian McAllister. 2012. “Gender and Consociational Power-Sharing in Northern Ireland.” International Political Science Review 34 (2): 123-139.

Authors: Bernadette C. Hayes, Ian McAllister


Designing political arrangements is the most viable approach to resolving inter-communal divisions in post-conflict societies. Yet women are frequently ill-served by such peace settlements, since gender equality is often sacrificed in an effort to resolve conflicts over national identity. Northern Ireland is no exception to this trend. Although the 1998 Northern Ireland Agreement made specific provision for gender equality, it was primarily framed in terms of national identity. This article examines to what extent this focus on inter-communal ethnic division undermined support for the Agreement among women. Using data from the 2010 Northern Ireland Election Survey, we examine gender differences in attitudes towards the consociational institutions of government. The results show a significant gender gap in support for the institutional arrangements that were established by the Agreement. We propose and test three explanations to account for this gender gap. 

Keywords: post-conflict, consociationalism, gender, national identity, power-sharing

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Civil Society, Democracy / Democratization, Domestic Violence, Economies, Poverty, Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Men, Girls, Boys, Governance, Constitutions, Elections, Post-Conflict Governance, Justice, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Paramilitaries, Nationalism, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Weapons /Arms Regions: Europe, Western Europe Countries: Ireland

Year: 2012

Gender Apparatus: Torture and National Manhood in the U.S. War on Terror


Mann, Bonnie. 2012. “Gender Apparatus: Torture and National Manhood in the U.S. War on Terror.” Radical Philosophy: A Journal of Socialist and Feminist Philosophy 168 (2). 

Author: Bonnie Mann

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Masculinism, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Nationalism, Terrorism, Torture Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2012

Reconsidering Politics as a Man's World: Images of Male Political Leaders in France and Norway


Krogstad, Anne and Aagoth E. Storvik. 2010. “Reconsidering Politics as a Man’s World: Images of Male Political Leaders in France and Norway.” Historical Reflections 36 (19): 19-38. 

Authors: Anne Krogstad, Aagoth E. Storvik


Researchers have often pointed to the masculine norms that are integrated into politics. This article explores these norms by studying male images of politics and power in France and Norway from 1945 to 2009. Both dress codes and more general leadership styles are discussed. The article shows changes in political aesthetics in both countries since the Second World War. The most radical break is seen in the way Norwegian male politicians present themselves. The traditional Norwegian leadership ethos of piety, moderation, and inward orientation is still important, but it is not as self-effacing and inelegant as it used to be. However, compared to the leaders in French politics, who still live up to a heroic leadership ideal marked by effortless superiority and seduction, the Norwegian leaders look modest. To explain the differences in political self-presentation and evaluation we argue that cultural repertoires are not only national constructions but also gendered constructions

Topics: Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Nationalism, Political Participation Regions: Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe, Western Europe Countries: France, Norway

Year: 2010


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