Engaging Gender (In) Security

Date: November 18, 2013
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Despite the proliferation of diverse feminist scholarship in the field of international relations (IR) theory over the past two decades, this body of work has been marginalised in the discipline. Consequently, a key contribution of feminist literature, the introduction of gender in the study of international relations and its focus on the gendered nature of other IR theories is overlooked. This article is a contribution to the ongoing debate on gender in the context of international relations and security studies. It presents the argument that while the feminist literature has presciently critiqued the realist conception of security and advocated for a multi-dimensional and multi-level re-definition of security, solutions proffered to achieve this more encompassing security inadvertently risk reifying gender as innate rather than constructed and, as a result, have yet to achieve their desired ends. Even though a push for increased participation in the relevant decision-making spheres is accompanied by attempts to alter the present discourse by emphasising various “devalued feminine principles,” if these are being pushed solely by women, it will have little effect. Accordingly, an alternative is proposed in this essay that advocates focusing efforts to include more male participants in the discourse and a further emphasising of male insecurities, as well as female insecurities, to help “denaturalize and dismantle” gendered hierarchies to contribute to greater security.

ISBN: 978-1-920550-40-0
Publisher: Gender Links
Edition: 7th Edition
Year of Publication: 2009
Download : 10418_engaging_gender_in_security.pdf

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