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Cleared for Investment? The Intersections of Transnational Capital, Gender, and Race in the Production of Sexual Violence and Internal Displacement in Colombia's Armed Conflict

Citation:

Sachseder, Julia. 2020. “Cleared for investment? The Intersections of Transnational Capital, Gender, and Race in the Production of Sexual Violence and Internal Displacement in Colombia’s Armed Conflict.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 22 (2): 162-86.

Author: Julia Sachseder

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
Investigating the nexus of transnational capital, gender, and race, I argue that sexual violence and internal displacement tacitly serve the interest of transnational corporations (TNCs). Drawing on extensive ethnographic research in war-torn regions in Colombia, I elucidate how violence is deeply intertwined in the globalization of neoliberal capitalism and operates by exploiting and instrumentalizing constructions of gender and race that are articulated through colonial legacies and further dehumanize the “Other.” The focus on intersectional power relations advances a critical understanding of the political economy of armed conflict. First, it reveals how local and global (economic) actors are entrenched in exacerbating local forms of domination that produce sexual violence and internal displacement through a particular political economy of masculinity and neoliberal forms of expansion and exploitation. Beyond that, both forms of violence are not only the product of colonial, capitalist, and gendered structures and ideas but also serve to re-entrench these power relations between dominant and subaltern groups. I conceptualize this relationship as the “coloniality of violence.” It constitutes a shared space for violent forms of domination and appropriation that facilitates capital accumulation, and it may further foster a relation of structural oppression in “post-conflict” Colombia.
 
GERMAN ABSTRACT:
Mit Blick auf das Verhältnis von transnationalem Kapital, Geschlecht und “race” wird in diesem Artikel erarbeitet, wie sexuelle Gewalt und innere Vertreibung dem Interesse transnationaler Konzerne dienen. Auf Basis umfassender ethnografischer Forschung in einigen vom Krieg betroffenen Regionen Kolumbiens zeige ich den Zusammenhang zwischen politischer Gewalt und der Globalisierung des neoliberalen Kapitalismus auf. Dieser beutet Konstruktionen von Geschlecht und “race” aus, die im Kolonialismus verankert sind. Der Rückgriff und die Instrumentalisierung dieser (post)kolonialen Zuschreibungen helfen dabei, bestimmte Gruppen in Begriffen “der Anderen” zu kategorisieren und sie weitgehend zu dehumanisieren. Der Fokus auf intersektionale Macht- und Herrschaftsverhältnisse trägt somit zu einem kritischen Verständnis der politischen Ökonomie bewaffneter Konflikte bei. Erstens wird aufgezeigt, wie lokale und globale (ökonomische) Akteure soziale Ungleichheiten verstärken und durch eine spezifische politische Ökonomie von Männlichkeit und neoliberale Formen der Expansion und Ausbeutung sexuelle Gewalt und innerer Vertreibung hervorbringen. Darüber hinaus ist politische Gewalt nicht nur das Produkt kolonialer, kapitalistischer und geschlechtsspezifischer Strukturen und Diskurse sondern dient auch dazu, diese gesellschaftlichen Verhältnisse zwischen dominanten und subalternen Gruppen zu verfestigen. Dieses Verhältnis fasse ich mit dem Begriff der “Kolonialität der Gewalt.” Dieser stellt einen gemeinsamen Raum für gewaltvolle Formen der Beherrschung und Aneignung dar, der Kapitalakkumulation erleichtert und strukturelle Unterdrückung in der sogenannten Nachkriegszeit in Kolumbien forciert.
 
SPANISH ABSTRACT:
En mi investigación sobre la interrelación entre capital transnacional y formas de opresión basadas en concepciones de género y raza argumento que la violencia sexual y el desplazamiento interno sirven implícitamente a los intereses de los grandes grupos transnacionales. Partiendo de una investigación etnográfica integral en regiones afectadas por el conflicto armado en Colombia ilustro de qué manera la violencia está asociada a la globalización del capitalismo neoliberal y explico el mecanismo funcional subyacente que consiste en instrumentalizar y explotar construcciones de género y de raza que se manifiestan a través de históricos vínculos coloniales los cuales contribuyen a deshumanizar al “Otro.” El objetivo consiste en alcanzar una comprensión crítica de la economía política en el marco de un conflicto armado a través de un enfoque centrado en la interseccionalidad de las relaciones de poder. De esta manera se revela el arraigo profundo de las actores (económicos) locales y globales en formas locales de dominio, fenómenos que a su vez contribuyen a exacerbar la violencia sexual y el desplazamiento interno en Colombia por medio de una economía política basada en un determinado concepto de masculinidad y en formas neoliberales de expansión y explotación. Así mismo, ambas formas de violencia no solamente se pueden ver como resultado de determinadas estructuras e ideas coloniales, capitalistas y de género sino que sirven también para consolidar tales relaciones de poder entre grupos dominantes y subalternos. Conceptualizo esta relación cómo “colonialidad de violencia” que a su vez constituye un escenario compartido para formas violentas de dominación y apropiación. Considerada en su conjunto la colonialidad de violencia fomenta la acumulación de capital estimulando de esta manera una relación de opresión estructural y violenta en la Colombia del llamado “posconflicto.”

Keywords: gender, race, transnational capital, sexual violence, Colombian armed conflict

Topics: Armed Conflict, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Displacement & Migration, IDPs, Economies, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Intersectionality, Political Economies, Post-Conflict, Race, Sexual Violence, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2020

Black Women’s Struggles against Extractivism, Land Dispossession, and Marginalization in Colombia

Citation:

Hernández Reyes, Castriela Esther. 2019. "Black Women’s Struggles against Extractivism, Land Dispossession, and Marginalization in Colombia." Latin American Perspectives 46 (2): 217-34.

Author: Castriela Esther Hernández Reyes

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
The neocolonial turn toward extractivism intensifies the use of violence while fostering land dispossession, racism, and militarization of social life. Afro-Colombian women resist this process by using their subjectivities politically, strategically, discursively, and textually. An examination through the lens of black/decolonial feminism of the first national Mobilization for the Care of Life and Ancestral Territories, led by 40 black women from the Department of Cauca in 2014, shows that black women’s emotions and collective affections were driving forces that exhibited both their exclusions and their resistance. These feelings may be seen as catalysts through which their lived experiences are expressed and performed in the material world. Examination of this event suggests that a more radical analysis of black women’s historicity, subjectivities, and struggles is needed to better capture and understand experience-based epistemologies that challenge hegemonic forms of knowledge production.
SPANISH ABSTRACT:
El giro neocolonial hacia el extractivismo intensifica el uso de la violencia al tiempo que fomenta el despojo de tierras, el racismo y la militarización de la vida social. Las mujeres afrocolombianas se resisten a este proceso utilizando sus subjetividades políticas, estratégica, discursiva y textualmente. Un examen a través del feminismo negro/decolonial de la primera movilización nacional por el Cuidado de la Vida y los Territorios Ancestrales, liderada por 40 mujeres negras del Departamento del Cauca en 2014, revele que las emociones y los afectos colectivos de las mujeres negras fueron fuerzas impulsoras que exibian tanto sus exclusiones como sus formas de resistencia. Estos sentimientos pueden verse como catalizadores a través de los cuales sus experiencias vividas se expresan y realizan en el mundo material. El examen de este evento sugiere que se necesita un análisis más radical de la historicidad, las subjetividades y las luchas de las mujeres afrodescendientes para captar y comprender mejor las epistemologías basadas en la experiencia que desafían las formas hegemónicas de producción de conocimiento.

Keywords: Afro-Colombian women, neocolonial extractivism, racialized capitalism, Afro-aesthetic and emotion politics, political subjectivities, black/decolonial feminism

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Extractive Industries, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Political Participation, Race, Rights, Land Rights, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2019

Petro-Masculinity and Climate Change Denial Among White, Politically Conservative American Males

Citation:

Nelson, Joshua. 2020. "Petro‐Masculinity and Climate Change Denial among White, Politically Conservative American Males." International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies: 1-14. doi: 10.1002/aps.1638.

Author: Joshua Nelson

Abstract:

White, politically conservative males in the United States have been widely found to maintain petro-masculine attitudes that include aspects of racism, misogyny, and climate change denial. These beliefs and their associated behaviors, including climate destructiveness, can be conceptualized as compensatory reactions to modern-day racial, gender, and climate-related anxieties that are experienced as threats to traditional white male privilege and power. They then manifest as and energize authoritarian desires and their associated sociopolitical movements, including the current Republican effort to Make American Great Again. This paper utilizes psychoanalytic concepts concerning individual and large-group identity, group psychodynamics and processes, and the intergenerational transmission of idealized myth and fantasy to further elucidate and expand upon these complex phenomena. It then suggests specific strategies for disentangling the strong links between white hegemonic masculinity, fossil fuel use, and climate change denial, thus opening doors to alternative, non climate-destructive yet still empowering notions of individual, large-group, and national identity that are, instead, based in communal concern and climate care.

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Race Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2020

Decolonising Gender and Peacebuilding: Feminist Frontiers and Border Thinking in Africa

Citation:

Hudson, Heidi. 2016. “Decolonising Gender and Peacebuilding: Feminist Frontiers and Border Thinking in Africa.” Peacebuilding 4 (2): 194–209.

Author: Heidi Hudson

Abstract:

The article seeks to theorise an integrated decolonised feminist frame for peacebuilding in an African context. Arguing that a decolonial-feminist lens has the potential to change the way we look at peacebuilding practices, I propose the notion of ‘feminist frontiers’ – an engaged yet stabilising heuristic tool for analysing racialised and gendered relations post-conflict. The argument is structured around three pillars, namely: metageographies as metaphoric mental-space constructions of a colonial peace; masks that constrain the introduction of complicated and intersected human subjecthoods; and mundane matter that elicits ambivalent engagements between human and post-human subjectivities in the areas of everyday political economies and infrastructural rule of peacebuilding. I conclude that such feminist frontiers represent intermediate and mediated spaces or epistemological borderlands from where the undertheorised and empirically understudied discursive and material dimensions of peacebuilding from a gender perspective can be investigated.

Keywords: decoloniality, gender, peacebuilding, africa, intersectionality, feminist

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Gender, Infrastructure, Intersectionality, Political Economies, Post-Conflict, Peacebuilding, Race Regions: Africa

Year: 2016

Gay Girl in Damascus: Saving Brown Women from Brown Men in Syria

Citation:

Kuntz, Blair. 2019. "Gay Girl in Damascus: Saving Brown Women From Brown Men in Syria." Paper presented at International Conference on Gender Research, April.

Author: Blair Kuntz

Abstract:

This paper extracts the phrase "white women saving brown women from brown men" from Gita Spivak's celebrated essay " Can the Subaltern Speak?" and applies it to the various Western interventions that have used "crisis initiation" (i.e. false flags) using the theme of gender injustice to initiate "humanitarian interventions" in the Middle East, Libya and the Former Yugoslavia. The paper analyzes the hoax of the social media blog "Gay Girl of Damascus", which appeared at the beginning of the so-called "Syrian Uprising" of 2011 and examines how the hoax advanced the Western project for regime change in Syria. The blog purported to record the experiences of Amina Arraf who described herself as a Syrian-American lesbian living in Damascus. Eventually, on June 6, 2011, Amina's cousin claimed that Amina had been abducted by the Syrian government, sparking popular outrage in the Western LGBT community and widespread coverage within the Western mainstream media. In the end, the blog post was revealed to be a complete hoax and "Amina" was revealed to be Tom McMaster, a heterosexual American man living in Edinburgh. The paper discusses how Western "humanitarian interventions" have been used as a cynical justification for war and the theft of resources and how Western "imperial feminists" (who in turn transform into "white women saving brown women from brown men") have colluded in the endeavor. Rather than improving the circumstances for women and sexual minorities in the region, Western governments and their allies have worsened the situation as they have nurtured, encouraged and supported various jihadist rebels. The jihadist victims include the Yezidi women of Iraq taken as sex slaves; women killed for adultery; and gay men thrown off tall buildings, stoned to death or shot for allegedly practicing same-sex relations.

Keywords: imperial feminism, humanitarian intervention, Sexual minorities, middle east, Arab Spring

Topics: Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Media, Humanitarian Assistance, LGBTQ, Race, Sexuality Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Syria

Year: 2019

Syrian Refugee Men as Objects of Humanitarian Care

Citation:

Turner, Lewis. 2019. "Syrian Refugee Men as Objects of Humanitarian Care." International Feminist Journal of Politics 21 (4): 595-616.

Author: Lewis Turner

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
Critical feminist scholars of conflict and displacement have demonstrated that “womenandchildren” (Enloe 1993) have become an uncontroversial object of humanitarian concern in these contexts (Carpenter 2003; Hyndman and Giles 2011). Yet very little scholarly work has attempted to understand the position of refugee men as a demographic within humanitarianism. Through an analysis of the Syria refugee response in Jordan, this article investigates how humanitarian workers relate to refugee men and think about refugee masculinities. It argues that refugee men have an uncertain position as objects of humanitarian care. Seeing refugee men as objects of humanitarian care would disrupt prevailing humanitarian understandings of refugeehood as a feminized subject position and of gender work as work that “helps women” (Cornwall 2007; Johnson 2011). It would furthermore challenge prevailing binary visions of refugee men as agential, political actors, and refugee women as in need of “empowerment” through the implementation of technocratic programming. In the context of the Syria refugee response, these gendered and racialized understandings of refugee men and masculinities are mediated by particular conceptions of “Arabness.” This research is based on ethnographic fieldwork and qualitative interviews with humanitarian workers and Syrian refugees, which was undertaken in Jordan in 2015–2016.
 
ARABIC ABSTRACT:
أثبتت الدراسات النسوية النقدية لقضايا النزوح والصراعات أن “النساؤلأطفال ” (Enloe 1993) أصبحوا من ملسلّمات الشواغل الإنسانية في سياقات هذه القضايا (Carpenter 2003; Hyndman and Giles 2011). فيما هناك عدد قليل من الدراسات التي سعت إلى فهم مكانة الرجال اللاجئين كشريحة بشرية ضمن العمل الإنساني . تستقصي هذه المقالة، من خلال تحليل العمل الإنساني مع اللاجئين السوريين في الأردن، كيفية تعامل وفهم المشتغلين بالقطاع الإنساني للرجال اللاجئين ورجولاتهم . تدلل المقالة بأن مكانة الرجال اللاجئين، بوصفهم أهدافا للرعاية الإنسانية، هي مكانة غير مؤكدة. إن اعتبار الرجال اللاجئين أهدافا للرعاية الإنسانية من شأنه أن يخلخل التصورات السائدة في القطاع الإنساني لحالة اللجوء كحالة تم تأنيثها وللعمل الجندري كعمل يسعى لـ “مساعدة المرأة” (Cornwall 2007; Johnson 2011). كما أن هذا الاعتبار من شأنه أن يتحدى الرؤى الثنائية السائدة التي ترى الرجال اللاجئين كذوي وكالة وكفاعلين سياسيين بينما ترى النساء اللاجئات كمحتاجات لـ “التمكين "، من خلال تنفيذ البرامج التكنوقراطية . إن هذه التصورات، التي تُقرن معها العرقية والنوع الاجتماعي، للرجال اللاجئين والرجولات في سياق التعامل مع اللجوء السوري تشكلها مفاهيم محددة لـ“عروبة” هؤلاء السوريين . يتكئ هذا البحث على العمل الميداني الإثنوغرافي والمقابلات النوعية التي تم اجراؤها في الأردن بين 2015 و2016 مع العاملين في القطاع الإنساني ومع اللاجئين السوريين
 
GERMAN ABSTRACT:
Kritische feministische Wissenschaftler*innen haben im Kontext von Konflikt und Flucht gezeigt wie “FrauenundKinder” (Enloe 1993) zu einem unkontroversen Objekt humanitären Interesses geworden sind (Carpenter 2003; Hyndman and Giles 2011). Jedoch setzt sich nur wenig akademische Forschung mit der Position geflüchteter Männer innerhalb humanitärer Arbeit auseinander. Durch eine Analyse der humanitären Reaktion auf syrische Geflüchtete in Jordanien untersucht dieser Artikel, in welcher Beziehung humanitäre Helfer*innen zu geflüchteten Männern stehen, und wie sie deren Maskulinitäten verstehen. Es wird argumentiert, dass geflüchtete Männer eine unklare Position als Objekte humanitärer Hilfe innehaben. Ein Verständnis von geflüchteten Männern als Objekte humanitärer Hilfe würde bedeuten, vorherrschende humanitäre Verständnisse des Flüchtlingsstatus aufzubrechen. Feminisierte Subjektpositionen und Genderarbeit als Arbeit, die „Frauen hilft” (Cornwall 2007; Johnson 2011), bilden diese vorherrschenden Verständnisse. Weiterhin würde diese Perspektive bestehende binäre Sichtweisen anfechten, die geflüchtete Männer als handlungsmächtige, politische Akteure darstellen. Geflüchteten Frauen hingegen soll durch technokratische “Empowerment-Programme” aus ihrer Schutz- und Hilfsbedürftigkeit geholfen werden. Diese gegenderten und rassifizierten Verständnisse werden durch spezifische Konzeptionen dessen, was es bedeutet, “ein*e Araber*in zu sein”, verhandelt. Dieser Artikel basiert auf ethnographischer Feldforschung und qualitativen Interviews mit humanitären Helfer*innen und syrischen Geflüchteten in Jordanien zwischen 2015–2016.

Keywords: humanitarianism, gender, men, masculinities, Syrian refugees

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Ethnicity, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Humanitarian Assistance, Race Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Jordan, Syria

Year: 2019

Men and Nature: Hegemonic Masculinities and Environmental Change

Citation:

MacGregor, Sherilyn, and Nicole Seymour, eds. 2017. “Men and Nature: Hegemonic Masculinities and Environmental Change.” RCC Perspectives: Transformations in Environment and Society (4), 1-93.

Authors: Sherilyn MacGregor, Nicole Seymour

Annotation:

Summary from Environment & Society Portal:
Drawing on ecofeminist theory, environmental politics, and queer theory and ecology, this volume sheds light on the connections between masculinities and environmental change. The essays in this collection examine how hegemonic masculinities are performed and how they are reproduced under conditions of climate change, often perpetuating racial and gender inequalities and unequal power relations. The contributors reveal the making and negotiating of masculinities in very different cultural and economic settings, from central Africa to Central America, to the USA and Japan. Together, these scholars, academics, artists, and activists explore how masculine roles, identities, and practices shape human relationships with the more-than-human world.
 
Table of Contents:
Foreword: Masculinities in the Sociocene
Raewyn Connell
 
Introduction
Sherilyn MacGregor and Nicole Seymour
 
1. Representing Disaster with Resignation and Nostalgia: Japanese Men’s Responses to the 2011 Earthquake
Naoki Kambe
 
2. Excuse Us, While We Fix the Sky: WEIRD Supermen and Climate Engineering
Jim Fleming
 
3. Of Storms, Floods, and Flying Sharks: The Extreme Weather Hero in Contemporary American Culture
Susanne Leikam
 
4. Masculinity, Work, and the Industrial Forest in the US Pacific Northwest
Erik Loomis
 
5. Every Day Like Today: Learning How to Be a Man in Love (An Excerpt from the Manuscript)
Alex Carr Johnson
 
6. Inventing Bushcraft: Masculinity, Technology, and Environment in Central Africa, ca. 750–1250
Kathryn M. de Luna
 
7. “The Love of the Chase Is an Inherent Delight in Man”: Hunting and Masculine Emotions in the Victorian Zoologist’s Travel Memoir
Will Abberley
 
8. Rural Masculinities in Tension: Barriers to Climate Change Adaptation in Nicaragua
Noémi Gonda
 
9. Taking Up Space: Men, Masculinity, and the Student Climate Movement
Jody Chan and Joe Curnow
 
10. Boys Will Be Boys (An Art Installation: Staged Wilderness and Male Dreams)
Nicola von Thurn

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Race, Sexuality Regions: Africa, Central Africa, Americas, Central America, North America, Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan, Nicaragua, United States of America

Year: 2017

Mujeres, Polifonías y Justicia Transicional en Colombia: Narrativas Afrocéntricas de la(s) Violencia(s) en el Conflicto Armado

Citation:

Garcia, Paula Medina. 2018. "Mujeres, Polifonías y Justicia Transicional en Colombia: Narrativas Afrocéntricas de la(s) Violencia(s) en el Conflicto Armado." Investigaciones Feministas 9 (2): 309-26.

Author: Paula Medina Garcia

Abstract:

SPANISH ABSTRACT:
A través de una lectura feminista interseccional del escenario de “postconflicto”/post-acuerdo en Colombia, este trabajo analiza: i) la violencia contra las mujeres en contextos de guerra como poder exhibido e instrumental; ii) el impacto de las violencias contra las mujeres afrodescendientes en el conflicto armado –para lo cual se ha utilizado tanto la información disponible del Registro Único de Víctimas (RUV) como los relatos de las víctimas; iii) las múltiples violencias superpuestas que sufren las mujeres afrodescendientes, como parte de un continuum, entendiendo la guerra como un escenario en el que éstas se encarnan y letalizan de forma pública; y iv) la justicia transicional como arena en disputa, especialmente a raíz de la firma de los Acuerdos de Paz. Para ello, se parte de las propias narrativas de las mujeres afrodescendientes como sujetos políticos activos en el proceso de justicia transicional –verdad, reparación y garantías de no repetición–. En esta línea, se parte de una revisión de la víctima qua víctima, adoptando una mirada constructivista de esta categoría –en un intento por superar concepciones esencialistas y paternalistas de la misma–, y abogando por la resignificación de la capacidad de agencia de dichas mujeres para retejer y disputar al Estado el control sobre los procesos de justicia, verdad, reparación y memoria. 
 
 
ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
Through a feminist and intersectional reading of the “post-conflict”/post-agreement context, this study analyses: i) the violence against women as an instrumental and displayed power in war contexts; ii) the impact of violences against afrodescendant women during the armed conflict, drawn from Official Victims’ Registries as well as from their own narratives; iii) the multiple overlapped violences that afrodescendant women suffer, as part of a continuum, understanding war as the setting where the violences are embodied and become more lethal publicly; iv) the transitional justice as contested arena, specially with the signing of the Peace Agreements. For that purpose, the work focuses in the narratives of afrodescendant women as political and active subjects in the transitional justice process, in order to provide truth, reparation and guarantees of non-repetition to victims. In this regard, it reads through the victim qua victim, assuming a constructivist approach to understand this category –as well as we try to overcome essentialist and patronizing perspectives. Finally, this research proposes the resignification of agency ability of these women to redefine and dispute over the State’s control of justice, truth, reparation, and memory processes.

Keywords: afrodescendant women, continuum of violences, transitional justice, Colombia, mujeres afrodescendientes, continuum de violencias, justicia transitional

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Justice, Reparations, Transitional Justice, Post-Conflict, Race, Peace Processes, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2018

Subverting Economic Empowerment: Towards a Postcolonial-Feminist Framework on Gender (In)Securities in Post-War Settings

Citation:

Martin de Almagro, Maria, and Caitlin Ryan. 2019. "Subverting Economic Empowerment: Towards a Postcolonial-Feminist Framework on Gender (In)Securities in Post-War Settings." European Journal of International Relations 25 (4): 1059-79.

Authors: Maria Martin De Almagro, Caitlin Ryan

Abstract:

This article demonstrates that the inability of the United Nations Women, Peace and Security agenda to realize greater peace and security for women in post-war states stems to a great extent from its failure to engage deeply with the materiality of women’s lives under economic empowerment projects. We argue that the Women, Peace and Security agenda reproduces a neoliberal understanding of economic empowerment that inadequately captures the reality of women’s lives in post-war settings for two reasons: first, it views formal and informal economic activities as dichotomous and separate, rather than as intertwined and constitutive of each other; and, second, it conceptualizes agency as individual, disembodied, abstract, universalizing and conforming to the requirements of the competitive pressures of the market. The article then offers a three-pronged postcolonial-feminist framework to analyse international interventions in which representation, materiality and agency are interconnected. We argue that such a framework helps understand better who is empowered in post-war economies and how they are empowered. This, in turn, makes visible how post-war economies produce gendered and racialized (in)securities that need to be addressed by the Women, Peace and Security agenda. With this, we also hope to reflect on broader international political economy concerns about the problems of making conceptual distinctions between politics and economics, and to challenge the constructed borders between materiality and discourse that have pervaded peace and conflict studies.

Keywords: discourse, feminist political economy, feminist security studies, gender, materiality, postcolonialism

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Economies, Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Gender, Women, Feminist Foreign Policy, Peace and Security, Political Economies, Post-Conflict, Race, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS

Year: 2019

Landscapes of Impunity and the Deaths of Americans LaVena Johnson and Sandra Bland

Citation:

Dowler, Lorraine, and Jenna Christian. 2019. "Landscapes of Impunity and the Deaths of Americans LaVena Johnson and Sandra Bland." Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography 26 (6): 813-29.

Authors: Lorraine Dowler, Jenna Christian

Abstract:

On July 19th, 2005, American Army Private First Class LaVena Johnson died in Balad, Iraq, just 8 days shy of her 20th birthday. On July 13th, 2015, almost 10 years later, 28-year-old Sandra Bland’s life came to an abrupt end in a jail cell in Waller County, Texas. Both women’s deaths were ruled suicides, and both women’s families and friends reject these judgments. Instead, they insinuate foul play by the state, which directly governed the militarized spaces within which the women both died. At first glance, these women appear to have had very different life trajectories, one a United States soldier and the other a Black Lives Matter activist. However, in both of their cases, the ruling of the suspicious deaths as suicides illustrates the state’s attempt to render their deaths banal, and thereby diminish the state’s own culpability. In understanding the unremitting acts of violence, on women’s bodies, especially women of color, this paper focuses on how a Black feminist praxis extends feminist notions of an ethics of care.

Keywords: care, gender, military violence, police violence, race

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, Feminisms, Justice, Impunity, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Race, Violence Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2019

Pages

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