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Weapons /Arms

Social Capital and Dispute Resolution in Informal Areas of Cairo and Istanbul


Belge, Ceren, and Lisa Blaydes. 2014. "Social Capital and Dispute Resolution in Informal Areas of Cairo and Istanbul." Studies In Comparative International Development 49 (4): 448-76.

Authors: Ceren Belge, Lisa Blaydes

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Violence, Weapons /Arms Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa, Asia, Middle East, Europe, Southern Europe Countries: Egypt, Turkey

Year: 2014

A Feminist Approach to Hybridity: Understanding Local and International Interactions in Producing Post-Conflict Gender Security


McLeod, Laura. 2015. “A Feminist Approach to Hybridity: Understanding Local and International Interactions in Producing Post-Conflict Gender Security.” Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 9 (1): 48–69. doi:10.1080/17502977.2014.980112.

Author: Laura McLeod


Recently, the concept of hybridity has become popular within critical peacebuilding scholarship to explain the interplay of power between local and international actors in post-conflict contexts. However, a nuanced gender lens has often been missing from these analyses. This article develops a feminist critique and approach to hybridity in order to achieve a deeper sense of the effects that experiences and perspectives of international and local actors have upon peacebuilding initiatives. It begins to develop a feminist approach to hybridity via a case study of a gender security initiative concerned with challenging the prevalence of small arms and light weapons (SALW) abuse in domestic violence in Serbia. The article concludes by highlighting how this feminist perspective allows a richer understanding of the power relations shaping local and international interactions.

Keywords: feminism, hybridity, gender security, local, international

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Security, Weapons /Arms Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Serbia

Year: 2015

Feminisms in the Aftermath of September 11


Eisenstein, Zilliah. 2002. Feminisms In The Aftermath Of September 11. Social Text 20 (3): 79-99.

Author: Zilliah Eisenstein


This essay is about how women's rights as a complicated discourse, and the burkha as a complex symbolic, are the sites from which to understand the complexity of global power struggles at this moment. But first a note of context is necessary to clear some space for thinking—openly, critically, historically—in terms of a before and after of September 11. September 11 has not changed everything. It has just made clear how much context and perspective and location matter. Ask the people of Chile about September 11—when their beloved president, Salvador Allende, was gunned down in a coup d'état supported by the United States. Ask them the meaning of trauma and grief. Think back to the Gulf War and U.S. militarist terrorism of its smart bombs. Think across and beyond to the children of Iraq, today, this minute, who need cancer drugs or textbooks for their schools and cannot have them because of the economic sanctions imposed on their country. Do what women always do—multitask, so that you are not simply concentrated on yourself, or the United States, or this moment.

Keywords: gender analysis, gender and conflict, middle east, iran, September 11, constructivism and gender, feminism, Iraq, MENA

Topics: Development, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Health, PTSD, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Religion, Security, Human Security, Sexuality, Violence, Weapons /Arms Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iran, Iraq

Year: 2002

Sex and Drone Strikes: Gender and Identity in Targeting and Casualty Analysis


Acheson, Ray, Richard Moyes, and Thomas Nash. 2014. Sex and Drone Strikes: Gender and identity in targeting and casualty analysis. London: Article 36; New York: Reaching Critical Will.

Authors: Ray Acheson, Richard Moyes, Thomas Nash


This paper addresses concerns that the sex of individuals is being used as a signifier to designate people as militants in drone strike targeting decisions and post-strike analysis of casualties. Lack of transparency around armed drone operations makes it difficult to know what standards are used to determine how individuals come to constitute a legal target in the eyes of armed drone users. However, there are some indications that the United States uses maleness as a signifier of militancy. The blanket categorisation of adult men as militants raises moral, legal, social, and policy concerns in a number of areas:

• It erodes the protection that civilians should be afforded in armed conflict and violates many human rights, including the rights to life and due process;

• It undermines accurate casualty recording, which is a crucial basis for military, legal, and political analysis of attacks and for evaluating the use of force more generally;

• It suggests that sex can be taken as a key signifier of identity, which constitutes a form of gender-based violence and has broader implications in the reinforcement of gender essentialisms and problematic associations of masculinity with violence; and

• It sets a precedent for blanket categorisations of people, which may have problematic implications as certain states move to develop and deploy weapons systems operating with greater autonomy in the identification of targets.

The identification of people as objects for attack will always be fraught with challenges and difficulties, but using sex or gender to systematically remove a person’s claim to protection as a civilian is unacceptable.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Rights, Human Rights, Violence, Weapons /Arms

Year: 2014

Real Men Use Nonlethals: Appeals to Masculinity in Marketing Police Weaponry


Wozniak, Jesse, and Christopher Uggen. 2009. “Real Men Use Nonlethals: Appeals to Masculinity in Marketing Police Weaponry.” Feminist Criminology 4 (3): 275–93. doi:10.1177/1557085109332676.

Authors: Jesse Wozniak, Christopher Uggen


In recent years, a range of new nonlethal weapons have been introduced for use by police officers, military personnel, and other consumers. This article examines how manufacturers are employing ideals of masculinity as both physical dominance and technical expertise in marketing these weapons to police officials. Based on a case study of a major weapons manufacturer’s educational and sales conference, the authors explore how marketing appeals are adapted to suit a hypermasculine police subculture. Connell’s theory of masculinities is employed to understand how such a tightly defined subculture absorbs challenges to its core values of hegemonic hypermasculinity and reimagines itself to keep those core values intact.

Keywords: weapons, policing, masculinity, Connell, justice, stun guns, conducted energy device, police habitus, gender and policing

Topics: Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Weapons /Arms Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2009

Women Without Arms: Gendered Fighter Constructions in Eritrea and Southern Sudan


Weber, Annette. 2011. “Women Without Arms: Gendered Fighter Constructions in Eritrea and Southern Sudan.” International Journal of Conflict and Violence 5 (2): 357–70.

Author: Annette Weber


An analysis of gendered fighter constructions in the liberation movements in Eritrea and southern Sudan (EPLF and SPLA/M), examining the question of female access to the sphere of masculine fighter constructs and the relevance of this for influence in peacetime affairs. Empirical research in both countries, in particular interviews with participants, reveals that what keeps women out of the sphere of legitimized violence is not some “inherent peacefulness,” but the exclusivist construct of the masculine fighter, which is supported by society. This makes it hard for women to participate in war, and especially to gain full fighter status. An intrinsic link is found between fighter status and access to power in post-conflict state-building from which women, being unable to gain full fighter status, are largely excluded.

Topics: Armed Conflict, National Liberation Wars, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Post-Conflict, Violence, Weapons /Arms Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Eritrea, South Sudan

Year: 2011

Destruction and Delight: World War II Combat Photography and the Aesthetic Inscription of Masculine Identity


Vettel-Becker, Patricia. 2002. “Destruction and Delight: World War II Combat Photography and the Aesthetic Inscription of Masculine Identity.” Men and Masculinities 5 (1): 80–102.

Author: Patricia Vettel-Becker


During World War II, the American public was inundated with photographs of war. This article examines the iconography of war as revealed in photographs from the Pacific arena, identifying four primary motifs: the transformation of boys into warrior men, the fetishization of weaponry, the spectacle of death, and the quest to penetrate and dominate nature. War is a territorial game played by men to enact dominance, a social performance that inscribes gender identities on human bodies. War, like masculinity, is predicated on the subjugation of the feminine, which is encoded in the body and territory of the enemy, an inscription even more extreme when the enemy is of another race. These photographs enact the play of domination and subjugation through the imagery of impenetrability and rapability, thus contributing to the propagandistic construction of the enemy and extending the voyeuristic pleasures of domination to those not able to experience it firsthand.

Keywords: masculinity, combat photography, World War II, Edward Steichen, violence, atomic bomb

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Male Combatants, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Race, Sexual Violence, Rape, Weapons /Arms Regions: Americas, North America, Asia Countries: United States of America

Year: 2002

Putting ‘Mercenary Masculinities’ on the Research Agenda


Higate, Paul. 2009. “Putting ‘Mercenary Masculinities’ on the Research Agenda.” SPAIS Working Paper 03-09, School of Sociology, Politics, and International Studies, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.

Author: Paul Higate


Private Military Security Companies (PMSC) have come increasingly to supplant the activities of regular, national militaries - most notably in such contexts as Iraq and Afghanistan. Though a wide scholarship has addressed questions of legitimacy, regulation and control of PMSCs, critical commentators on gender have almost entirely overlooked the masculinised cultures of these private firms, the majority of which employ former military personnel. This is surprising since masculine norms, values and cultures shape private contractors security practices and can be used to explain human rights abuses, as well as the everyday ways in which these men imagine security. In these terms, the key critical issue concerns what is missed when masculinity is ignored in analyses of PMSCs, a question that is taken up in this working paper within the context of a potential research agenda for this topic of research.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Masculinism, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Rights, Human Rights, Security, Violence, Weapons /Arms

Year: 2009


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