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Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Gender Analysis in Kosova

Corrin, C. (2000). International Feminist Journal of Politics, 3(1), 78-98. doi:10.1080/146167401750187651

Gender relations fluctuate in times of violent change with flight, exile, displacement and return and relations of inequality between men and women can prevent women from fully participating in the reconstruction processes and gaining political voice. Undertaking a gendered analysis of Kosovar women’s involvement in the emerging feminist reconstructive politics highlighted the ways in which international governmental responses at times hindered women’s progress. The central concern in this Gender Audit is the extent to which encouragement has been given to increasing women’s social,economic,educational and political participation – in both informal civic fora and organizations and at the formal levels of power. The Gender Audit assesses the gaps in policy-making, service provision, data collection and in co-ordination and monitoring of projects designed to increase the participation of women and girls. In post-conflict situations it is vital that all people are enabled to contribute their ideas, expertise and skills in reconstruction and rehabilitation processes leading to democratization and democracy-building. Working in coalitions combining local, national and international elements is providinga positive contribution for somewomen in Kosova.

Gender, Nation, Rape: Bosnia and the Construction of Security

Hansen, L. (2000). . International Feminist Journal of Politics, 3(1), 55-75. doi:10.1080/14616740010019848


The mass rapes in Bosnia brought gendered security problems onto the international agenda to an unprecedented extent. This article examines the debate surrounding whether these rapes should be characterized as a security problem which warranted international attention and possibly intervention. This debate evolved around the question whether wartime rape should be understood as an individual risk or a collective security problem;and whether it should be defined in national or in gendered terms. The empirical part of the article analyses the three dominant representations of the Bosnian mass rapes: ‘rape as normal/Balkan warfare’ argued that rape did not constitute a collective security problem and the international community had therefore no reason or responsibility to intervene; the “rape as exceptional/Serbian warfare” representation read the rapes through national lenses and argued that the international community should intervene militarily in defence of the Bosnian government; and the third representation, “Balkan patriarchy”, claimed the privileged of a gendered reading of the rapes, the conflict in Bosnian should, according to this discourse, be understood as involving women on the one side and the patriarchal nationalistic leaderships on the other. The article concludes that the political impact of each of the representations is difficult to assess, but that the willingness of the International Crime Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia to pursue rape-related indictments constitutes an important step towards the recognition of wartime rape as a collective security problem.

A Feminist Exploration of Military Conscription: The Gendering of the Connections Between Nationalism, Militarism and Citizenship in South Korea.

Kwon, I. (2000). International Feminist Journal of Politics, 3(1), 26-54. doi:10.1080/713767489

Despite its political, cultural and personal saliences, military conscription in South Korea has attracted surprisingly little social research. Mainly, such research has been left to military institutions. Also,few South Korean feminist analysts, until recently, have tried to fill this notable gap in political analysis. I have become convinced that we need a deeper, more sustained and explicitly feminist exploration of the multi-layered workings of male compulsory military service. Without understanding the subtle gendering of conscription, we will not be able to make adequate sense of the persistence of a culture of militarism today, even after the end of the cold war, even after a pro-democracy movement pushed the military out of power. Therefore, I seek to demonstrate how male military conscription lies at the core of what most members of society believe it means to be an ‘authentic’ South Korean in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. I show that compulsory male military service has played a crucial role in constructing citizenship, nationhood, masculinity, femininity, motherhood and fatherhood and in creating the essential ‘glue’ that binds each of these six potent ideas to the concept of the nation-state in contemporary South Korea. In addition, I reveal how employing a feminist analysis to explore the meaning and consequence of military conscription in present day South Korean society can have potential value for those researchers investigating the dynamics of political culture in other societies, past and present.

Women in War and Peace-building: The Roads Traversed, The Challenges Ahead.

Karam, A. (2000). International Feminist Journal of Politics, 3(1), 2-25. doi:10.1080/14616740010019820

This article overviews the status of women and/in war and conflict literature and posits that the majority of it tends to view women as victims rather than as active actors, largely as a result of patriarchal structures. It is argued here that women in fact occupy a number of roles and create different fates for themselves, as war is also a site of potential change. The article presents the diverse situations and conditions of women in war, while arguing for the need to integrate women within processes of peace negotiations from the very outset. The manner of these inclusions,and the potential outcomes, are also presented and discussed. The article surveys some of the best practices with respect to both the analysis of women’s roles and the inclusion of women working in conflict situations, with a view to encouraging international organizations in particular to seek actively to ensure that women are not only fighters and/or victims, but also negotiators in post-conflict futures. The overview thus extends from the visions as presented in literature, to practical considerations for those actually involved in the field of women in conflict.

Sex and violence: social reactions to economic restructuring in Kuwait

Tetreault, M. A. (1999). International Feminist Journal of Politics, 1(2), 237-255. doi:10.1080/146167499359907

Economic restructuring in response to globalization affects virtually every area of the world, including countries that appear to have many economic advantages. Kuwait is a wealthy country, but its relatively favored position does not insulate it from struggles to limit the effects of redistribution on particular individuals and social groups. Women in Kuwait are feeling the pressures of restructuring. Educated and employed as the result of modernizing policies instituted during the era of rising national oil income, Kuwaiti women find themselves today, during a period of slumping oil prices, the target of those who want to take whatever desirable places they occupy in the local political economy. At the same time, restructuring conflicts have raised the level of political violence in Kuwait. These two phenomena are less likely to be directly related than caused by the same exogenous pressures. Their joint appearance in Kuwait echoes similar manifestations in other countries which have resulted in social movements against women’s rights and, in extreme cases, civil wars which use violence against women as a preferred form of political discourse.

Pain, Rachel. 2014. “Everyday terrorism: Connecting domestic violence and global terrorism.” Progress in Human Geography 38 (4):531550. doi: 10.1177/0309132513512231.

This paper remaps the geographies of terrorism. Everyday terrorism (domestic violence) and global terrorism are related attempts to exert political control through fear. Geographical research on violence neatly reflects the disproportionate recognition and resourcing that global terrorism receives from the state. The paper explores the parallels, shared foundations and direct points of connection between everyday and global terrorisms. It does so across four interrelated themes: multiscalar politics and securities, fear and trauma, public recognition and recovery, and the inequitable nature of counter-terrorisms. It concludes with implications for addressing terrorisms and for future research.

The quest for modern manhood: masculine stereotypes, peer culture and the social significance of homophobia

Plummer, David C. (2001) Journal of Adolescence 24: 15-23.

This paper explores the use of homophobic terms by boys and young men and the meanings they invoke when using them. Highly detailed interviews were conducted with young men from diverse backgrounds about their own experiences while growing up and their observations of schools, teachers, family and peers. Homophobia was found to be more than a simple prejudice against homosexuals. Homophobic terms like “poofter” and “faggot” have a rich developmental history and play a central role in adolescent male peer-group dynamics. Homophobic terms come into currency in primary school. When this happens, words like poofter and faggot rarely have sexual connotations. Nevertheless, far from being indiscriminate terms of abuse, these terms tap a complex array of meanings that are precisely mapped in peer cultures, and boys quickly learn to avoid homophobia and to use it decisively and with great impact against others. Significantly, this early, very powerful use of homophobic terms occurs prior to puberty, prior to adult sexual identity and prior to knowing much, if anything, about homosexuality. An effect of this sequence is that early homophobic experiences may well provide a key reference point for comprehending forthcoming adult sexual identity formation (gay or not) because powerful homophobic codes are learned first.

Making Sense of Masculinity and War

Hutchings, Kimberly (2008). Men and Masculinities 10(4): 389-404.

This article examines modes of theorizing about war in two contemporary literatures: on war and gender and on the changing nature of war. Both these literatures make a connection between masculinity and war. The article argues that, on examination, the link between masculinity and war does not depend on the substantive meanings of either masculinity or war, or on a causal or constitutive relation between the two; rather, masculinity is linked to war because the formal, relational properties of masculinity provide a framework through which war can be rendered both intelligible and acceptable as a social practice and institution.

You’re Either In or You’re Out: School Violence, Peer Discipline, and the (Re)Production of Hegemonic Masculinity.

Stoudt, Brett G. (2006). Men and Masculinities 8(3): 273-287.

School violence has not been studied widely across schools and communities. This article examines hegemonic masculinity and its relationship to violence through the peer disciplining (hazing, teasing, bullying) that occurs among students who attend an elite suburban boys’ school. Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods, the analysis suggests that violence is embedded in the social fabric of the school and implicated in power relations between both peers and their institution. Emotionally ambiguous, you’re either in or you’re out distinctions made by peer disciplining can produce shame, fear, and hurt alongside friendship, intimacy, and bonding. The normalcy with which hegemonic values are practiced makes it difficult, though not impossible, to contest. If we are to find viable alternatives to dominant masculinities, which are restrictive for most, it will be important to ask which boys and under what conditions are they able to resist its mandates.

Gender and International Politics: The Intersections of Patriarchy and Militarisation.

Chenoy, Anuradha M. (2004) India Journal of Gender Studies 11(1): 27-42.

The politics of globalisation and militarisation are lending a muscular discourse to international politics, which provide continuity to the principle of patriarchy and privilege, especially during times of threat and conflict. This kind of politics has a structural impact on society because it endorses traditional gender roles and places people in binary categories like ‘with us’ or ‘against us’, ‘civilised’ and ‘uncivilised’, ‘warriors’ or ‘wimps’. The militarist discourse marginalises opposition, diversity and difference, and with this the value of force as part of power is privileged, and militant nationalism exaggerated. Each local culture has its variant of the muscular discourse. As women try and increase their agency, the perception is that when women accept militarist notions of power it is easier for them to become part of national security and state institutions. This is a major challenge to feminist culture and thinking.