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Masculinity and New War: The gendered dynamics of contemporary armed conflict.

Duriesmith, David. 2017. Masculinity and New War: The gendered dynamics of contemporary armed conflict. London and New York: Routledge.

This book advances the claims of feminist international relations scholars that the social construction of masculinities is key to resolving the scourges of militarism, sexual violence and international insecurity. More than two decades of feminist research has chartered the dynamic relationship between warfare and masculinity, but there has yet to be a detailed account of the role of masculinity in structuring the range of volatile civil conflicts which emerged in the Global South after the end of the Cold War.

By bridging feminist scholarship on international relations with the scholarship of masculinities, Duriesmith advances both bodies of scholarship through detailed case study analysis. By challenging the concept of ‘new war’, he suggests that a new model for understanding the gendered dynamics of civil conflict is needed, and proposes that the power dynamics groups of men based on age difference, ethnicity, location and class form an important and often overlooked causal component to these civil conflicts.

Exploring the role of masculinities through two case studies, the civil war in Sierra Leone (1991-2002) and the Second Sudanese Civil War (1983-2005), this book will be of great interest to postgraduate students, practitioners and academics working in the fields of gender and security studies.


Reshaping Attitudes toward Violence against Women

Flood, Michael, Bob Pease, Natalie Taylor & Kim Webster (2009). In: Evan Stark & Eve S. Buzawa (eds) Violence against Women in Families and Relationships: The Media and Cultural Attitudes, vol. 4. Santa Barbara, Denver, Oxford: Praeger (177-198).

Since the early 1970s, when the grassroots women’s movement mounted its challenge to rape and domestic violence, there has been a worldwide revolution in societal responses to violence against women. Among the changes, the best known are the proliferation of community-based services for victims and reforms in public policy, law, policing, and health care. What is less well-known is whether the revolution in societal intervention is reflected in how ordinary citizens think about violence against women. However important institutional reforms are in the short term, they are unlikely to be sustained unless the normative climate changes that supports violence against women.

How widespread is the belief that women “ask to be raped”, that there are circumstances in which it is acceptable for a man to hit a woman, or that violence against women is acceptable? Do people feel empathy for women who are assaulted or raped, or do they blame the victim and excuse the perpetrator? Why do some family members, friends, and professionals respond to victims with support and sympathy, while others respond with indifference or blame? Why do some men use violence against women and others do not? Why do some victims feel self-blame, while others do not? We know that individual and community attitudes shape how women and men experience and understand violence against women. More than this, these attitudes influence the perpetration of this violence, community responses to violence against women, how victims respond to assault, and whether institutional reforms can be sustained.

This chapter provides an international perspective on attitudes toward violence against women. We begin by identifying the role attitudes play in shaping the problem. Next, we provide and international picture of existing attitudes and identify the key factors that shape them. Finally, we identify critical junctures where interventions to change violence-supportive attitudes can make a difference.

Current Practices to Preventing Sexual Violence and Intimate Partner Violence.

Flood, Michael (2015) In: Holly Johnson; Bonnie S. Fisher & Vronique Jaquier (eds) Critical Issues on Violence Against Women. London and New York: Routledge (209-220).

Intimate partner violence (IPV) and sexual violence are the outcome of a complex interplay of individual, relationship, community, institutional, and societal factors. Given this, violence prevention too must work at these multiple levels. This is recognized in common models of violence prevention, including the “ecological” model popularized by the World Health Organization and other frameworks such as the “spectrum of prevention”. This chapter describes and assesses a range of strategies of primary prevention – strategies to prevent initial perpetration or victimization. These strategies are intended to strengthen individual knowledge and skills, build healthy relationships and families, involve and develop communities, promote community norms of nonviolence, improve organizational practices and workplace and institutional cultures, lessen gender inequalities, and address the larger cultural, social and economic factors that contribute to violence. The chapter takes as given that much intimate partner and sexual violence concern men’s violence against women.

WPP Annual May 24 Publication Gender & Militarism: Analyzing the Links to Strategize for Peace

The Women Peacemakers Program (WPP) is happy to announce the launch of its annual May 24 publication “Gender and Militarism: Analyzing the Links to Strategize for Peace”. This May 24 Pack comprises of 23 articles written by leading academics, pioneering women peace activists and civil society representatives from all over the world, critically reflecting on the links between gender & militarism from multiple perspectives. The launch took place at the end of WPP’s Global Consultation on Gender and Militarism, taking place from July 2-4 in Cape Town, South Africa.

For already more than ten years, WPP celebrates May 24; International Women’s Day for Peace & Disarmament, with the launch of the annual May 24 Action Pack, emphasizing the importance of women’s participation in, and leadership during peace processes. This year’s pack is a collection of academic articles, personal testimonies and civil society initiatives advocating for awareness and action around the multi-layered connections between gender and militarism, and highlighting gender-sensitive nonviolent action (people power) as a powerful alternative to address conflict. It contains contributions from, among others, Cynthia Cockburn, Cynthia Enloe, Sharon Bhagwan-Rolls and the Center of Women’s Global Leadership about the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign.

With this unique collection of articles we aim to contribute to the many conversations and debates on Women, Peace and Security. From this publication we learn that if we want to achieve sustainable peace, we have to take the experiences of women seriously and need to invest in nonviolent alternatives to address conflict. Isabelle Geuskens, Executive Director, Women Peacemakers Program.
This May 24 Pack is an important resource for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign. The articles illustrate how militarism, as a system of structural violence, violates human rights and the dignity, safety, and security of women, men and children worldwide. Zarin Hamid, Coordinator Gender-Based Violence Program, Center for Women’s Global Leadership.

The launch of the May 24 Action Pack marked the end of the 2,5 day WPP Global Consultation on Gender & Militarism. This Consultation brought together key stakeholders from Asia, Africa, North America, Latin America, the Middle East and Europe to discuss and analyze the links between Gender & Militarism. The outcomes will contribute to broadening the current Women, Peace and Security agenda, including UN Security Council Resolution 1325.

Download the the publication here: https://www.womenpeacemakersprogram.org/events/start-wpp-global-consultation-on-gender-and-militarism/

Masculinity and Gender-Based Violence in Rwanda

Slegh, H. and A. Kimonyo (2010). Masculinity and Gender-Based Violence in Rwanda: Experiences and perceptions of men and women. Kigali, Rwanda MenEngage Network. http://www.promundo.org.br/en/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/IMAGES-Rwanda.pdf
RWAMREC in collaboration with the Rwanda Men Engage Network is pleased to present this report which shows the results of the first national household survey ever done in Rwanda on perceptions about masculinity and GBV. The study, conducted from January 2010 to June 2010, examined the roots of GBV in relation to perceptions about masculinity within Rwandan society. This quantitative and qualitative research explored the experiences and opinions of men and women with relativity to how men are supposed to act and behave according to the socio-cultural norms and val ues in Rwanda.

The quantitative instrument was adapted from IMAGES, a multi-country survey with women and men on attitudes toward gender equality, as well as behaviors and attitudes related to sexual and reproductive health, maternal and child health, GBV, fatherhood; men’s attitudes toward women and toward gender equality; and men’s attitudes toward various policies related to gender equality.
IMAGES is coordinated by the ICRW and Promundo, and was developed in partnership with the Center for Gender Studies-University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway; El Colgio de Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico; the MRC, Pretoria, South Africa; CulturaSalud, Santiago, Chile; Partners for Prevention: A United Nations Joint Program for Ending VAW in Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand; the Center for Education, Counseling and Research, Zagreb, Croatia; and RWAMREC, Kigali, Rwanda. As of 2010, IMAGES had been applied in Brazil, Mexico, India, Croatia, Chile, South Africa (as part of a separate study on men, health and violence coordinated by the MRC), in addition to Rwanda.

The overall goal of IMAGES is to add to our understanding of men’s behaviors and attitudes – and changes in those attitudes and behaviors – to inform, drive and monitor policy development to promote gender equality by engaging men and women in such policies. The IMAGES questionnaire builds on existing instruments, heavily drawing on the “Questionnaire on Gender Equality and Quality of Life” developed by the Norwegian Ministry of Gender Equality and Children Affairs, along with items for the WHO multi-country study on VAW; the GEM scale developed by Population Council and Promundo; and by surveys on sexual violence and physical violence against women carried out by the MRC.

The analysis of the qualitative and quantitative data focuses on identification of particular aspects in society that contribute to violent behavior towards women and girls and negative perceptions about masculinity. This study explores the prevailing opinions about manhood in Rwanda and examines how these perceptions, constructed and transmitted in the current society, are related to GBV. The study, presented in this report, shows how different factors in Rwandan society play a key role in “making men” and explains how these factors contribute to the fact that many men use violence towards their female partners. The findings provide important implications for the development of new strategies to tackle VAW with the involvement of men and boys.

The report includes four parts: the first part describes the problem of GBV in Rwanda and links the study to other international studies about masculinity and GBV. The second part explains the methodology and research process. The third part presents the main results. The last part concludes with recommendations for the development of programs that contribute to bridging the identified gaps on perceptions about gender and masculinity in the daily life of women and men in Rwanda facing GBV.

Masculinities in Theory: An Introduction.

Reeser, T. W. (2010). Masculinities in Theory: An Introduction. Chichester, Wiley-Blackwell.
Masculinities in Theory is a clear, concise, and comprehensive introduction to the field of masculinities studies from a humanities perspective. This interdisciplinary text includes discussions of feminist, queer, transgender, post-colonial, and ethnic studies in relation to masculinity to explore the question “What is masculinity and how does it work?”.
Examining the ways in which the work of theorists like Butler and Foucault can be used to interpret and analyze masculinity, Todd Reeser introduces issues from cross-dressing to nation, covering the key theoretical approaches to the study of masculinity, and introducing new models.


Radford, J. and D. E. H. Russell, Eds. (1992). Femicide. Milton Keynes, Open University Press.
The killing of individual women has sometimes generated feminist anger and inspired acts of protest. But femicide itself – the misogynist killing of women by men – has rarely been the subject of feminist analysis. This anthology represents an attempt to fill this void by bringing together and making more accessible existing writings on femicide and by presenting new material on this subject. Together the contributors address the problem of femicide in the United States, the United Kingdom and India.

Understanding Sexual Violence.

Scully, D. (1990). Understanding Sexual Violence. London, Harper Collins.
Understanding Sexual Violence examines the structural supports for rape in sexually violent cultures and dispels a number of myths about sexual violence–for example, that childhood abuse, alcohol, and drugs are direct causes of rape.

Boys Will be Boys: Breaking the Link Between Masculinity and Violence.

Miedzian, M. (1991). Boys Will be Boys: Breaking the Link Between Masculinity and Violence. New York, Doubleday.
An important, ground-breaking exploration of how and why American males are increasingly turning to violence and what we, as individuals and as a society, can do about it. Lucid, well researched, and highly practical, this very accessible book will appeal to a broad spectrum of readers, including parents and teachers. Miedzian convincingly demonstrates, drawing heavily on research studies in psychology, sociology, and anthropology, how violence can be greatly reduced in our society.

A Man’s World? Changing Men’s Practices in a Globalized World

Pease, B. and K. Pringle, Eds. (2001). A Man’s World? Changing Men’s Practices in a Globalized World. London and New York, Palgrave.
Much work has been produced in recent years regarding critical studies of men’s ppractices utilizing various feminist and pro-feminist perspectives. This book seeks to widen what has hitherto been a dialogue primarily within the Western democracies. The Editors have sought to achieve this by bringing together a number of established as well as new scholars in order to provide a broader critical analysis of men’s practices across a wide range of socio-cultural settings. Particular attention is given to the fact that most studies of globalization and transnational social policy have tended not to encompass issues of men’s practices at all.

Issues covered within this volume include: men as carers of children; men as professional welfare workers; men’s health; men’s violence; and men’s involvement in gender equality projects. Several contributions explore the complex transnational intersections and interaction which are occurring in the way men’s practices are developing across the globe. In addition to this comparative analysis, a carefully selected and wide range of national studies are included from Europe (the UK, Ireland, Sweden and Finland); the Americas (the USA, Brazil and Nicaragua); Asia (India and Hong Kong); as well as Australia and South Africa.