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"New Wars"



Mies, Maria, and Vandana Shiva. 2014. Ecofeminism. London: Zed Books.

Authors: Maria Mies, Vandana Shiva


This groundbreaking work remains as relevant today as when it was when first published. Maria Mies and Vandana Shiva argue that ecological destruction and industrial catastrophes constitute a direct threat to everyday life, the maintenance of which has been made the particular responsibility of women. In both industrialized societies and the developing countries, new wars, violent ethnic chauvinisms and the malfunctioning of the economy pose urgent questions. Is there a relationship between patriarchal oppression and the destruction of nature in the name of profit and progress? How can women counter the violence inherent in these processes? Should they look to a link between the women's movement and other social movements? These two world-renowned feminist environmental activists offer a thought-provoking analysis of these and many other issues from a unique North-South perspective. (Summary from WorldCat)

Topics: Armed Conflict, "New Wars", Economies, Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Violence

Year: 2014

Gender and the Privatization of Security: Neoliberal Transformation of the Militarized Gender Order


Eichler, Maya. 2013. “Gender and the Privatization of Security: Neoliberal Transformation of the Militarized Gender Order.” Critical Studies on Security 1 (3): 311-25.

Author: Maya Eichler


The increasing reliance on private military and security companies (PMSCs) in contemporary military conflict marks a historic shift in the state’s organization of military violence. This transformation has gendered underpinnings and entails gender-specific outcomes, at the same time as it reveals a gendered continuum between public and private military and security organizations. As the US example illustrates, security privatization was facilitated by the broader neoliberal transformation of the militarized gender order and itself has had negative implications for gender equality in the military and security sphere. Based on original research, this article argues that PMSCs are deeply gendered organizations whose employment practices tends to intensify the gendered division of labour that is characteristic of public militaries. While business and operational needs may allow for temporary disruptions of gender norms, masculinism remains not only vital but is reinvigorated by privatization. Political goals such as gender equality are sidelined in a sector premised on de-regulation and free markets. In contrast to problem-solving approaches that view gender as a problem of accountability or operational effectiveness in regards to PMSCs, this article shows that gender is deeply implicated in the expansion and organization of private force at the turn of the twenty-first century.

Keywords: private security, privatization of military security, PMSCs, gender, feminist security studies, neoliberalism, militarization, United States

Topics: Armed Conflict, "New Wars", Economies, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Masculinism, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Militarization, Privatization, Violence Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2013

Women, War and Peace: War Redefined

Embodying Algorithmic War: Gender, Race, and the Posthuman in Drone Warfare


Wilcox, Lauren. 2017. “Embodying Algorithmic War: Gender, Race, and the Posthuman in Drone Warfare.” Security Dialogue 48 (1): 11-28.

Author: Lauren Wilcox


Through a discussion of drone warfare, and in particular the massacre of 23 people in the Uruzgan province in Afghanistan in 2010, I argue that drone warfare is both embodied and embodying. Drawing from posthuman feminist theorists such as Donna Haraway and N Katherine Hayles, I understand the turn toward data and machine intelligence not as an other-than-human process of decisionmaking that deprives humans of sovereignty, but as a form of embodiment that reworks and undermines essentialist notions of culture and nature, biology and technology. Through the intermediation of algorithmic, visual, and affective modes of embodiment, drone warfare reproduces gendered and racialized bodies that enable a necropolitics of massacre. Finally, the category of gender demonstrates a flaw in the supposed perfectibility of the algorithm in removing issues of identity or prejudice from security practices, as well as the perceptions of drone assemblages as comprising sublime technologies of perfect analysis and vision. Gender as both a mode of embodiment and a category of analysis is not removed by algorithmic war, but rather is put into the service of the violence it enables.

Keywords: Affect, drones, embodiment, gender, visuality

Topics: Armed Conflict, "New Wars", Feminisms, Gender, Race, Violence, Weapons /Arms Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan

Year: 2017

Toward a Feminist Political Economy of Wartime Sexual Violence: The Case of the Democratic Republic of Congo


Meger, Sara. 2015. “Toward a Feminist Political Economy of Wartime Sexual Violence: The Case of the Democratic Republic of Congo.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 17 (3): 416–34. doi:10.1080/14616742.2014.941253.

Author: Sara Meger


Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) has been a prominent feature in the conflict in the eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which is a weapon of war, an instrument of terror and perpetrated opportunistically by armed men from all factions of the conflict. While most feminist analyses identify the link between gender and SGBV, they have tended to privilege individual or cultural accounts of gender construction. This article develops a feminist political economy analysis of SGBV in the ongoing conflict that looks at the relationship between gender as an international structure and the processes of the international political economy that precipitate this violence in Congo's ongoing war. This article theorizes an important and overlooked relationship between the structures of gender hierarchy and international political economy that may provide insights into the widespread use of SGBV in the conflict in eastern DRC, which this article contends constitutes part of the “global assembly line” of capitalist production.

Keywords: political economy, sexual violence, new wars, masculinity

Topics: Armed Conflict, "New Wars", Economies, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Political Economies, Sexual Violence, SV against women Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2015

Is Manhood a Causal Factor in the Shifting Nature of War?


Duriesmith, David. 2014. “Is Manhood a Causal Factor in the Shifting Nature of War?” International Feminist Journal of Politics 16 (2): 236–54. doi:10.1080/14616742.2013.773718.

Author: David Duriesmith


Existing accounts of new war have not actively engaged with feminist analysis. Protest masculinity is suggested as an alternative explanatory framework to conventional explanations of violence in new war. To explore the intersection between masculinity and new wars the example of Sierra Leone's Revolutionary United Front has been investigated. The article concludes that masculinity is an essential cause to the creation of new war and to the form that new war takes once it has originated.

Keywords: new wars, protect masculinity, Revolutionary United Front, Sierra Leone

Topics: Armed Conflict, "New Wars", Combatants, Male Combatants, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2014

From Soldiers to Citizens, or Soldiers to Seamstresses: Reintegrating Girl and Women Soldiers in Sierra Leone


MacKenzie, Megan H. 2007. “From Soldiers to Citizens, or Soldiers to Seamstresses: Reintegrating Girl and Women Soldiers in Sierra Leone.” In . Chicago, IL.


Author: Megan H MacKenzie


Maintaining security in a post-conflict country is often seen to be dependant on peace-building and reconstruction. One can hardly escape terms such as building sustainable peace and post-conflict construction. The disarmament, demobilization, reintegration, and rehabilitation, or DDR-R process for former combatants is being touted as an ideal model for ensuring that post-conflict societies return to peace. These four simple steps to lasting security have been used as a model in war torn countries like Liberia, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Angola. The logic is that these steps aid in restoring countries to more secure, stable times. More specifically, this model streamlines former combatants from soldiers to citizens. Given that the task of this process is to encourage combatants to shed their roles as fighters and to return to their former pre-war roles, it seems intuitive that the way that women and girls go through this process is of particular interest. In fact, despite the ascendancy of this DDR-R model, there has been little critical analysis of the implications of this process for women in war-torn countries. Using Sierra Leone as a case study, I explore how women and girls have been included and treated at each phase of this process. I look specifically at the tendency of organizations and agencies operating DDR-R programs to promote a return of women and girls to their pre-war roles and the tension that women and girls feel between the power they gained as combatants and the social pressure to reintegrate. I also examine the implications, for women and girls, of international and national organizations commitment to equating security with the return to pre-war society rather than rethinking relations of power. I include testimonies from 50 former girl soldiers who talk about their roles during the conflict and their hopes for themselves today.

Keywords: women, conflict, development, security, post-conflict, reintegration

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, "New Wars", Combatants, Child Soldiers, Female Combatants, DDR, Gender, Women, Girls, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Post-Conflict, Security, Human Security Regions: Africa Countries: Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone

Year: 2007

Afghanistan: Are Human Security and Gender Justice Possible?


Valentine Moghadam. 2011. “Afghanistan: Are Human Security and Gender Justice Possible?” Works and Days 29: 81–96.


Author: Valentine Moghadam


It has been nearly a decade since the U.S. invaded and occupied Afghanistan. What are the origins of the conflict? And what are the prospects for conflict resolution, peace-building, reconstruction, and development? In this paper, a conceptual framework drawing on world-system theory, feminist insights, and the economics of war lit- erature is applied toward an explanation of the structural roots of the ongoing conflict. I argue that U.S. intervention in Afghanistan should be seen as a key element in the building of a post-Cold War world order predicated on the (re)assertion of U.S. hegemony and the global spread of neoliberal democracy, justified by the so-called global war on terror. But the conflict also unveils the injurious ef- fects of hyper-masculinities, whether on the part of the occupiers or the insurgents. Next, the paper describes the humanitarian actions of transnational feminist networks, which have mobilized to oppose militarism and neoliberalism and to promote economic and gender justice in Afghanistan (among other conflict zones). Finally, the paper offers a (gendered) human security policy framework as an alterna- tive to the U.S. preference for a military solution. Such an approach would replace the current focus on privatization, national security, and military escalation with a virtuous cycle of people-oriented eco-nomic development, regional cooperation, social protection, and gender justice. 


Topics: Armed Conflict, "New Wars", Development, Gender, Women, Girls, Gendered Power Relations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Peacebuilding, Security, Human Security Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan

Year: 2011

Adversarial Discourses, Analogous Objectives Afghan: Women’s Control


Khattak, Saba Gul. 2004. “Adversarial Discourses, Analogous Objectives Afghan Women’s Control.” Cultural Dynamics 16 (2-3): 213–36. doi:10.1177/0921374004047749.


Author: Saba Gul Khattak


Afghan women have been the symbolic target of competing discourses and political strategies. The US-led bombing of Afghanistan used the rhetoric of women’s emancipation as a major reason for the attack without pursuing real ‘liberation’. The misogynist Taliban discourse, as it was promulgated in the Pakistan-based refugee camps and heavily funded by the western world, marked a severe deterioration in Afghan women’s rights. After the US-led military intervention of 2001, the Karzai government’s unfounded claims vis-‡-vis women’s betterment have not been realized. Afghan women, a clear majority of the Afghan population, are not at the centre of the government’s concerns or those of the international community. Engaging these problematics, this article claims that conventional politics, informed by statist and masculinist ideologies and practices, are incapable of ensuring Afghan women’s emancipation.

Keywords: Afghanistan, military, masculinity, violence, United States, women

Topics: Armed Conflict, "New Wars", Combatants, Male Combatants, Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Gendered Discourses Regions: Asia, Central Asia Countries: Afghanistan, United States of America

Year: 2004


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