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Gendering World Politics Essay

Gender analysis of international relations can no longer be considered new. Both in history and political science, scholars of women and gender and foreign relations have carved out what is now robust subfields. In Gender in World Politics, Ticknerā€™s first chapter explores the encounter between feminism and international relations sub-field of political science. She first establishes the debates within each. Feminism has been the subject of a debate between liberal feminism and its rivals, while IR has seen three: science realism versus idealism, realism vs. social. It is in the context of this policy, “third debate” means the meeting Tickner feminism and infrared. More specifically, feminism is expanding IR agenda on several fronts, including normative theory, historical sociology, critical theory and postmodernism. In this context, Tickner investigates “Gender Dimensions of War and Peace and Security” in Chapter Two.

In the 1990s, feminists began to question “realistic” outlook on security, most of which have had a top-down, state-centered, the structural approach. Feminists , however, mostly come from the bottom up, starting at the micro level. For example, feminists attacked the premise that wars have been fought to protect women and children, in fact, in his opinion, to the extent that wars tend to generate massive refugee crisis, violations and rampant prostitution, are disproportionately women wild. In Chapter Three, Tickner moves on to the global economy. Here, feminists have joined the debate on globalization, especially questioned the boosterism often seen in the industrialized West. For example, they use gender analysis to reveal the unpleasant realities of home-based labor in the developing world. What multinational corporate managers would call “flexibility” and “cost containment,” the overwhelmingly-female workers would see as lower-paying, less-stable, and less-regulated labor.

Gender perspectives on democratization, state and world order are the focus of chapter four. In contrast to conventional IR, ignorant of democratization, and more recently “democratic” peace theories, feminism IR-examining the micro level, where democratic transitions can exclude women or even leave them materially worse. Tickner then looks at women and international organizations (both the United Nations and non-governmental organizations) and norms (such as human rights). In the fifth and final chapter, Tickner suggests “Some Pathways for IR Feminist Futures.” Clearing these routes involves “knowledge traditions” that, for example, challenge prevailing gender laden dichotomies such as rational / emotional, public / private and global / local. It also includes new methodologies for IR, such as ethnography and discourse analysis.

In the end, Tickner IR urges feminists to remain connected to the broader discipline even when they question their basic assumptions. Tickner synthesizes a wide range of recent literature and thus provides us with a solid understanding of the subject. His is not the only introduction to feminist IR but is a very good. Tickner is careful not to claim too much for feminist IR or fire other approaches. It also takes little for granted, holding such basic terms as “globalization” and even “gender” to scrutiny. And finally, this is a nuanced work. Tickner presents fairly represents and disagreements among feminists as well as the geographic and methodological. Similarly, captures the dilemmas facing IR feminists. For example, feminists must work within existing state structures or face them from the outside? If based on the state of progress or in the market.

If the book has a weakness, it is one of style. . The writing, moreover, is better and more accessible than in many other political science texts. However, I often find difficult to tackle prose. In part, this is a matter of style, writing Tickner most lack color and verve, interesting anecdote or a vivid illustration. And partly it’s a matter of using the political scientist. “This language is understood by those inside”, as she says Tickner in another context, “but can seem quite bewildering, and sometimes even alienating to those outside, making communication very difficult transdisciplinary.

Again, the language is typical of the field and could be much worse, but the repeated occurrence of terms such as “epistemological”, “postpositivist”, “problematize” and “privilege”, as verb , tends to swell the sentences and make the book seem longer than it is. In the end, however, a minor weakness, and definitely should not be allowed to deter non-specialists. In addition to the contribution of the book itself feminist IR, this is one of its great virtues brings relevant trends in political science historians who study women and gender and foreign relations. For many historians have discovered that, in the words of Cynthia Enloe fine, “the personal is international “. This discovery is facilitated and enriched as Tickner helps us to cross the disciplinary divide.

J. Ann Tickner, Gender in International Relations: Feminist Perspectives on Achieving Global Security (New York: Columbia University Press, 1992). Cynthia Enloe, Bananas Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics (Berkeley and London: University of California Press, 1990) Jan Jindy Pettman, Worlding Women: A Feminist International Politics (London and New York: Routledge, 1996)


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