Peace and Security

Emasculating America’s Linguistic Deterrent

Citation:

Cohn, Carol. 2019. “Emasculating America’s Linguistic Deterrent.” In Rocking the Ship of State: Toward a Feminist Peace Politics, edited by Adrienne Harris and Ynestra King, 153–70. New York: Routledge.

Author: Carol Cohn

Annotation:

Excerpts:

“I have three primary objectives in this project. The first is to describe, analyze, and explore the effects of technostrategic discourse – the language and ways of thinking that defense intellectuals have developed to speak about nuclear weapons, strategy, and warfare” (Cohn 2019, 154).

“My second objective goes beyond describing and understanding this discourse. Stated in the strongest possible terms, I wish to render this discourse 'impotent and obsolete' (to borrow a phrase from Ronald Reagan). I wish to expose its limits and distortions, its underlying assumptions and values, and the vast gaps between what it claims to do and what it actually does, so as to break its stranglehold on our scholarship, our policy decisions, our national political processes, and our imaginations” (Cohn 2019, 155).

“My third objective is to foster the development of more truly realistic, effective, and humane ways of thinking about international security and cooperation” (Cohn 2019, 155).

Topics: Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Discourses, Masculinity/ies, Peace and Security, Political Participation, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Countries: United States of America

Year: 2019

Women Strike for Peace: Traditional Motherhood and Radical Politics in the 1960s

Citation:

Swerdlow, Amy. 1993. Women Strike for Peace: Traditional Motherhood and Radical Politics in the 1960s. Women in Culture and Society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Author: Amy Swerdlow

Annotation:

Summary:

Women Strike for Peace is the only historical account of this ground-breaking women’s movement. Amy Swerdlow, a founding member of WSP, restores to the historical record a significant chapter on American politics and women’s studies. Weaving together narrative and analysis, she traces WSP’s triumphs, problems, and legacy for the women’s movement and American society.

Women Strike for Peace began on November 1, 1961, when thousands of white, middle-class women walked out of their kitchens and off their jobs in a one-day protest against Soviet and American nuclear policies. The protest led to a national organization of women who fought against nuclear arms and U.S. intervention in Vietnam. While maintaining traditional maternal and feminine roles, members of WSP effectively challenged national policies—defeating a proposal for a NATO nuclear fleet, withstanding an investigation by the House Committee on Un-American Activities, and sending one of its leaders to Congress as a peace candidate.

As a study of a dissident group grounded in prescribed female culture, and the struggle of its members to avoid being trapped within that culture, this book adds a crucial new dimension to women’s studies. In addition, this account of WSP’s success as a grass roots, nonhierarchical movement will be of great interest to historians, political scientists, and anyone interested in peace studies or conflict resolution. (Summary from publisher)

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Peace and Security, Political Participation, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Countries: United States of America

Year: 1993

More Bang for Your Buck: Nuclear Weapons and Their Enactment of Colonial and Gendered Power

Citation:

Urwin, Jessica A. 2016. “More Bang for Your Buck: Nuclear Weapons and Their Enactment of Colonial and Gendered Power.” ANU Undergraduate Research Journal, no. 8.

Author: Jessica A. Urwin

Abstract:

Analysing the nuclear weapons regime through both postcolonial and feminist frameworks demonstrates that the possession of nuclear weapons has incredibly important implications for the security agenda. While both postcolonial and feminist scholars have delved into the relationships between their respective disciplines and the dynamics of the nuclear weapons regime, gaps in the scholarship ensure that postcolonial feminist critiques of the regime are lacking. This article endeavours to combine postcolonial and feminist critiques to demonstrate how the nuclear weapons regime is underpinned by pertinent gendered and colonial assumptions. These assumptions ensure that certain states are prioritised over others; namely, the behaviour of nuclear weapons states is considered more legitimate than that of ‘rogue states’, their desire for nuclear weapons hinged upon racial, colonial and gendered assumptions of legitimacy. Closely analysing the gendered and colonial dynamics of the nuclear weapons regime sheds light upon how patriarchy and imperialism have shaped the security agenda in regard to nuclear weapons.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Femininity/ies, Gender Analysis, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Peace and Security, Security, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Countries: India, Pakistan, United States of America

Year: 2016

A Feminist Perspective on the Nuclear Weapon Discourse and its Gendered Consequences

Citation:

Butale, Cheludo Tinaye. 2019. “A Feminist Perspective on the Nuclear Weapon Discourse and Its Gendered Consequences.” PhD diss., Cyprus International University.

Author: Cheludo Tinaye Butale

Abstract:

Nuclear weapons continue to be seen as a crucial aspect of international security. However, the international security discourse tends to overlook the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons which has led to various feminists questioning the importance and effectiveness of the nuclear weapon discourse. This paper explores the nuclear weapons discourse and the gendered consequences of the discourse. It examines the way in which the nuclear weapons discourse and practices favour ideas of masculinity over femininity which has created barriers towards ending nuclear weapons and bringing about effective disarmament. I argue that the gendered language used within nuclear discourses has resulted in a gendered masculine-coded language and values based on rationality or state interests that exclude feminist’s values of including a humanitarian perspective within the nuclear discourse. A feminist theory, mainly post-structural feminism shall be used to show how international security is a gendered phenomenon which articulates masculinity forms of nuclear discourses. Few if any studies use the post-structural feminism theory to critique the nuclear discourse. The paper concludes by suggesting ways the nuclear discourse can be improved and made effective.

Keywords: femininity, masculinity, nuclear discourse, nuclear weapons

Topics: Gender, Femininity/ies, Gendered Discourses, Masculinity/ies, Peace and Security, Security, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Year: 2019

Gender Perspective on Nuclear Weapons and Human Rights

Citation:

Venturini, Gabriella. 2018. “Gender Perspective on Nuclear Weapons and Human Rights.” Edited by Jonathan L. Black-Branch and Dieter Fleck. In Nuclear Non-Proliferation in International Law IV: 99–115. The Hague: T.M.C. Asser Press.

Author: Gabriella Venturini

Abstract:

Gender perspective is currently being mainstreamed in the context of security, disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control. Since gender is not just about women and girls but also relates to men and boys, gender perspective must be balanced and take into account the broad socio-cultural context as a whole. The adverse effects of nuclear detonations may impinge on the right to life and encroach upon a number of other civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights among which the right to family life, health, education, property and housing. It has become apparent that the use and testing of nuclear weapons affect differently men and boys, women and girls, both physically and in the context of society, hindering their ability to fully exercise their basic human rights. Gender-aware assistance is needed to contribute reducing the adverse consequences of nuclear detonations for the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. Gender perspective may help redirect debates concerning nuclear weapons towards a greater consideration of human factors, and ultimately reshape the strategies for security, disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control. Women’s engagement in the struggle for peace and disarmament is extremely relevant and should gain more influence, while involving more women in nuclear issues, at both national and international level, could enhance the non-proliferation and disarmament agenda. However, only if women and men are able to work together within governments, international organisations and civil society with full awareness of, and respect for, their respective roles, diversities and needs, effective and sustainable solutions on issues of nuclear disarmament can be achieved.

Keywords: gender, women, human rights, nuclear weapons, nuclear disarmament, nuclear tests

Topics: Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Discourses, Gender Balance, Gender Mainstreaming, Peace and Security, Political Participation, Rights, Human Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Year: 2018

Circling the Missiles and Staining Them Red: Feminist Rhetorical Invention and Strategies of Resistance at the Women’s Peace Camp at Greenham Common

Citation:

Laware, Margaret L. 2004. “Circling the Missiles and Staining Them Red: Feminist Rhetorical Invention and Strategies of Resistance at the Women’s Peace Camp at Greenham Common.” The National Women's Studies Association Journal 16 (3): 18–41.

Author: Margaret Laware

Abstract:

The Women's Peace Camp at Greenham in Newbury, England, survived almost twenty years, from 1981 until 2000, as an extended protest against the placement of nuclear missiles on British soil and provided an innovative and generative space of feminist rhetorical invention. This essay provides an analysis of their evolving protest actions. It looks specifically at the types of feminist rhetorical invention employed-including feminist coding strategies, use of women's bodies as rhetorical topos, and the use of Background symbolism, affirming symbols of women's lives-to create a women-centered community and challenge the patriarchal traditions and symbols that the nuclear missiles represented.

Keywords: background symbolism, embodied rhetoric, feminist coding strategies, feminist peace protest, feminist rhetorical invention, Greenham Commn Women's Peace Camp, menstrual

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Infrastructure, Peace and Security, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Countries: United Kingdom

Year: 2004

Revisiting Ruddick: Feminism, Pacifism and Non-Violence

Citation:

Frazer, Elizabeth, and Kimberly Hutchings. 2014. “Revisiting Ruddick: Feminism, Pacifism and Non-Violence.” Journal of International Political Theory 10 (1): 109–24.

Authors: Elizabeth Frazer, Kimberly Hutching

Abstract:

This article explores feminist contentions over pacifism and non-violence in the context of the Greenham Common Peace Camp in the 1980s and later developments of feminist Just War Theory. We argue that Sara Ruddick’s work puts feminist pacifism, its radical feminist critics and feminist just war theory equally into question. Although Ruddick does not resolve the contestations within feminism over peace, violence and the questions of war, she offers a productive way of holding the tension between them. In our judgment, her work is helpful not only for developing a feminist political response to the threats and temptations of violent strategies but also for thinking through the question of the relation between violence and politics as such.

Keywords: ethics, feminism, non-violence, pacifism, politics, violence

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Peace and Security, Violence, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Countries: United Kingdom

Year: 2014

Faslane Peace Camp and the Political Economy of the Everyday

Citation:

Eschle, Catherine. 2016. “Faslane Peace Camp and the Political Economy of the Everyday.” Globalizations 13 (6): 912–14.

Author: Catherine Eschle

Annotation:

Excerpt:

"In what ways is ‘the everyday’ reproduced and reconfigured at protest camps? I pursue this question in my current research project, in which protest camps are defined as a ‘place-based social movement strategy that involves both acts of ongoing protest and acts of social reproduction needed to sustain everyday life’ (Feigenbaum, Frenzel, & McCurdy, 2013, p. 12). . . . buttressed by a feminist curiosity about the interconnections between the personal and political, I cling to the view that the reconfiguration of the everyday in protest camps is intrinsic rather than irrelevant to their political effect. In this short piece, I examine how daily life at Faslane Peace Camp, in Scotland, depends upon and fosters the critical interrogation of economic norms" (Eschle 2016, 912).

Topics: Economies, Care Economies, Feminist Economics, Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Gender, Gender Roles, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Peace and Security, Peacebuilding, Rights, Women's Rights, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Year: 2016

Beyond Greenham Woman?: Gender Identities and Anti-Nuclear Activism in Peace Camps

Citation:

Eschle, Catherine. 2017. “Beyond Greenham Woman?: Gender Identities and Anti-Nuclear Activism in Peace Camps.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 19 (4): 471–90.

Author: Catherine Eschle

Abstract:

This article investigates the discursive construction of gendered identities in anti-nuclear activism and particularly in peace camps. My starting point is the now substantial academic literature on Cold War women-only peace camps, such as that at Greenham Common. I extend the analysis that emerges from this literature in my research on the mixed-gender, long-standing camp at Faslane naval base in Scotland. I argue that the 1980s saw the articulation in the camp of the figure of the Gender-Equal Peace Activist, displaced in the mid-1990s by Peace Warrior/Earth Goddess identities shaped by radical environmentalism and reinstating hierarchical gender norms. I conclude that gendered identities constructed in and through anti-nuclear activism are even more variable than previously considered; that they shift over time as well as place and are influenced by diverse movements, not solely feminism; and that they gain their political effect not only through the transgression of social norms, but also through discursive linkage with, or disconnection from, political subjectivities in wider society. With such claims, the article aims to re-contextualise Greenham Woman in her particular place and time, and to contribute to a more expansive understanding of the gendering of anti-nuclear activism.

Keywords: Anti-nuclear, peace camps, gender identities, discourse analysis, Faslane peace camps

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Women, Peace and Security, Peacebuilding, Rights, Women's Rights, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Countries: United Kingdom

Year: 2017

Gendering Nuclear Disarmament: Identity and Disarmament in Sweden during the Cold War

Citation:

Rosengren, Emma. 2020. “Gendering Nuclear Disarmament: Identity and Disarmament in Sweden during the Cold War.” PhD diss., Stockholm University.

Author: Emma Rosengren

Abstract:

This dissertation provides new knowledge about gender, nuclear weapons and disarmament. Previous feminist research has shown that in contexts where positive associations are made between military strength, masculinity and nuclear weapon possession, it is hard to imagine nuclear renunciation and disarmament as anything other than potential emasculation or feminization. Meanwhile, empirically based feminist theorization about gender, nuclear renunciation and disarmament remains a blind spot. This dissertation uses Sweden as a case to analyze nuclear weapon renunciation and disarmament from a feminist angle. As one of the countries that had the opportunity to acquire nuclear weapons – and considered doing so for some time – before deciding to become engaged with international disarmament aims instead, Sweden is an interesting case to study. The empirical focus is on disarmament policymaking in relation to the Swedish nuclear weapon debate (1954–1968) and the submarine crisis (1981–1989). The study draws on a broad set of primary sources, ranging from government speeches and parliamentary records to media output including comics and personal correspondence and diaries. Approaching the nuclear weapon debate and the submarine crisis as arenas for debating disarmament policy, and understanding disarmament policymaking as historically situated and marked by gendered, nationalized and sexualized power structures in specific contexts, the dissertation contributes empirical and theoretical insights relevant to feminist IR theory, and to nuclear history and IR studies more broadly. Contrary to previous feminist theorizing about disarmament as associated with femininity and/or emasculation, my findings suggest that Swedish disarmament policy was co-constructed with certain forms of masculinity, and that alternative policy discourses and identity representations were feminized and sidelined to the margins. The dissertation suggests that rather than assuming preconceived linkages between nuclear weapons possession and masculinity on the one hand, and disarmament and femininity on the other, it is necessary to challenge such binary conceptualizations and investigate how masculinities and femininities, and nuclear weapon and disarmament policy, have been co-constructed in specific historical contexts. The opposite, to depart from preconceived conceptualizations about gender and policy not only contributes to the reconstruction of gender, but also rules out alternatives to nuclearized security strategies and nuclearized masculinity. The dissertation provides a methodological and theoretical framework for further research on the making of disarmament policy from a feminist perspective.

Keywords: feminist theory, nuclear disarmament, nuclear weapons, gender nation sexuality, dentity and policy, identity and policy

Topics: Gender, Femininity/ies, Gender Analysis, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Peace and Security, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Countries: Sweden

Year: 2020

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