Political Science Gender and International Relations
by
Karen Brown
  • LAST MODIFIED: 27 April 2017
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756223-0211

Introduction

Gender analysis offers a distinct perspective on international relations in provoking a new set of questions. Early feminist international relations (IR) theorists joined other critical approaches to the field in interrogating the traditional conceptual terrain of IR scholarship in the 1980s, including states and sovereignty, national security, war, economic development and trade, globalization. Feminist scholarship represented an integral element of the critical foment of the “fourth debate” and its examination of international relations through a post-positivist lens. Scholars who focused on questions of gender and international relations brought a common commitment to understanding how social relations of masculinity and femininity, of gender identities and sexualities, of gender difference, are implicated in international politics. What “work” does gender do in international relations? Gender analysis provides a counterpoint to mainstream (or “malestream”) IR by asking two separate but closely interrelated questions: where are the women? how do gendered power relations undergird and shape the substance of international politics? These questions have led to a broad and diverse body of feminist IR scholarship that offers a reformulation of traditional IR topics as well as a new range of research subjects previously regarded as outside the scope of IR. One of the early tasks of feminist IR scholars was the establishment of a body of research on women, a necessary corrective to a field focused almost exclusively on the experiences of men and masculinist/male-dominated institutions and practices. This work helped to make a case for hegemonic masculinity. In addition, these scholars have demonstrated that investigation of gender as a means of social differentiation linked to power hierarchies in international relations reveals a more complex and varied conceptual and empirical terrain. From the early interventions when “adding women” represented a radical move in international relations scholarship, an interdisciplinary and extensive body of work now addresses analyses of gender and sexualities in international relations across subject areas, methodologies, and theoretical frameworks. Gender analyses include not only feminist theory, but also queer theory and a recent emphasis on masculinities and IR.

General Works

Early general works attempted to pose the question of gender in IR. Enloe 1989 reveals the lack of attention to both women and gender relations in the broad range of international politics from daily lived experience to international institutions. Grant and Newland 1991 and Peterson 1992 examine how gender constitutes IR theories and concepts. Sylvester 1994 emphasizes postmodern feminist frameworks. Tickner 2001 examines changes in IR and international politics at the end of the Cold War from a feminist perspective. As the field develops, Ackerly, et al. 2006 considers issues in feminist IR methodology. Tickner and Sjoberg 2011 evaluates the state of feminist IR by creating conversations between contemporary work and foundational thinkers in the field. Tickner 2014 chronicles the development of the field through the author’s writings.

  • Ackerly, Brooke, Maria Stern, and Jacqui True, eds. Feminist Methodologies for International Relations. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

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    Essays consider ontology, epistemology, ethics, and methods in a critical feminist methodology for IR research to both advance understanding and enable a normative grounding in the goal of advancing justice. Themes include inclusion/exclusion, marginalized sites and identities, analysis of silences, and collectively generated theory.

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  • Enloe, Cynthia. Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics. London: Pandora, 1989.

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    A pathbreaking work asking “where are the women?” that has provoked early conversations about gender and IR. Applying a gender lens, the book offers detailed accounts of how femininity, masculinity, and gendered power relations shape issues from trade to military alliances. Excellent entry point for understanding how “gender makes the world go round.”

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  • Grant, Rebecca, and Kathleen Newland, eds. Gender and International Relations. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991.

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    Reflecting early developments in a growing field of gendered analyses of international relations, this book is based, in part, on papers from the special issue of Millennium: Journal of International Studies in 1988 that marked a crucial early expression of scholarship on women and IR. In addition to reflections on feminist epistemology and the gendered elements of IR theory, contributions include several case studies related to women in development.

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  • Peterson, V. Spike, ed. Gendered States: Feminist (Re)Visions of International Relations Theory. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1992.

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    Collection of papers from a key 1990 conference in building the field of feminist IR scholarship. Essays focus on the ways in which gender is constitutive of the key IR concepts and frameworks, including sovereignty, anarchy, and security.

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  • Sylvester, Christine. Feminist Theory and International Relations in a Postmodern Era. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

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    A key text in understanding the contributions of feminist theorizing to the development of IR as an academic field. Sylvester argues for feminist insights to the foundational concepts of IR, and its second and third debates, with a particular emphasis on developing a postmodern feminist perspective and the “empathetic cooperation” it enables.

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  • Tickner, J. Ann. Gendering World Politics: Issues and Approaches in the Post–Cold War Era. New York: Columbia University Press, 2001.

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    Assessment of where feminist work sat in IR field as world politics after the Cold War shifted to issues beyond traditional IR concerns of states and national security. Empirical, normative, and methodological implications of feminism for IR pair with examples of what feminist frameworks reveal in areas including economic globalization and democratization.

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  • Tickner, J. Ann. A Feminist Voyage through International Relations. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

    DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199951246.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »

    A collection of essays chronicling developments in feminist IR through the writings of Ann Tickner from 1988 to 2014, a central voice in the founding and development of the field. Includes seminal essays in which Tickner highlights key contributions of feminist work.

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  • Tickner, J. Ann, and Laura Sjoberg, eds. Feminism and International Relations: Conversations about the Past, Present and Future. New York: Routledge, 2011.

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    Contemporary feminist IR research essays placed in conversation with foundational thinkers in the field. Content ranges from human rights and technologies of war to the global political economy of beauty. Creates intentional dialogue on evolution of feminist IR and provides a model for field-shaping scholarly discourse linked to policy considerations.

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Textbooks

Recent textbooks (several updated versions of widely used texts) offer a variety of lenses to understand gender and IR. Runyan and Peterson 2013 uses gender and intersectionality to examine power and resistance in world politics. Steans 2013 provides a comprehensive overview of the field and a rich collection of teaching resources. Paxton and Hughes 2017 takes a global perspective on women in politics. Shepherd 2015, collection of topical essays, surveys the field.

  • Paxton, Pamela M., and Melanie M. Hughes. Women, Politics, and Power: A Global Perspective. 3d ed. Los Angeles: SAGE, 2017.

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    This third edition offers a general global overview of women in politics, with a focus on questions of power, representation, inclusion and marginalization, and international and regional specificities. A useful basic text for courses focused on international surveys of gender and politics.

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  • Runyan, Anne Sisson, and V. Spike Peterson. Global Gender Issues in the New Millennium. Boulder, CO: Westview, 2013.

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    Examines world politics using gender and intersectional lenses, emphasizing power, hierarchies, and resistance. Topics include gendered global governance, violence and security, labor and resources as well as pathways to “ungender” world politics (including transnational solidarities); a textbook for feminist studies, international relations, or international public policy.

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  • Shepherd, Laura J. Gender Matters in Global Politics: A Feminist Introduction to International Relations. New York: Routledge, 2015.

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    Comprehensive edited collection of thirty-one topical essays providing an excellent introduction to key theories, concepts, and themes from feminist theoretical frameworks, ethics, identities, and institutions to technology in global politics. Text for gender and global politics courses at introductory or advanced levels; chapters contain learning objectives, discussion questions, and further readings.

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  • Steans, Jill. Gender and International Relations: Theory, Practice, Policy. 3d ed. Cambridge, UK: Polity, 2013.

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    Third edition of textbook provides a comprehensive survey of gender and international relations with extensive and detailed current examples. In addition to the accessible text that draws together a wide range of scholarship, Steans provides a range of useful materials, including class questions and activities, a glossary of key terms, and suggested additional readings and websites for courses in global politics or gender studies.

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Journals

International relations scholarly journals have increasingly included contributions employing gender as an analytical category. However, feminist research is not deeply integrated across the academic field of international relations and is often published in journals specializing in gender analysis. Several exemplary, general journals focused on feminist scholarship are cited here.

Emergence of the Field

Scholarship using gender as a central analytic category is a relatively recent addition to the academic field of international relations. Beginning in the 1980s, the literature on gender and international relations has grown and diversified. The contours of the literature emerged during early debates over concepts and frameworks, later critiques and refinements, and expanded understandings of gender analysis.

Early Debates

Bringing an innovative perspective to the field in the 1980s and 1990s, feminist scholars of international relations engaged in debates and critical engagements with proponents of other approaches to IR in several key journals. These engagements, including some journal special issues, highlight early contributions of feminist work in rethinking core concepts of IR, such as security, the state, the global economy, and challenging the ontological and epistemological underpinnings of the field. Halliday 1988 appears in the special issue of Millennium on “Women and International Relations” in marking the emergence of a field of scholarship on women, gender, and IR. A decade later, Spivak 1998 introduces a reevaluation of the field in a second special issue of Millennium on “Gendering the International” that included linking academic IR to international policy issues. The International Studies Quarterly debate between the authors of Tickner 1997 and Keohane 1998 illustrates key issues in the relationship of feminist and mainstream IR approaches. Mohanty 1991, a seminal work on decolonizing feminism, argues for decentering Western feminist theory in IR. Revisiting this framework, Mohanty 2003 (cited under Critiques of the Developing Field) epitomizes a turn to feminist struggles in the face of global capital. Jones 1996 argues against equating gender with women in the study of IR.

  • Halliday, Fred. “Hidden from International Relations: Women and the International Arena.” In Special Issue: Women and International Relations. Millennium: Journal of International Studies 17.1 (1988): 419–428.

    DOI: 10.1177/03058298880170030701Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Introduction to a special issue that represents a crucial moment in launching a gender and IR research agenda. Highlights the failure of IR as a field to make women visible and consider gender in analysis.

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  • Jones, Adam. “Does ‘Gender’ Make the World Go Round? Feminist Critiques of International Relations.” Review of International Studies 22.4 (1996): 405–429.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0260210500118649Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Important critical engagement in debates around feminist IR. Feminist work is credited with introducing gender analysis and highlighting women’s realities and critiqued as using an overly simplistic “gender variable” that equates gender with women. Argues for a more nuanced gender variable that considers male experience.

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  • Keohane, Robert O. “Beyond Dichotomy: Conversations between International Relations and Feminist Theory.” International Studies Quarterly 42.1 (1998): 193–197.

    DOI: 10.1111/0020-8833.00076Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Response to Tickner 1997 in which Keohane offers a critique of Tickner’s framework and ultimately suggests that feminist research, while important to the field of IR, must utilize scientific method (testing hypotheses with evidence) to engage conventional IR. Suggestive of broad outlines of debates among feminist IR and mainstream IR.

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  • Mohanty, Chandra Talpade. “Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses.” In Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism. Edited by Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Ann Russo, and Lourdes Torres, 51–80. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991.

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    Seminal critique of Western feminist theory and discursive production of a singular and monolithic oppressed “Third World Woman.” This piece offers an analysis of how hegemonic Western theory enables universalized conceptions of patriarchy. Discusses the failure of Western feminism to recognize political implications of essentializing and appropriating heterogeneous experiences of cultural “others.”

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  • Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. “Gender and International Studies.” In Special Issue: Gendering the International. Millennium: Journal of International Studies 27.4 (1998): 809–831.

    DOI: 10.1177/03058298980270041001Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Exemplar of the turn to postcolonial and critical theory connected to feminist IR work. Appears in a special issue of Millennium on “Gendering the International” that reassesses the state of gender analysis a decade after the 1988 special issue (Halliday 1988).

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  • Tickner, J. Ann. “You Just Don’t Understand: Troubled Engagements between Feminist and IR Theorists.” International Studies Quarterly 41.4 (1997): 611–632.

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    Describes the uneasy fit of feminist research with conventional, positivist IR, focusing on ontology (what is IR?) and epistemology (what is theory and what kinds of knowledge do we seek to produce?). Outlining feminist perspectives on security, the article suggests contours for a feminist IR research agenda.

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Critiques of the Developing Field

As critical feminist scholarship developed into an increasingly large body of literature, critiques of both the early works and the responses in other areas of IR signal key issues and concepts. Mohanty 2003 revisits the terrain of postcolonial and feminist theory. Youngs 2004 prefaces an important series of commentaries by providing an overview of the state of the field of feminist IR. In considering the relationship of feminist work to other fields of IR, Waylen 2006 looks to international political economy, while Locher and Prügl 2001 considers constructivist IR. Carpenter 2002 and Carver 2003 outline an important debate about the relationship between gender analysis and feminism.

  • Carpenter, R. Charli. “Gender Theory in World Politics: Contributions of a Nonfeminist Standpoint.” International Studies Review 4.3 (2002): 153–165.

    DOI: 10.1111/1521-9488.00269Save Citation »Export Citation »

    This review essay argues for an “explanatory gender theory” that is not based on a feminist normative position and calls for a more broadly based use of gender analysis.

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  • Carver, Terrell. “Gender/Feminism/IR.” International Studies Review 5.2 (2003): 287–302.

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    Forum offering space for debates on “Gender and International Relations” that arose, in part, as a response to Carpenter 2002, which interrogates the relationships among feminism, feminist IR, gender analysis, and “non-feminist” IR.

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  • Locher, Birgit, and Elisabeth Prügl. “Feminism and Constructivism: Worlds Apart or Sharing the Middle Ground?” International Studies Quarterly 45.1 (2001): 111–129.

    DOI: 10.1111/0020-8833.00184Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Extending analysis of feminist IR and other approaches to the field to the “constructivist turn,” this article argues for common ground between feminist and constructivist work while also positing distinct advantages to the feminist lens on the social and political dimensions of knowledge production.

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  • Mohanty, Chandra Talpade. “‘Under Western Eyes’ Revisited: Feminist Solidarity through Anticapitalist Struggles.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 28.2 (2003): 499–535.

    DOI: 10.1086/342914Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Building on earlier work on decolonizing feminism (in Mohanty 1991, cited under Early Debates), this article argues for the heightened necessity of cross-national feminist solidarity to critique and resist global capitalism.

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  • Waylen, Georgina. “You Still Don’t Understand: Why Troubled Engagements Continue between Feminists and (Critical) IPE.” Review of International Studies 32.1 (2006): 145–164.

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    Drawing upon the analysis of difficult conversations in Tickner 1997 (cited under Early Debates), this article offers a similar approach to understanding the lack of deep engagement between mainstream and—despite apparently more compatible approaches—critical international political economy (IPE) scholars and feminist IPE scholars. Argues for a gendered analysis of globalization.

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  • Youngs, Gillian. “Feminist International Relations: A Contradiction in Terms? Or: Why Women and Gender Are Essential to Understanding the World ‘We’ Live In.” International Affairs 80.1 (2004): 75–87.

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    An overview of the field of feminist IR as a starting point for a series of commentaries sponsored by the International Feminist Journal of Politics and International Affairs.

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Men, Masculinities, and International Relations

As gender analysis in IR developed, attention to women was joined with a focus on gender understood as relational and connected to power and hierarchy. This broader framework of gender relations included analyses of masculinities as well as men’s experiences. Cohn 1987 includes pathbreaking IR analysis of militarized masculinity. Zalewski and Parpart 1998 and Hooper 2001 offer wide-ranging and early contributions to this area. Jones 1996 and Carpenter 2006 argue for a specific focus on men’s experiences. Kirby and Henry 2012 introduces a collection using the conceptual framework of masculinity and violence to understand various cases of international conflict and violence.

  • Carpenter, Charli. “Recognizing Gender-Based Violence against Civilian Men and Boys in Conflict Situations.” Security Dialogue 37.1 (2006): 83–103.

    DOI: 10.1177/0967010606064139Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Argues that gender-based violence against men in its specific forms must be included in a human security agenda both in international relations scholarship and in practice.

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  • Cohn, Carol. “Sex and Death in the Rational World of Defense Intellectuals.” Signs 12.4 (1987): 687–718.

    DOI: 10.1086/494362Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Influential early work on militarized masculinity. Reveals gendered security discourses through analysis of technostrategic language of defense intellectuals.

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  • Hooper, Charlotte. Manly States: Masculinities, International Relations and Gender Politics. New York: Columbia University Press, 2001.

    DOI: 10.7312/hoop12074Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Provides a comprehensive discussion of scholarship on gender and masculinities in IR and argues for the mutual constitution of IR and gendered hierarchies.

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  • Jones, Adam. “Does ‘Gender’ Make the World Go Round? Feminist Critiques of International Relations.” Review of International Studies 22.4 (1996): 405–429.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0260210500118649Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Argues that feminist IR work, while offering the important addition of gender analysis and understanding women’s experiences, relies upon a “gender variable” that equates gender with women. Makes a case for a more nuanced gender variable that includes male experiences.

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  • Kirby, Paul, and Marsha Henry. “Rethinking Masculinity and Practices of Violence in Conflict Settings.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 14.4 (2012): 445–449.

    DOI: 10.1080/14616742.2012.726091Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Introduction to a collection of articles considering the relationship among masculinity, violence, and international conflict. Considers a range of empirical cases on soldiers, policing, international assistance, and other topics ant their varied, contested, and unstable linkages between masculinity and violence.

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  • Zalewski, Marysia, and Jane Parpart, eds. The “Man” Question in International Relations. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1998.

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    This volume offers an early overview of debates on and approaches to the question of gender and masculinities in IR.

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Sexualities and International Relations

While gender analysis and feminist theorizing in IR has typically attended to questions of sexualities, sexualities and related theoretical frameworks from queer theory and trans theory have shaped a growing literature. Altman 2001 offers an early work connecting the phenomenon of globalization with sexuality. Puar 2007 is an early monograph using queer theory to understand key IR institutions and discourses. A significant body of work focuses on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights: Kollman and Waites 2009 reviews work on LGBT global advocacy, including norms and networks. Picq and Thiel 2015 gives a sense of work in this area in a wide-ranging volume of various case studies. Rao 2014 looks more broadly at implications of posing questions of gender and sexuality in international politics. Weber and Sjoberg 2015 offers a useful set of essays on contemporary IR thinking related to queer theory. Picq and Thiel 2015, an edited collection, applies lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning (LGBTQ) perspectives to a series of IR case studies. Hagen 2016 expands view gendered violence and United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 through a queer security analysis.

  • Altman, Dennis. Global Sex. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001.

    DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226016047.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »

    An early treatment of the globalization of sexual identities. Connects globalized sexuality to international political economy. Addresses a wide range of issues, including HIV/AIDS, in the context of globalization.

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  • Hagen, Jamie. “Queering Women, Peace and Security.” International Affairs 92.2 (2016): 313–332.

    DOI: 10.1111/1468-2346.12551Save Citation »Export Citation »

    An analysis of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 demonstrates that binary conception of gender excludes insecurity and violence connected to sexual orientations or gender identities other than “woman.” Argues that queer security analysis expands the understanding of gendered violence beyond heteronormative framing.

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  • Kollman, Kelly, and Matthew Waites. “The Global Politics of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Human Rights: An Introduction.” In Special Issue: The Global Politics of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Human Rights. Contemporary Politics 15.1 (2009): 1–17.

    DOI: 10.1080/13569770802674188Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Introduction to special issue on global LGBT organizing and advocacy exploring both political developments and academic approaches. While not focused exclusively on IR, addresses key IR themes of transnational advocacy, global norms, and networks using the lens of LGBT rights.

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  • Picq, Manuela Lavinas, and Markus Thiel, eds. Sexualities in World Politics: How LGBTQ Claims Shape International Relations. London: Routledge, 2015.

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    Part of a growing literature on sexualities and global politics, this edited collection explores how LGBTQ perspectives help to shape both the practice and the study of IR. The volume has a primary focus on issues related to LGBT rights. Chapter case studies include analysis of LGBT rights and related issues in intergovernmental organizations and in various cultural and national contexts.

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  • Puar, Jasbir K. Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2007.

    DOI: 10.1215/9780822390442Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Examines the relationship of sexualities to discourses of nationalism, militarism, and securitization in the context of the global War on Terror through the concept of homonationalism. Argues that queer subjects of the liberal state function to distinguish US terrorists from racialized terrorists.

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  • Rao, Rahul. “Queer Questions.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 16.2 (2014): 199–217.

    DOI: 10.1080/14616742.2014.901817Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Draws a relationship between the “woman question” and queer questions in international politics. The author uses human rights claims linked to gender identity and sexuality as one entry point to understanding the uneasy linkage of the two sets of questions.

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  • Weber, Cynthia, and Laura Sjoberg, eds. “Forum: Queer International Relations.” International Studies Review 16.4 (2015): 596–622.

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    Collection of essays on queer IR. Weber’s overview of queer international relations theories and concepts includes a useful list of possible queer IR research themes and questions and examples of relevant work. Considers ontological, epistemological, and methodological implications of queer IR.

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Gender and Security

Feminist international security scholars use a gender lens to highlight the masculinist nature of the theories, concepts, and institutions central to security studies. Prior to the 1980s, women—as well as attention to gender relations—were largely absent from analyses of international security, war, and other militarized forms of conflict. An emerging body of scholarship reshaped debates in the field.

General Works on Gender and International Security

Cohn 1987 offers a pathbreaking analysis of gendered security discourses that began to open space for consideration of gender in international security. In a special journal issue, Hansen and Olsson 2004 offers a glimpse into emerging issues of analysis and methodological debates. Hudson 2005 argues for alternative feminist perspectives (e.g., African feminisms) to overcome universalist tendencies of security studies. Hudson, et al, 2008 offers a less common empirical, statistical analysis of the connection of gender and state security. Lobasz 2009 exemplifies how gender analysis broadens the scope of security studies to include questions such as human trafficking. Sjoberg 2010 provides a wide-ranging view of the field. Okech and Olonisakin 2011 brings to bear gender analysis from African academics and activists. Detraz 2012 captures the scope of the field using a framework of gender, security, and emancipation.

  • Cohn, Carol. “Sex and Death in the Rational World of Defense Intellectuals.” Signs 12.4 (1987): 687–718.

    DOI: 10.1086/494362Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Influential early analysis of gendered security discourses through the lens of the technostrategic language of defense intellectuals. The article offers a critique of militarized masculinity and disembodied rationality as pervasive dimensions of strategic security language.

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  • Detraz, Nicole. International Security and Gender. Cambridge, UK: Polity, 2012.

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    Provides a broad overview of the field of international security studies and argues for the importance of gender analysis in understanding questions of militarization, terrorism, peacekeeping, and human security by linking concepts of gender, security, and emancipation.

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  • Hansen, Lene, and Louise Olsson. “Introduction.” In Special Issue: Gender and Security. Edited by Lene Hansen and Louise Olsson. Security Dialogue 35.4 (2004): 405–409.

    DOI: 10.1177/0967010604049519Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Introduces a special issue of essays on issues in gender and international security studies. Women and political violence, girl soldiers, gender and peace support operations, and a debate on the relationship along democracy, human rights, and women’s insecurity feature among the topics in this issue framed by “interlinked concepts of security” connecting individual experiences to global processes.

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  • Hudson, Heidi. “Doing Security as Though Humans Matter: A Feminist Perspective on Gender and the Politics of Human Security.” Security Dialogue 36.2 (2005): 155–174.

    DOI: 10.1177/0967010605054642Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Explores universalizing tendencies and silences in various fields of security studies, offers an analysis of gender and security as complementary concepts, and suggests that alternative feminist perspectives, such as African feminisms, hold promise for rethinking security.

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  • Hudson, Valerie M., Mary Caprioli, Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill, Rose McDermott, and Chad F. Emmett. “The Heart of the Matter: The Security of Women and the Security of States.” International Security 33.3 (2008): 7–45.

    DOI: 10.1162/isec.2009.33.3.7Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Empirical and statistical analysis of the relationship between the physical security of women and the peacefulness of the states they inhabit. The authors argue for a strong positive correlation between women’s security and state security, noting that existing data preclude findings about causality.

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  • Lobasz, Jennifer. “Beyond Border Security: Feminist Approaches to Human Trafficking.” Security Studies 18.2 (2009): 319–344.

    DOI: 10.1080/09636410902900020Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Expanding the view of international security, this piece analyzes human trafficking beyond the framework of state security and border violations. A gender lens refocuses attention in the security of trafficked persons and social constructions of trafficking.

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  • Okech, Awino, and Funmi Olonisakin, eds. Women and Security Governance in Africa. Cape Town: Pambazuka, 2011.

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    A collection by African academics and activists analyzing African security institutions and practices from a gender perspective. Despite the prominence of human security frameworks, the book makes the case that women remain marginalized and must be made central to reconstructed understandings of security.

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  • Sjoberg, Laura, ed. Gender and International Security: Feminist Perspectives. New York: Routledge, 2010.

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    This edited volume examines how gender and gendered relations of power are largely absent from, yet central to, international security studies, actors, and institutions. It showcases key contributions of feminist analysis in various areas. Several chapters had been included in a special issue of the journal Security Studies 18.2 (2009).

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Debates and Dialogue on Gendered Security

With the development of the field, debates shaped momentum going forward. Sylvester 2010 outlines several axes of tension, including the central notion of culture and difference. Sjoberg, et al. 2011 offers a state-of-the-field analysis to which a collection of essays, Shepherd 2013, responds with a critique focused on questions of power, privilege, and voice. Wibben 2011 makes a case for narrative methodologies. Sjoberg, et al. 2015 broadens application of gender and queer theories to understanding constitutions of “crisis” in global politics.

  • Shepherd, Laura J. “The State of Feminist Security Studies: Continuing the Conversation.” In Special Issue: Feminism in International Relations. International Studies Perspectives 14.4 (2013): 436–439.

    DOI: 10.1111/insp.12055Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Introduction to a forum in a special issue on feminism in IR. Responds to Elias 2015 (cited under Gender and International Political Economy) by emphasizing multiple voices and perspectives that make up feminist security studies beyond the Global North and English-language venues and offering a critique considering power, position, and voice.

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  • Sjoberg, Laura, Heidi Hudson, and Cynthia Weber. “Gender and Crisis in Global Politics: Introduction.” In Special Issue: Gender and Crisis in Global Politics. International Feminist Journal of Politics 17.4 (2015): 529–535.

    DOI: 10.1080/14616742.2015.1088218Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Introduces a special issue focused on gender and queer theory perspectives on crises in global politics. The issue includes feminist analyses of what is understood as a crisis or not a crisis, including global economic and development issues. Feminist solutions to crises are also examined.

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  • Sjoberg, Laura, Jennifer Lobasz, J. Ann Tickner, et al. “The State of Feminist Security Studies: A Conversation.” Politics and Gender 7.4 (2011): 573–604.

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    This set of essays maps the development of the field of feminist security studies and its possible future directions. Focused primarily on US-based feminist security studies.

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  • Stern, Maria, and Annick Wibben, eds. “A Decade of Feminist Security Studies Revisited.” Security Dialogue (2015).

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    A virtual collection of key contributions on gender, security, and war published in the journal Security Dialogue. Available online by purchase or subscription.

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  • Sylvester, Christine. “Tensions in Feminist Security Studies.” Security Dialogue 41.6 (2010): 607–614.

    DOI: 10.1177/0967010610388206Save Citation »Export Citation »

    An overview of issues provoking intrafield tensions, including the relationship between feminist research and peace/war, and varying perspectives on culture and difference.

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  • Wibben, Annick T. R. Feminist Security Studies: A Narrative Approach. New York: Routledge, 2011.

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    Suggests reframing of international security studies from a feminist perspective and using narrative methodologies (focusing on language and meaning) to understand security policy and practice.

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Gender and War

Elshtain and Tobias 1990 offers an early and influential collection of essays explicating feminist political theory questions related to war. Enloe 1993 considers the specific context of the end of the Cold War and its implications for gender and military analysis. Sharoni 1995 brings a focus on women’s lived experiences and political practices in relation to international conflict. Goldstein 2003 is important as an early mainstream IR analysis connecting gender and war. Cohn 2013 is an edited collection on specific war and conflict situations from the perspective of women. Cooke and Woolacott 2014 is an edited collection focused on gendered representations of war, including various forms of cultural production. Jones 2009 emphasizes men and masculinity in mass killings.

  • Cohn, Carol, ed. Women and Wars: Contested Histories, Uncertain Futures. Cambridge, UK: Polity, 2013.

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    A collection of essays on gender, women, and war, with various chapters addressing specific dimensions of war, military institutions, and post-conflict situations and the presence and stories of women in these sites. Authors include academic experts and international practitioners.

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  • Cooke, Miriam, and Angela Woolacott, eds. Gendering War Talk. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2014.

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    Essays by a multidisciplinary and international group of authors concerned with men’s and women’s experiences of war and gendered images and representations of war as expressed in stories, film, literature, history, philosophy, and psychology. Paperback reprint of the original 1993 version.

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  • Elshtain, Jean Bethke, and Sheila Tobias, eds. Women, Militarism, and War: Essays in History, Politics, and Social Theory. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 1990.

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    Situated within, and revealing of debates on feminist theory and understandings of war and peace, this volume provides a set of essays on gender, women’s activism and citizenship, and militarism. The book aims to consider the morally weighty and theoretically important question of the relationship among gender, women, and men as well as conceptions of war and peace, warriors, and victims.

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  • Enloe, Cynthia. The Morning After: Sexual Politics at the End of the Cold War. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.

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    Building on her pathbreaking work on gender and international politics (Enloe 1989, cited under General Works), Enloe examines the gendered and militarized conceptions of identity and security that created and sustained the Cold War and changes in understandings and practices of femininity and masculinity that could support a transition to a post–Cold War world.

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  • Goldstein, Joshua S. War and Gender: How Gender Shapes the War System and Vice Versa. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2003.

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    This synthesis of work on gender and war offers an argument within a mainstream IR framework that the two phenomena are reciprocal, with a particular focus on masculinity, war, and violence.

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  • Jones, Adam. Gender Inclusive: Essays on Violence, Men, and Feminist International Relations. New York: Routledge, 2009.

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    Collection of Jones’s previously published essays on gendercide, or gender-selective mass killings. Argues that gender analyses of mass violence tend to focus on a narrow range of gendered experiences, excluding, for instance, the toll on men of mass conscription.

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  • Sharoni, Simona. Gender and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: The Politics of Women’s Resistance. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1995.

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    Offers a gender analysis of dimensions of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, including nationalism, militarism, women’s movements, and gendered violence. An example of scholarship bringing women’s experiences and agency to the study of international conflict.

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Gendered Violence in Global Context

Applying gender analysis to international security studies has brought new perspectives and topics into view. A few examples illustrate this stream of scholarship focusing on peacekeeping, UN Security Council Resolution 1325, and the concepts underlying contemporary international conflict. Baaz and Stern 2009 and Jennings 2014 offer gender analyses of soldiers and peacekeepers in African contexts. Pratt and Richter-Devroe 2011, an edited collection, focuses on the key United Nations Resolution 1325, which helped to redefine the relationship of women and security in global politics. Kinsella 2011 offers analysis of the gender dimensions of the foundational concepts of civilian and combatant. Koomen 2013 broadens the scope to include sexual violence in wartime. Eichler 2015 is an edited collection with multiple perspectives on the intersections of gender and privatized security. Wilcox 2015 shifts the focus of feminist critique to embodied international violence.

  • Baaz, Maria Eriksson, and Maria Stern. “Why Do Soldiers Rape? Masculinity, Violence, and Sexuality in the Armed Forces in the Congo (DNC).” International Studies Quarterly 53.2 (2009): 495–518.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2478.2009.00543.xSave Citation »Export Citation »

    An analysis of the case of sexual violence by soldiers in the Congo reveals gendered understandings of masculinity and power in conceptions of rape. Qualitative research findings of “good” and “bad” sexual violence linked to notions of sexuality. Useful seminar reading on gender and war.

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  • Eichler, Maya, ed. Gender and Private Security in Global Politics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015.

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    This collection focuses on the important global trend toward privatization of security and military functions. Analyzing the relationship between gender and privatized security, contributors explore questions of empire, peacekeeping, accountability, protection, and sacrifice.

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  • Jennings, Kathleen M. “Service, Sex and Security: Gendered Peacekeeping Economies in Liberia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.” Security Dialogue 45.4 (2014): 313–330.

    DOI: 10.1177/0967010614537330Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Expands analysis of peacekeeping with a focus on the gendered interactions between local and international dimensions in everyday practice of peacekeeping.

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  • Kinsella, Helen. The Image before the Weapon: A Critical History of the Distinction between Combatant and Civilian. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2011.

    DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449031.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Explores the development of the concept of the “civilian” over history and how it shapes warfare, including in specific conflict situations. Argues that gender discourse, as well as notions of “innocence” and “civilization,” are key to distinguishing civilian from combatant.

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  • Koomen, Jonneke. “‘Without These Women, the Tribunal Cannot Do Anything’: The Politics of Witness Testimony on Sexual Violence at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.” Signs 38.2 (2013): 253–277.

    DOI: 10.1086/667200Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Case study of sexual violence as a facet of war and international criminal/legal issues. Treats International justice mechanisms and the politics of translation and negotiation.

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  • Pratt, Nicola, and Sophie Richter-Devroe, eds. Special Issue: Critically Examining UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 13.4 (2011).

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    Collection treating a watershed moment in United Nations security politics with the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, which refocused attention on women and international security in new ways.

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  • Wilcox, Lauren B. Bodies of Violence: Theorizing Embodied Subjects in International Relations. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015.

    DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199384488.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Critique of international security studies as disembodied analysis of violence. Draws on feminist theories of embodiment and performativity to argue that bodies are produced by and reproduce war and insecurity. Examines cases of torture, suicide bombing, airport security, and drone warfare to reveal the nexus of bodies, violence, and subjectivity.

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Gender and Globalization

Gender analysis has shifted the focus of analyses of globalization. Mainstream IR treatments of global governance often emphasize the ways in which governance mechanisms and institutions allow cooperation among states or establish supranational governance structures. Scholarship on gender and global governance reveals different issues and new theoretical frameworks. In particular, a gender lens can help to illuminate women’s agency through social movements and transnational networks and the opportunities and limitations offered by gender-specific global governance mechanisms such as gender mainstreaming.

Understanding Gender and Transnational Processes

In keeping with increasing attention in IR on understanding the “transnational”—in terms of transnational networks, processes, and spaces—scholars concerned with gender analysis began to produce work on feminism and transnationalism. Freeman 2001 links a feminized local and empirical with a masculinized global and theoretical. Some scholars emphasized transnational spaces and arenas (e.g., Ferree and Tripp 2006) while others linked specific local struggles with transnational processes and globalization writ large (e.g., Naples and Desai 2002). Hawkesworth 2006 provides a comprehensive overview of globalization using a gender lens and an overview of feminist literature in this area, as well as offering an example of gender analysis focused on advocacy. Because attention to transnational processes and struggles extends beyond IR to fields including sociology, anthropology, feminist studies, and history, edited volumes focused on gendering transnational politics often include contributors bringing a wide range of disciplinary perspectives. Swarr and Nagar 2010 exemplifies this broader approach. Repo 2016 brings the conceptual framework of biopower to analysis of gender and feminism.

  • Ferree, Myra Marx, and Aili Mari Tripp, eds. Global Feminism: Transnational Women’s Activism, Organizing, and Human Rights. New York: New York University Press, 2006.

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    This collection explores characteristics of transnational arenas for feminist activism. In addition to the United Nations, authors examine national and regional cases of women’s activism, including the African Union and western Europe, Hong Kong, and Turkey. Contributors include academics as well as practitioners active in transnational women’s movements and institutions.

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  • Freeman, Carla. “Is Local:Global as Feminine:Masculine? Rethinking the Gender of Globalization.” Signs 26.4 (2001): 1007–1037.

    DOI: 10.1086/495646Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Argues that a gendered divide informs globalization in that masculinist grand/macro-level theories explain globalization (without explicit attention to gender) while gender informs local and empirical case studies of the effects of globalization.

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  • Hawkesworth, Mary E. Globalization and Feminist Activism. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2006.

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    Part of a series examining the multifaceted nature of globalization, this book aims to “engender” globalization by highlighting its gendered dimensions in key areas such as privatization, migration, work, and advocacy politics. Offers a thorough review of feminist literature on globalization and conceptual frameworks to analyze strategies of feminist activists.

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  • Naples, Nancy A., and Manisha Desai, eds. Women’s Activism and Globalization: Linking Local Struggles and Transnational Politics. New York: Routledge, 2002.

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    A broadly interdisciplinary collection offering case studies of women’s organizing and activism related to economic and political globalization. Cases range from local women’s organizing to regional struggles and transnational feminist praxis. Notable for cases that explicitly connect local, regional, and global activism.

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  • Repo, Jemima. The Biopolitics of Gender. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.

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    Repo rethinks the gender-feminism connection focusing on gender’s emergence in western Europe in the late 20th century. Uses Foucauld’s concept of biopower to frame a genealogy of gender as a globalized biopolitical apparatus to argue for linkages between feminism and neoliberal governmentality. Demonstrates movement of gender beyond Western origins through international development policies.

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  • Swarr, Amanda Lock, and Richa Nagar. Critical Transnational Feminist Praxis. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2010.

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    This interdisciplinary collection of essays on transnational feminisms emphasizes linking theory and practice through a concept of transnational feminist praxis. Foregrounds collaboration, dialogue, and self-reflexivity in contributions from scholars, artists, and activists. Unusual in mainstream IR, several chapters focus on feminist arts and performance as a lens on globalization.

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Gender and Global Governance: Feminist Activism and Gender Mainstreaming

Rai 2004 and Hawkesworth 2006 address the question of globalization in connection to feminist activism. Caglar, et al. 2013 is an edited collection outlining the ways in which feminist actors have shaped international governance in new ways. The body of work on gender mainstreaming—a dominant institutional practice in both state and international organizations—offers important insights into how global governance processes and institutions both incorporate and constitute gender norms. Jahan 1996, an early work, highlights the limitations of gender mainstreaming for women’s movements in the Global South. True and Mintrom 2001 suggests that transnational feminist networks drove policy change in this area. Moser and Moser 2005 and Zalewski 2010 consider various perspectives on the impact and limitations of gender mainstreaming in global governance.

  • Caglar, Gülay, Elisabeth Prügl, and Susanne Zwingel, eds. Feminist Strategies in International Governance. London: Routledge, 2013.

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    An important edited collection focused on both the process by which gender has come to play a key role in international governance, particularly intergovernmental organizations such as the United Nations, and the strategies used by feminist actors to influence international governance policy and practice.

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  • Hawkesworth, Mary E. Globalization and Feminist Activism. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2006.

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    Comprehensive analysis of neoliberal economic globalization from a feminist perspective and in the context of local and transnational feminist activism.

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  • Jahan, Ruonaq. “The Elusive Agenda: Mainstreaming Women in Development.” The Pakistan Development Review 35.4 (1996): 825–834.

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    Assesses the uneven and limited realization of the goals of women’s movements, particularly in the Global South, in relation to power structures and hierarchies. Argues for an agenda-setting approach rather than undifferentiated gender mainstreaming and shared responsibility.

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  • Moser, Caroline, and Annalise Moser. “Gender Mainstreaming since Beijing: A Review of Success and Limitations in International Institutions.” In Mainstreaming Gender in Development: A Critical Review. Edited by Fenella Porter and Caroline Sweetman, 11–22. Oxford: Oxfam, 2005.

    DOI: 10.3362/9780855987893.001Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Provides a summary analysis of the progress toward accomplishing widespread gender mainstreaming in the first decade after the 1995 Beijing World Women’s Conference called for its adoption.

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  • Rai, Shirin. “Gendering Global Governance.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 6.4 (2004): 579–601.

    DOI: 10.1080/1461674042000283345Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Outlines major themes in mainstream global governance studies and offers feminist alternatives. Includes discussion of the implications of globalization for feminist activism.

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  • True, Jacqui, and Michael Mintrom. “Transnational Networks and Policy Diffusion: The Case of Gender Mainstreaming.” International Studies Quarterly 45.1 (2001): 27–57.

    DOI: 10.1111/0020-8833.00181Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Contributes to the IR literature on global diffusion of policy and norms through a study of the widespread adoption of state institutions charged with gender mainstreaming. Offers a case study of feminist transnational networks as sources of policy change.

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  • Zalewski, Marysia. “‘I Don’t Even Know What Gender Is’: A Discussion of the Connections between Gender, Gender Mainstreaming and Feminist Theory.” Review of International Studies 36.1 (2010): 3–27.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0260210509990489Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Considers how the profusion of gender mainstreaming and feminism, and its reception, suggests the contours of post-feminist practice.

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Gender and International Political Economy

In the early development of gender and IR scholarship, addressing the absence of women’s experiences and gender perspectives served as an important corrective to a field of study oriented toward men’s experiences and masculinist theoretical constructs. The subfield of international political economy (IPE) was no exception. Early gender analyses sought to understand the gendered dimensions of the global capitalist economy, with Mies 1986 a pioneering work. Safri and Graham 2010 importantly develops an argument for the gendered “global household” as a unit of analysis in IPE, and Peterson 2010 proposes “global householding” as a key gendered and transnational dimension of IPE. Cook, et al. 2000 is an edited collection of case studies of gendered political economy, with some contributions specifically focused on IPE. As the field developed, feminist IPE scholars, in works such as Waylen 2006, observed a lack of engagement with, and impact of, this body of work in other areas of IPE. The special issue of Signs edited by Bedford and Rai 2010 made the case for gender analysis as a productive framework to understand global neoliberal economic crisis. Marchand and Runyan 2010 offers innovative feminist theoretical frames for IPE. Elias 2015 and Elias and Rai 2015 argue for linkages between feminist IPE and feminist international security studies.

  • Bedford, Kate, and Shirin M. Rai. “Introduction.” In Special Issue: Feminists Theorize International Political Economy. Edited by Shirin M. Rai and Kate Bedford. Signs 36.1 (2010): 1–18.

    DOI: 10.1086/652910Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Introduction to special issue focused on what a feminist perspective on IPE reveals in a time of neoliberal economic crisis. Key themes include gender and governance, social reproduction and work, and intimacy and the household, including attention to sexuality and IPE.

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  • Cook, Joanne, Jennifer Roberts, and Georgina Waylen, eds. Towards a Gendered Political Economy. New York: St. Martin’s, 2000.

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    Collection of theoretical frameworks and empirical case studies using a gender perspective on the structures and processes of political economy. Some chapters specifically address global/international political economy.

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  • Elias, Juanita. “Introduction: Feminist Security Studies and Feminist Political Economy: Crossing Divides and Rebuilding Bridges.” Politics & Gender 11 (2015): 406–408.

    DOI: 10.1017/S1743923X15000100Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Introduction to a collection of essays considering the interconnections of feminist work on international security studies and international political economy in a Politics & Gender “Critical Perspectives on Gender and Politics” section. Includes essays by Cynthia Enloe, Jacqui True, Laura Sjoberg, and others.

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  • Elias, Juanita, and Shirin Rai. “The Everyday Gendered Political Economy of Violence.” Politics & Gender 11 (2015): 424–429.

    DOI: 10.1017/S1743923X15000148Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Examines the intersection of feminist political economic analysis and gendered practices of violence. Argues that the turn to the everyday in international political economic analysis offers an opening for feminist perspectives.

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  • Marchand, Marianne H., and Anne Sisson Runyan, eds. Gender and Global Restructuring: Sightings, Sites and Resistances. London: Routledge, 2010.

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    A widely used and interdisciplinary collection analyzing gender and neoliberal global restructuring. Sections relate to new feminist theoretical frameworks for understanding global restructuring (e.g., restructuring the intimate), empirical case studies of women affected by and shaping global restructuring processes, and gendered resistance to restructuring.

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  • Mies, Maria. Patriarchy and Accumulation on a Global Scale. London: Zed Books, 1986.

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    A pathbreaking work on the gender dimensions of the global capitalist economy. Argues that women’s subordination in the sexual division of labor, both in households and in industry, reproduces the conditions of the global capitalist economy.

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  • Peterson, V. Spike. “Global Householding amid Global Crises.” Politics & Gender 6.2 (2010): 271–281.

    DOI: 10.1017/S1743923X10000073Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Analyzes “global householding” as the transborder and gendered processes for forming and sustaining households.

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  • Safri, Maliha, and Julie Graham. “The Global Household: Toward a Feminist Postcapitalist International Political Economy. In Special Issue: Feminists Theorize International Political Economy. Edited by Shirin M. Rai and Kate Bedford.” Signs 36.1 (2010): 99–125.

    DOI: 10.1086/652913Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Argues for the “global household” concept as a key element of transnationalism and a means to illuminate gender dimensions of international political economy. Looks at the global household as an aggregate institution, including nonmarket transactions and noncapitalist production.

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  • Waylen, Georgina. “You Still Don’t Understand: Why Troubled Engagements Continue between Feminists and (Critical) IPE.” Review of International Studies 32.1 (2006): 145–164.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0260210506006966Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Outlines a lack of deep engagement between mainstream and—despite apparently more compatible approaches—critical international political economy (IPE) scholars and feminist IPE scholars. Argues for a gendered analysis of globalization.

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