Examine the Feminist approach in International Relations.

2. Examine the Feminist approach in International Relations.


The discipline of diplomacy (IR) is integrally linked to the rhythms of the worldwide political landscape. Emerging as a tutorial discipline in 1919 after the horrors of the Second war , IR’s theorizing, methodological approaches and political attention have since been focussed on producing effective knowledge about the international realm (Brecher&Harvey 2005).
Traditionally this has involved attention to the more obvious political sites of states, government, politicians and globally significant wars, with conceptual and empirical attention consistently revolving around security, anarchy and violence. Theoretically, the discipline has been dominated for several decades by the triad realism, pluralism and structuralism, though it's realism – a sort of ‘realpolitik’ – which remained the overwhelmingly dominant theoretical approach (Smith 1994).
It had been not until the 1980s that other theoretical approaches began to garner some traction. Indeed, following the autumn of the Berlin Wall and therefore the emergence of the post-cold war period, there was something of an explosion of theoretical approaches in IR, an inventory of those would come with critical theory, postmodernism, poststructuralism, feminism, and constructivism (Brecher&Harvey 2005). This plethora of theories (especially compared to the previous six decades) spawned an abundance of articles, books, workshops, conferences and new teaching programmes notably within the US, Canada, the united kingdom and Australia. In tandem with these theoretical inroads, critiques of the philosophical and epistemological underpinnings of most, if not all, conventional theories and methodological approaches was underway, typically framed because the ’post-positivist’ debate (Smith, Booth&Zalewski 1996). As such, the post-Cold War period appears as a distinctly apposite political and intellectual moment from which to offer an account of 1 of those new approaches, namely feminism.

Feminism may be a broad term given to works of these scholars who have sought to bring gender concerns into the tutorial study of international politics and who have used feminist theory and sometimes queer theory to raised understand global politics and diplomacy .

Feminist  Approach in International Relations In terms of diplomacy (IR) theory, a feminist approach is grouped within the broad category of theoretical approaches referred to as reflectivism, representing a divergence from approaches adhering to a rationalist outlook supported the premises of rational choice theory; reflectivist approaches, which also include constructivism, post-structuralism, and postcolonialism, regard state identities and interests as continuously in flux, in order that norms and identity play the maximum amount a task in shaping policy as material interests.

One of the foremost influential works in feminist IR is Cynthia Enloe's Bananas, Beaches and Bases (Pandora Press 1990). This text sought to chart the various different roles that ladies play in international politics – as plantation sector workers, diplomatic wives, sex workers on military bases etc. The important point of this work was to stress how, when watching international politics from the attitude of girls , one is forced to reconsider his or her personal assumptions regarding what international politics is 'all about'.

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However, it might be an error to think that feminist IR was solely a matter of identifying what percentage groups of girls are positioned within the international form of government . From its inception, feminist IR has always shown a robust concern with brooding about men and, especially , masculinities. Indeed, many IR feminists argue that the discipline is inherently masculine in nature. for instance , in her article "Sex and Death within the Rational World of Defense Intellectuals" Signs (1988), Carol Cohn claimed that a highly masculinised culture within the defense establishment contributed to the divorcing of war from human emotion.

Feminist Anti-Militarism

Feminists within IR often look to how conceptions of masculinity have shaped policy , state identity, and security and armament during and out of doors of warfare. One tradition that exists within the sector for this purpose is that of feminist anti-militarism. this is often a stance within Feminist diplomacy that opposes weapons of mass destruction, like nuclear weaponry, and holds gender accountable partially for the propagation of militarism. Gender becomes embedded in relations of power as that which is seen to be stronger is assigned a masculinized identity, while concepts like emotion are seen as indicators of weakness and become related to femininity. during this way, the military capability and capability of a state becomes related to its degree of masculinity, which feminist anti-militarists see as problematic.

As disarmament might be perceived as emasculatory, states are less likely to disarm; consequently, militarism becomes normalized, downplayed, and more likely to incite warfare. These are a number of the concepts that Carol Cohn and Sara Ruddick explored in their article “Feminist Ethical Perspective on Weapons of Mass Destruction,” (2003) which laid out the meaning behind what they mentioned as “anti-war feminism”.They explain that it opposes the utilization of weapons of mass destruction whether for military, political, or deterring purposes, yet that it differs from pacifism therein it doesn't outright reject all sorts of warfare. Such opposition stems partly from the questionability of how effective warfare/militarism is, and whether the prices , (albeit monetary, environmental, and particularly human) that are inevitably incurred yet not always accounted, for are worthwhile .

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