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Engendering Conflict Notes

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This is an extract of our Engendering Conflict document, which we sell as part of our Critical Security Studies Notes collection written by the top tier of University Of Warwick students.

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*Link - 1.2 Knowledge & Security / 2.2 Biopolitics // PO353 2.9 Gendering Issues of Conflict and Security in the Developing World /

1.4 Men, Masculinities & Development / 1.3 Theorizing & Gendering Development

Engendering Conflict
Section A:
◦ 'We can't understand… wars and conflicts if we don't understand the masculinities and femininities that fuel them' (True, 2014). With reference to this statement, critically discuss the importance of gender for the study of conflict. [2018, 2016]

What are the differences between liberal feminism, standpoint feminism and post-structural approaches to gender in the analysis of security? [2017]

'War depends on representations of gender' (Pin-Fat & Stern, 2005). Discuss the importance of gender for the study of conflict. [2016, 2014]

What are the main contributions of feminist scholarship to the study of security? What are their limitations? [2016]

'The personal is political' (Enloe). Critically discuss with reference to feminist contributions to the study of security and the significance of women's experience. [2015]

Section B:
◦ 'Acts and perpetrators of violence, strategies of resistance and efforts at conflict resolution are gendered' (Ahäll & Shepherd, 2012). Critically assess this statement using examples. [2017]

In what ways is war gendered? Use at least TWO empirical examples in your discussion. [2017]

'Whether we are talking of 'the body' or 'the state', or of particular bodies and states, the identity of each is performatively constructed' (Campbell). With reference to empirical examples, discuss what notion of 'performativity' contributes to the study of security. [2016, 2014]


One of the greatest contributions of feminist theory has been to unveil the 'masculinist underpinnings' of realist IR as the study of (white) men by (white) men, thus creating 'an inhospitable home from the more expansive local/global trajectories of feminist inquiry' [Hoogensen 2004]
◦ Indeed, 'the dramatis personae in the theatre of global security (state leaders, diplomats, soldiers, civil servants) are almost always men' [P&V-W, 2015]

Feminists argue that it is problematic to study actors as if they are genderless things. Ignoring gender implies…
◦ The masculine subject is elevated to universal status, leading to the production of theories that mask their partiality through claims to universality;

Failure to recognize the ways in which key actors (leaders, states, international organizations) are defined/differentiated by their perceived associations with norms of masculinity and femininity;
and act in accordance with gender norms, albeit in different ways at different times;

Blindness to the ways in which gendered identities/meanings are produced by, and productive of,
practices of security.Gender is not simply an 'attribute' possessed by certain actors, but a system through which those actors are constituted and positioned relative to each other.

Everyday violence - Cuomo [1996]: 'Emphasizing the ways in which war is white noise in the background of social existence can enable theorists to be attentive to local realities and particularities about war, violence, and the enmeshment of various systems of oppression'.


Against the torrent of 'male-stream' realist* approaches, Enloe asks: 'Where are the women in security
Ideas studies'?

Liberal feminists focus on the exclusion of women/femininity within the 'public sphere' (e.g. international security forums, militaries, etc.) of which is distinctly masculinized. Gender oppression, they argue, can be remedied by including women in existing structures/frameworks of global politics.

UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2010) - an international legal framework for promoting gender equality and addressing issues affecting women's peace/security at local, regional and international levels.

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