Feminist IR theory involves looking at how international politics affects and is affected by both men and women and also at how the core concepts that are employed within the discipline of IR (e.g. In contrast, some feminist empiricists accept the conventional ontology of IR as given and the rationalist approach to research design treating gender as a variable that helps to explain state behavior in an anarchic system (Caprioli 2004). By contrast, feminist and constructivist International Relations theories appear on their face to be much more compatible and have been combined in different ways in several influential studies (Keck and Sikkink 1998; Prugl 1999). In a 2015 article in International Organization, she writes, "Feminists often relegate quantitative work to the realm of male influence and experi- ence, even considering it false consciousness in succumbing to male methods of power, thereby surrendering powerful methods and models that could be leveraged to further substantiate the arguments made by feminist analysis regarding inequities in outcome by sex. Or: why women and gender are essential to understanding the world ‘we’live in. Feminist scholars used gender analysis to deconstruct the theoretical framework of International Relations, and reveal the masculine bias pervading key concepts such as power, security, and sovereignty (see True 2009). A Feminist Ethical Perspective on Weapons of Mass Destruction. In her book Gender in International Relations, Tickner noted in particular that what is called “national security” is profoundly endangering to human survival and sustainable communities and fails to take account of women’s experiences of insecurity (Tickner 1992). At www.siyanda.org, accessed Oct. 2009. At www.peacewomen.org, accessed Oct. 2009. Retrieved from use: Cohn, C. (1987). From a feminist theoretical perspective “theory is always for someone, and for some purpose” (Cox 1981), and all perspectives on international relations are inherently normative whether consciously or not (Cochran 1999). In this way, care ethics is also an axiological approach that draws ethical guidelines from feminist theory for humanitarian intervention, multilateral peacekeeping, development aid, foreign security policy, and human rights protection, among other practical global issues and dilemmas (see Hutchings 2000:122–3). The 1990s also heralded two successful global campaigns to have women’s rights recognized as human rights in international law and to address a range of egregious practices, often state- and culturally sanctioned, as forms of “violence against women” (Weldon 2006b). Aug. 2, 2012. Normative commitments infuse not only feminist questions, interpretations and claims to know international relations but also how feminists do their work. To a greater extent than nonfeminist critical theorists, International Relations feminists have developed the sociological analysis that is fundamental to a critical International Relations theory. are themselves gendered. Perhaps more fundamentally from a feminist perspective, Locher and Prugl (2001) contend that the objectivist stance of many constructivist scholars is inconsistent with their social ontology. In part due to their association with domestic “soft” (read: feminine) politics, they argued IR had neglected studies of norms, ideas, and processes such as structural violence including poverty, environmental injustice, and sociopolitical inequality that many scholars argue are the root causes of international conflict and insecurity. Feminist theories of international relations have thrived over the past decade as evidenced by the many and varied feminist contributions to the international relations field. But they retain the belief in the value of a feminist/gender perspective from the political margins that begins by asking questions about excluded women’s lives, i.e., the work women do and structural impacts on them, although they do not stop there (see, e.g., Enloe 2000; Tickner 2006). If gender hierarchies are rooted in material structures, then feminist strategies for transformation will likely be oppositional to states and international organizations insofar as they seek structural change in the organization and regulation of political economies. Yet feminists are also eclectic with respect to methodology. Thus, differences with respect to the ontology of gender have normative import within International Relations feminism. Such a feminist normative approach to institutions could allow for greater synthesis with critical International Political Economy and neoliberal institutionalist perspectives on regimes, for instance. Feminist theorists differ in their normative views of how integral the category of gender is to the constitution of international relations. [3] These masculinities in turn asks one to not only use the feminist consciousness to analyze the exclusions of femininities from IR, but additionally, Hooper illuminates how one can locate the inherent inclusions of masculinities in the field of IR with a feminist consciousness. However, Cohn and Ruddick also recognize that this feminist position tends to deny the social and political realities of women and men living in less powerful states and reinforce the dominant perspective of Western possessor states. They also vary in how they view gender relative to other categories of difference such as race, sexuality, ethnicity, and class, and the implications for International Relations theory. Within International Relations, feminist theorists have drawn on the experiences of marginalized and oppressed peoples, including women, in order to challenge and revision the epistemological and ontological foundations of the field. They have interrogated gender bias inherent in rationalist ways of knowing and embedded in the core concepts and concerns of International Relations, such as states, sovereignty, power, security, international conflict, and global governance. [29] While women are more educated in the western world than ever before, the average woman's socioeconomic powers still do not match the average man's. [7] This perspective is then applied to the renewal of Trident nuclear weapons, a plan which Duncanson and Eschl argue is enabled by the UK government's use of masculinized language that seems to be constructed into the state's identity. Failing to look beyond elites and the systemic level, the major flaws of realist explanations were exposed. This did not result in a diverse or more systematic research agenda (see Ashley 1986). Discursive politics refers to the ways in which institutionalized norms, policy procedures, organizational identities, and material structures shape the language and meaning of gender equality and/or difference therein. To be sure, there are some national and regional differences in the conversations between feminist and nonfeminist international relations, and much of the failure to communicate has been observed in the context of the American discipline (e.g., Tickner 1997; Keohane 1998; Marchand 1998). and US national contexts is that in the former, gendered analysis is increasingly viewed as essential to doing good IR research within a range of theoretical perspectives whereas in the latter, this is not yet the case (Ackerly and True 2008:161). Gender analysis no longer refers to the singular axis of difference between women and men. [31] Some circles within social sciences are increasingly employing a hypothetico-deductivist way of looking at social phenomena. And the main point of feminism in this field of international relations is the role of gender and the role of women is underestimated by the classical theories. Critical feminists scrutinize the normative assumptions of a perspective by evaluating their practical import for the struggles of women and men located in varied social contexts and, within those contexts, in a myriad of intersecting power relations. It is important not to underestimate the specialized empirical, theoretical, and methodological knowledge required to develop a gender perspective on any given global or international relations issue. This process of eliminating women from war is a tool used to discredit women as agents in the international arena. 15 March 2015. Feminism is a broad term given to works of those scholars who have sought to bring gender concerns into the academic study of international politics and who have used feminist theory and sometimes queer theory to better understand global politics and international relations. 2006:10). Quantitative foreign policy - may, for example, explore the correlation between gender equality and likelihood of war, or the gender gap on foreign policy opinions. Such a feminist approach involves an ethical commitment to deconstructing one’s own position of privilege while actively working to transform the power relations that support that position. In line with Cohn and Ruddick's (2003) aforementioned article, part of what feminist anti-militarism critiques is the framework in which weapons of mass destruction are “discussed”. Feminism as an IR theory is increasingly not separable from other theoretical approaches such as constructivism, Marxism, liberalism, or even realism. [6] Gender becomes embedded in relations of power as that which is seen to be stronger is assigned a masculinized identity, while concepts such as emotion are seen as indicators of weakness and become associated with femininity. Thus, it highlights the relevance of gender to the study of even the most conventional research questions, and using positivist methods feminist research can show the demonstrable impact of gender inequality and feminist non-state actors in the global political economy (True and Mintrom 2001; Sweeney 2005). Conversely, feminist IR scholar Charlotte Hooper effectively applies a feminist consciousness when considering how “IR disciplines men as much as men shape IR”. In order to disrupt this marginalization, feminists must challenge the very assumptions that construct our ideas of identity and citizenship. This feminist standpoint is counterposed to a postmodern feminist stance which is suspicious of any claims to a better vantage point on the truth of social and international reality. Progressively, International Relations feminists have moved away from binary conceptions of gender to explore plural masculinities and femininities in global politics. The majority of International Relations feminists conceive of gender as the relational construction of individual masculine and feminine identities, where masculine identities are preferred over feminine ones, and are a signifier for power relations of domination and subordination among individuals and collectivities more generally (Peterson 1992). Yet this integration of gender and critical International Political Economy perspectives has largely been one-way so far (Whitworth 1994; Chin 1998; True 2003b). Keohane, R. 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