Routledge Handbook Of Gender And Security 1138696218, 9781138696211, 1315525070, 9781315525075

This handbook provides a comprehensive look at the study of gender and security in global politics. The volume is based

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Routledge Handbook Of Gender And Security
 1138696218,  9781138696211,  1315525070,  9781315525075

Table of contents :
Cover......Page 1
Half Title......Page 2
Title Page......Page 4
Copyright Page......Page 5
Table of Contents......Page 6
List of contributors......Page 9
List of abbreviations......Page 16
Editors’ introduction......Page 20
Part I Gendered approaches to security......Page 32
1 Violence against women/violence in the world: toward a feminist conceptualization of global violence......Page 34
2 Gender, structural violence, and peace......Page 46
3 Gender, race, and the insecurity of 'security'......Page 56
4 Feminist narrative approaches to security......Page 67
5 Gender, feminism, and war theorizing......Page 78
6 Men, masculinity, and global insecurity......Page 89
7 Gendered and sexualized figurations of security......Page 102
8 Do queer visions trouble human security?......Page 113
9 Feminist violence and the in/securing of women and feminism......Page 125
10 Exploring gendered security dynamics through fieldwork
and ethnography......Page 135
Part II Gendered insecurities......Page 146
11 Gender and war......Page 148
12 Gender and terrorism......Page 159
13 Gender and everyday violence......Page 170
14 Gendered militarism......Page 179
15 The gendered political economy of insecurity......Page 190
16 Gender and genocide: two case studies......Page 201
17 Migration and gendered insecurities in global politics......Page 213
18 Gender, violence, and technology......Page 224
19 Wartime sexual violence......Page 235
20 The role of gender in mobilizing and countering fundamentalist
violent extremist organizations......Page 246
Part III Gendered security practices......Page 258
21 Embodied in/security as care needs......Page 260
22 Gender agency and violence......Page 271
23 Memory, trauma, and gendered insecurity......Page 281
24 The gendered myth of protection......Page 292
25 Sex, sexuality, reproduction, and international security......Page 303
26 Gender, popular culture, and (in)security......Page 315
Part IV Gendered security institutions......Page 328
27 Gender and the UN’s Women, Peace and Security agenda......Page 330
28 Peace processes and women’s inclusion......Page 342
29 Gender and peacekeeping......Page 353
30 Gender and post-conflict reconstruction......Page 365
31 Gender and security sector reform......Page 378
32 Gender in international security organizations......Page 392
33 Gender and state militaries......Page 404
34 Gender in paramilitary organizations......Page 415
Index......Page 425

Citation preview


This handbook provides a comprehensive look at the study of gender and security in global politics. The volume is based on the core argument that gender is conceptually necessary to thinking about central questions of security; analytically important for thinking about cause and effect in security; and politically important for considering possibilities of making the world better in the future. Contributions to the volume look at various aspects of studying gender and security through diverse lenses that engage diverse feminisms, with diverse policy concerns, and working with diverse theoretical contributions from scholars of security more broadly. It is grouped into four thematic sections: • • • •

Gendered approaches to security (including theoretical, conceptual, and methodological approaches); Gendered insecurities in global politics (including the ways insecurity in global politics is distributed and read on the basis of gender); Gendered practices of security (including how policy practice and theory work together, or do not); Gendered security institutions (across a wide variety of spaces and places in global politics).

This handbook will be of great interest to students of gender studies, security studies and IR in general. Caron E. Gentry is a Senior Lecturer in the School of International Relations at the University of St Andrews, UK. She has published multiple books and journal articles, including, most recently, Beyond Mothers, Monsters, Whores (2015, with Laura Sjoberg) and Offering Hospitality: Questioning Christian Approaches to War (2013). Laura J. Shepherd is a Professor of International Relations at the University of Sydney, Australia. She is also a Visiting Senior Fellow at the LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security in London, UK. She is author/editor of several books, including, most recently, Gender, UN Peacebuilding and the Politics of Space (2017). Laura Sjoberg is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida, USA. She is author or editor of many books, including, most recently, Beyond Mothers, Monsters, Whores (2015, with Caron E. Gentry), Women as Wartime Rapists (2016), and Interpretive Quantification (2017, with J. Samuel Barkin).

‘A comprehensive guide to the field of feminist security studies. Its authors present a compelling case for why security cannot be understood without a gender lens. This Handbook is a must read for all those concerned with global security in its many dimensions.’ J. Ann Tickner, American University, USA ‘International explorations of security and insecurity are now in high gear. Amongst the most fruitful are those by investigators with an explicit gender curiosity. Delving into Gentry, Shepherd, and Sjoberg’s new Handbook is the surest way to get up to speed – and join in – with this crucial international exploration.’ Cynthia Enloe, author of The Big Push: Exposing and Challenging Persistent Patriarchy ‘This comprehensive Handbook reflects the diversity and complexities in the study of gender and security. As such, it is a valuable resource for advanced researchers. For those still testing these (scholarly) waters, the Handbook would be an excellent starting point.’ Soumita Basu, South Asian University, India


Edited by Caron E. Gentry, Laura J. Shepherd and Laura Sjoberg

First published 2019 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN and by Routledge 52 Vanderbilt Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2019 selection and editorial matter, Caron E. Gentry, Laura J. Shepherd and Laura Sjoberg; individual chapters, the contributors The right of Caron E. Gentry, Laura J. Shepherd and Laura Sjoberg to be identified as the authors of the editorial material, and of the authors for their individual chapters, has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilized in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Names: Gentry, Caron E., editor. | Shepherd, Laura J., editor. | Sjoberg, Laura, 1979- editor. Title: The Routledge handbook of gender and security / edited by Caron E. Gentry, Laura J. Shepherd and Laura Sjoberg. Other titles: Handbook of gender and security Description: Abingdon, Oxon; New York, NY: Routledge, 2019. | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2018013414 | ISBN 9781138696211 (hardback) | ISBN 9781315525099 (e-book) Subjects: LCSH: Women—Violence against. | Women—Violence against— Prevention. | Women and human security. Classification: LCC HV6250.4.W65 R686 2019 | DDC 363.32082—dc23 LC record available at ISBN: 978-1-138-69621-1 (hbk) ISBN: 978-1-315-52509-9 (ebk) Typeset in Bembo by Keystroke, Neville Lodge, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton


List of contributors List of abbreviations

viii xv

Editors’ introduction Caron E. Gentry, Laura J. Shepherd, and Laura Sjoberg



Gendered approaches to security


1 Violence against women/violence in the world: toward a feminist conceptualization of global violence Jacqui True and Maria Tanyag


2 Gender, structural violence, and peace Ronni Alexander


3 Gender, race, and the insecurity of  ‘security’ Maryam Khalid


4 Feminist narrative approaches to security Akanksha Mehta and Annick T.R.Wibben


5 Gender, feminism, and war theorizing Laura Sjoberg


6 Men, masculinity, and global insecurity Paul Higate


7 Gendered and sexualized figurations of security Darcy Leigh and Cynthia Weber




8 Do queer visions trouble human security? Michael J. Bosia 9 Feminist violence and the in/securing of women and feminism Marysia Zalewski and Anne Sisson Runyan 10 Exploring gendered security dynamics through fieldwork and ethnography Megan Daigle

94 106



Gendered insecurities


11 Gender and war Julia Welland


12 Gender and terrorism Caron E. Gentry


13 Gender and everyday violence Alexandria J. Innes and Brent J. Steele


14 Gendered militarism Maya Eichler


15 The gendered political economy of insecurity V. Spike Peterson


16 Gender and genocide: two case studies Choman Hardi


17 Migration and gendered insecurities in global politics Meghana Nayak


18 Gender, violence, and technology Cristina Masters


19 Wartime sexual violence Paul Kirby


20 The role of gender in mobilizing and countering fundamentalist violent extremist organizations Keith Proctor and Dyan Mazurana



Gendered security practices239 21 Embodied in/security as care needs Tiina Vaittinen

241 vi


22 Gender agency and violence Elina Penttinen


23 Memory, trauma, and gendered insecurity David Duriesmith


24 The gendered myth of protection Cecilia Åse


25 Sex, sexuality, reproduction, and international security Anna L.Weissman


26 Gender, popular culture, and (in)security Linda Åhäll



Gendered security institutions309 27 Gender and the UN’s Women, Peace and Security agenda Nicole George, Katrina Lee-Koo, and Laura J. Shepherd


28 Peace processes and women’s inclusion Kara Ellerby


29 Gender and peacekeeping Sabrina Karim


30 Gender and post-conflict reconstruction Laura McLeod


31 Gender and security sector reform Megan Bastick


32 Gender in international security organizations Natalie Florea Hudson and Laura Huber


33 Gender and state militaries Melissa T. Brown


34 Gender in paramilitary organizations Sandra McEvoy





Linda Åhäll is Lecturer in International Relations at Keele University, UK. She is a Feminist Security Studies scholar with an interest in popular culture/the everyday, as well as the politics of emotions. She is the author of Sexing War/Policing Gender and co-editor of Emotions, Politics and War and Gender, Agency and Political Violence. Recent journal articles include ‘Affect as methodology: feminism and the politics of emotion’ in International Political Sociology (2018), and ‘The dance of militarisation: a feminist security studies take on the political’ in Critical Studies on Security (2016). Ronni Alexander is a peace researcher, peace educator, and peace activist and has lived in Japan since 1977. She is a Professor in the Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies, Kobe University and the Director of the Kobe University Gender Equality Office. She holds degrees from Yale University (BA, psychology), International Christian University (MA, public administration), and Sophia University (PhD, International Relations). She began the Popoki Peace Project in 2006. Cecilia Åse is Associate Professor in Political Science and Senior Lecturer in Gender Studies at Stockholm University. She has published widely on gender and nationalism in Sweden. Her latest work focuses on gender aspects of crisis narratives and military death and is found in International Feminist Journal of Politics, Cooperation and Conflict, and Journal of Cold War Studies. Megan Bastick is a researcher at the University of Edinburgh, examining the gendered dimensions of how armed forces engage with their obligations under international law. She has worked since 2005 with the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces, implementing programmes to support gender mainstreaming in the security sector. Megan has published in academic journals, developed practitioner-oriented handbooks, and delivers gender and security training for armed forces, peacekeepers, government officials and women’s organizations. Michael J. Bosia’s research is on the empowerment of communities facing the pressures of globalization and marginalization, including the politics of HIV/AIDS, sexual minorities and LGBT rights, and local food systems published. He has published in Globalizations, Perspectives on Politics, New Political Science, French Politics, Culture & Society, and five edited collections. Recent viii


publications include ‘Strange fruit’ in The Journal of Human Rights and ‘To love or to loathe’ in Sexualities in World Politics. Other recent publications include two edited volumes: with Meredith Weiss, Global Homophobia: States, Movements, and the Politics of Oppression (University of Illinois Press, 2013); and Globalization and Food Sovereignty: Global and Local Change in the New Politics of Food with Peter Andrée, Jeffrey Ayres, M. Bosia, and Marie-Josée Massicotte (University of Toronto Press). His current project on state homophobia and LGBT activism draws on field research in France, Uganda, and Egypt. Melissa T. Brown is Associate Professor of Political Science at the City University of New York–Borough of Manhattan Community College. She earned her PhD from Rutgers University. She is the author of Enlisting Masculinity: The Construction of Gender in U.S. Military Recruiting Advertising during the All-Volunteer Force (Oxford University Press, 2012). Megan Daigle is Lecturer in Political Science and International Studies at the University of Birmingham, UK. Her first book, From Cuba with Love: Sex and Money in the Twenty-First Century, was published in 2015 by the University of California Press, and her work has also appeared in Alternatives and Millennium. Megan’s research focuses on gender and sexuality in international politics, and especially on the body as the object of security and the subject of resistance. David Duriesmith is a Development Fellow in the School of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Queensland. David researches masculinity, armed conflict and violence. His book Masculinities and New Wars:The Gendered Dynamics of New War was published by Routledge in 2017. David’s current research focuses on the construction of non-violent masculinities. Maya Eichler is Canada Research Chair in Social Innovation and Community Engagement and Assistant Professor in the Department of Political and Canadian Studies and the Department of Women’s Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University (Halifax). Her research interests lie in feminist security studies, gender and the armed forces, military-to-civilian transitions, military families, and the privatization of military security. Kara Ellerby, PhD (University of Arizona, 2011) is faculty in the department of Political Science & International Relations with a joint appointment in Women & Gender Studies. Her research interests include global gender norms, gender and security, African post-conflict peacebuilding, and feminist International Relations. Her book, No Shortcut to Change: The Unlikely Path to a More Gender Equitable World, was published in 2017 with NYU Press. Caron E. Gentry is a Senior Lecturer in the School of International Relations at the University of St Andrews. She is a Research Fellow in the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at St Andrews. Her main research topics are gender and terrorism and feminist political theology. Her work has been published in multiple journals including International Feminist Journal of Politics, Millennium, and International Relations and Development. She is the author of This American Moment: A Feminist Christian Realist Intervention (Oxford University Press, 2018). Nicole George is a Senior Lecturer in Peace and Conflict Studies in the School of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Queensland. She has a strong interest in the way gender and politics are configured in Pacific Island contexts, with a particular recent focus on the gendered impacts of conflict in the region and the roles played by women in ix


peacebuilding and conflict transition. Recent publications on these themes appear in International Feminist Journal of Politics, Policing and Society, Third World Thematics, International Political Science Review, and the Australian Journal of International Affairs. Choman Hardi went to England as a refugee in 1993 and was educated at Oxford, London and Kent Universities. She returned to Kurdistan in 2014 to teach Literature and Gender Studies and founded the Center for Gender and Development Studies at the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani (AUIS). She has written about the impact of genocide on Kurdish women in Iraq in Gendered Experiences of Genocide (Routledge, 2011). Her English poetry collections, Life for Us (2004) and Considering the Women (2015), were published by Bloodaxe Books. Considering the Women was shortlisted for the Forward Prize. Her translation of Sherko Bekes’s Butterfly Valley won a PEN Translates Award in 2017. Paul Higate is a Professor in Conflict & Security at the University of Bath, focusing on gender, security, and militarization. Paul’s work has focused on military masculinities and gendered relations in a number of substantive contexts that include UN and NATO peacekeeping operations and private military and security companies. In recent years, Paul’s research has taken a critical turn with a focus on how far and in what kinds of ways the UK can be said to be subject to creeping processes of militarization. The particular approach taken to this emerging interest focuses on the nexus linking history with national culture that combine to normalize and obscure the use of military power in the contemporary context. Laura Huber is a doctoral candidate in Political Science at Emory University. Her dissertation examines the impact of civil conflict and international intervention on women’s rights. Her other work focuses on the integration of women into security forces and the gendered practices of international security organizations, women’s participation in non-violent and violent political behaviour, and the effects of gender equality on violence against civilians. Her work has appeared in Conflict Management and Peace Science. She holds an MA in Political Science from Emory University. Natalie Florea Hudson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Dayton, where she also serves as the Director of the Human Rights Studies Program. She specializes in gender and International Relations, the politics of human rights, human security, and international law and organization. Her book, Gender, Human Security and the UN: Security Language as a Political Framework for Women (Routledge, 2009) examines the organizational dynamics of women’s activism in the United Nations system and how women have come to embrace and been impacted by the security discourse in their work for rights and equality. Alexandria J. Innes is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of East Anglia. Her research lies at the intersection of migration studies and security studies, using ethnographic and narrative methods. She has published research in various academic outlets, including International Political Sociology, Security Dialogue, Critical Studies on Terrorism, Geopolitics, and International Relations. Her first monograph, entitled Migration, Citizenship and the Challenge for Security, was published by Palgrave in 2015. Alexandria founded and co-convenes the interdisciplinary Migration Research Network at UEA for participatory action research in migration studies. x


Sabrina Karim is an Assistant Professor in Government at Cornell University. She is the coauthor of Equal Opportunity Peacekeeping (Oxford University Press, 2017), which was the winner of the Conflict Research Society Best Book Award in 2017. Her research focuses on international involvement in security assistance to post-conflict states, gender reforms in peacekeeping and domestic security sectors, and the relationship between gender and violence. Her work has been published in International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, The British Journal of Political Science, The Journal of Peace Research, and International Interactions, among others. Maryam Khalid is a Lecturer at Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia) and Director of the University’s Bachelor of International Studies programme. Her research sits at the intersection of race, gender, and sexuality in global politics, with a focus on representation and identity in and across cultural and political texts. She has a particular interest in the construction of ‘Western’ and ‘Other’ identities. Her current research projects explore representations of ‘brown women’ in various contexts, and how gender, sexuality, and race function in and across historical and contemporary global governance discourses. Paul Kirby is Lecturer in International Security at the University of Sussex and a Research Fellow in the Centre for Women, Peace and Security at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research focuses on the politics of wartime sexual violence. Katrina Lee-Koo is an Associate Professor of International Relations and Deputy Director of Monash University’s Gender, Peace and Security research centre. Her research examines the United Nations Women, Peace and Security agenda, the participation of women in post-conflict peace process, and the experiences of children and conflict. Recently, she is the co-author of Ethics and Global Security (with Anthony Burke and Matt McDonald, Routledge, 2014) and Children and Global Conflict (with Kim Huynh and Bina D’Costa, Cambridge, 2015). Darcy Leigh is a member of the Law School at the University of Sussex, where she researches queer, decolonial and crip politics, and pedagogy and works to ‘widen participation’ with Sussex’s Social Sciences Foundation Year. Dr Leigh has researched and consulted for multiple decolonial higher education programmes (including at the universities of Alberta and Ottawa) and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Academy of Government, University of Edinburgh, where she also completed her PhD in International Relations (which won the British International Studies Association’s ‘Best Thesis’ Prize). Cristina Masters is Lecturer in International Politics at the University of Manchester. Her research and publication interests are on feminism and war with a specific focus on technology and posthuman politics. She has published in the International Feminist Journal of Politics and Security Dialogue and her book on Gender and Technologies of Security is forthcoming with Routledge in 2019. Her broader research interests include feminist methodologies and futures and the intersections of feminism, postcolonialism and queer theory in International Relations. Dyan Mazurana, PhD, is Associate Research Professor at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and a Senior Research Fellow at the World Peace Foundation. Dyan carries out research in the areas of women, children, and armed conflict; gender and armed groups; gendered dimensions of humanitarian response to conflict and crises; documenting serious crimes committed during conflict; and accountability, remedy, and reparation. She has published more than 100 scholarly and policy xi


books, articles, and international reports. Her latest book is Research Methods in Conflict Settings: A View from Below (Cambridge University Press, 2013) with Karen Jacobsen and Lacey Gale. Sandra McEvoy is a Clinical Associate Professor of Political Science and Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies at Boston University. She has written extensively on the Northern Irish conflict, including the gendered motivations for women’s participation in political violence; the impact that such participation has on notions of men and masculinity; and the role that perpetrators of political violence can play in sustainable peace processes. Laura McLeod is a Lecturer in International Politics at the University of Manchester, UK. Laura’s research interests include gender, feminism and security in post-conflict contexts, in particular ex-Yugoslavia. She is currently working on a British Academy funded project ‘Do We Know Gender in Peacebuilding? Gender Knowledge and Peacebuilding Indicators’ which explores how gender indicators and databases used within UN peacebuilding configure ideas about gender expertise. Laura’s first book, Gender Politics and Security Discourse: Personal-Political Imaginations and Feminism in ‘Post-Conflict’ Serbia was published by Routledge in 2016. Akanksha Mehta is a Lecturer in International Relations at the School of Global Studies, University of Sussex, UK. She teaches courses on gender, sexuality, race, political violence, and global history. She holds a PhD in Gender Studies from SOAS, University of London. Her PhD research, titled Right-Wing Sisterhood, was an ethnography of the everyday politics of Hindu Nationalist Women in India and Israeli Zionist Settler Women in Palestine. She is currently transforming this work into a monograph. Her broader research interests include feminist, queer, and postcolonial/decolonial theory, political violence, war and conflict, settler colonial studies, narrative, visual politics, and critical intersectional pedagogy. She is also a photographer, visual artist, and community activist. Meghana Nayak is Professor of Political Science and Affiliate Faculty of Women’s and Gender Studies at Pace University. Her research focuses on the politics of gender violence and the racialized and gendered categorization of migrants. She is co-author with Eric Selbin of Decentering International Relations (Zed Books, 2010) and author of Who is Worthy of Protection? Gender-Based Asylum and U.S. Immigration Politics (Oxford University Press, 2015). Elina Penttinen is a University Lecturer and Director of Master’s programme in Gender Studies, University of Helsinki. She has published widely on gender and violence and compassionbased methodology. She leads a multidisciplinary feminist research project on violence and develops feminist analysis on healing trauma. She is the author of Joy and International Relations: A New Methodology (Routledge, 2013), and Globalization, Prostitution and Sex-Trafficking: Corporeal Politics (Routledge, 2008). She teaches courses on feminist methodology, scientific writing and gender studies and supervises doctoral thesis projects in Gender Studies. Her areas of expertise are feminist methodology, creative analytic writing, contemplative pedagogy and research on violence. V. Spike Peterson is Professor of International Relations at the University of Arizona, and affiliated faculty in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, the Institute for LGBT Studies and International Studies. Her current research features critical analyses of political economy, racialization, informalization, global householding, and global insecurities, as well as long histories and current critical queerings of marriage, citizenship, and states/nations. xii


Keith Proctor is a researcher with subject matter expertise in governance, conflict, and peacebuilding. A Visiting Fellow at the Feinstein International Center, Tufts University, he was formerly the Senior Advisor for Countering Violent Extremism at the US Department of State’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, and the Senior Policy Researcher at Mercy Corps. His work has been covered by CNN,Vice News, and the Washington Post, among other outlets. Keith is a graduate of Stanford University, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts, and Harvard Divinity School. Anne Sisson Runyan is Professor of Political Science and former Head of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Cincinnati. Her most recent authored, co-authored, and co-edited books include Global Gender Politics (Routledge, forthcoming 2018), Global Gender Issues in the New Millennium (Westview,  2014), Gender and Global Restructuring (Routledge, 2011) and Feminist (Im)Mobilities in Fortress(ing) North America (Ashgate/Routledge, 2013/2016). She has also served as an associate and guest editor of the International Feminist Journal of Politics. Laura J. Shepherd is an ARC Future Fellow and Professor of International Relations at the University of Sydney, Australia, and Visiting Senior Fellow at the LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security in London, UK. Laura’s primary research focuses on the United Nations Security Council’s ‘Women, Peace and Security’ agenda and she has written extensively on the formulation of UNSCR1325 and subsequent Women, Peace and Security resolutions. She is author/ editor of several books, including, most recently, Gender, UN Peacebuilding, and the Politics of Space: Locating Legitimacy (Oxford University Press, 2017), and her research has been published in journals such as European Journal of International Relations, International Feminist Journal of Politics, and International Affairs. Laura Sjoberg is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida. Dr Sjoberg’s work has been published in more than three dozen journals in political science, law, International Relations, gender studies, and geography. She is author or editor of several books, including, most recently, Beyond Mothers, Monsters,Whores (with Caron Gentry, Zed Books, 2015), Women as Wartime Rapists (NYU Press, 2016), and Interpretive Quantification (with J. Samuel Barkin, University of Michigan Press, 2017). Brent J. Steele is the Francis D. Wormuth Presidential Chair and Professor of Political Science at the University of Utah. He is the author of Alternative Accountabilities in Global Politics:The Scars of Violence (Routledge, 2013); Defacing Power:The Aesthetics of Insecurity in Global Politics (University of Michigan Press, 2010) and Ontological Security in International Relations (Routledge, 2008). He is currently pursuing research projects on the topics of restraint, vicarious identity, micropolitics, and further studies on ontological security. He is the co-editor of five books, has edited three journal special issues or symposia, and has published articles in a number of international studies journals, most recently in Cooperation and Conflict, the European Journal of International Relations, and Millennium. At the University of Utah, he teaches courses on US foreign policy, international security, International Relations theory, and international ethics. Maria Tanyag is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Monash University’s Centre for Gender, Peace and Security. Her research, which explores the intersections of social reproduction, crisis, and the political economy of sexual and reproductive freedoms, has been published in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Women’s Studies International Forum, Gender & Development, and the International Feminist Journal of Politics. xiii


Jacqui True is Professor of International Relations and Director of Monash University’s Centre for Gender, Peace and Security. She is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow and a Global Fellow at the Peace Research Institute (PRIO), Oslo. She is the author of The Political Economy of Violence against Women (Oxford, 2012) and co-editor with Sara Davies of the Oxford Handbook on Women, Peace and Security (2018). Tiina Vaittinen is a postdoctoral researcher in Tampere Peace Research Institute TAPRI, University of Tampere, Finland. Her work focuses on the global politics of corporeality, migration, and elderly care, which she analyses with the help of feminist political theory, biopolitics, and critical disability studies. Her publications can be read in journals such as International Feminist Journal of Politics, Women’s Studies International Forum, and Global Society. Cynthia Weber is Professor of International Relations at the University of Sussex. She has written extensively on sovereignty, intervention, and US foreign policy, as well as on feminist, gendered, and sexualized understandings and organizations of International Relations. Her latest book is Queer International Relations: Sovereignty, Sexuality and the Will to Knowledge (Oxford University Press, 2016). Anna L. Weissman is a PhD candidate at the University of Florida whose research focuses on the genealogy of sexuality, gender, and the nation-state. Her dissertation develops the concept of repronormativity through a study of lesbian, gay, and trans reproductive rights in Western and Central Europe. Anna’s work has been published in the Journal of GLBT Family Studies, the International Feminist Journal of Politics, and the Journal of Women, Politics, and Policy. Julia Welland is an Assistant Professor of War Studies and a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick. Her current research explores experiences of joy and pleasure within US veteran communities, and she continues to be interested by questions about the interrelationship between gender, war, and military power. Annick T.R. Wibben is Professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of San Francisco where she also directs the Peace and Justice Studies programme. From 2001 to 2005, she worked as co-Investigator of the Information Technology, War and Peace Project at the Watson Institute for International Studies. She has published two books, Feminist Security Studies: A Narrative Approach (Routledge, 2011) and Researching War: Feminist Methods, Ethics and Politics (Routledge, 2016), as well as numerous articles and book chapters. She is the Editor of Digital Media for the International Feminist Journal of Politics. Marysia Zalewski is Professor of International Relations at Cardiff University,Wales, UK. Her research is located at the intersections of critical International Relations theory, feminist theory, queer theory, and political theory. Currently she is engaged in critical projects on sexual violence against men, sexed violence and terrorism, performance and knowledge production in international politics, and creative writing in International Relations. Her book Sexual Violence against Men in Global Politics (co-edited with Paula Drumond, Elisabeth Prügl and Maria Stern) was published by Routledge in 2018.




African National Congress artificial reproduction technologies Association of South East Asian Nations African Union Election Observation Mission Colectif des Associations et ONGs Femininies du Burundi Convention on the Elimination All Forms of Discrimination Against Women conflict-related sexual violence European Union Common Security and Defence Policy civil society organization countering violent extremism Committee on Women in NATO Forces Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations Democratic Republic of Congo United Nations Economic and Social Council European Union Furezas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia federally administrated territories of northern Pakistan Female Engagement Teams Frente Farabundo Martí para Liberación Nacional United Nations Female Military Peacekeepers Network European Agency for Fundamental Rights Feminist Security Studies Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Gender Expert and Support Team Global Financial Crisis global political economy Human Rights Council International Criminal Court Inter-Congolese Dialogue International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda xv



International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre internally displaced persons international government organization international non-governmental organization United Nations Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women IO international organization IPE International Political Economy (academic discipline of) IPV intimate partner violence IR International Relations (academic discipline of) IS/ISIS Islamic State IVAW Iraqi Veterans against the War IVF in vitro fertilization LGBT lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans* LGBTQIA lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer/questioning, intersex, and asexual/allies LNP Liberian National Police LRA Lord’s Resistance Army LTTE Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam MAMs military-aged males MARA monitoring, analysis, and reporting arrangements MILF Moro Islamic Liberation Front MIMENET military-industrial-media-entertainment-network MTI Mali Transition Initiative (USAID) NAP National Action Plan NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization NCGP NATO Committee on Gender Perspectives NGO non-governmental organization NRCC Natural Resources Counter-insurgency Cell ODC United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development OSCE Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe PIF Pacific Islands Forum PMSC private military and security companies PO paramilitary organization PrE productive economy PTSD post-traumatic stress disorder R2P Responsibility to Protect RAF Red Army Faction RAP Regional Action Plan RAWA Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan RE reproductive economy RMA revolution in military affairs RPV reproductive, productive, and virtual economies SADF South African Defence Force SDGs Sustainable Development Goals SEA sexual exploitation and abuse SGBV sexual and gender-based violence xvi



Status of Forces Agreements Security Studies (academic discipline of) security sector reform Trafficking Victims Protection Act unmanned aerial vehicle United Nations United Nations Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women United Nations Mission in Cyprus United Nations Population Fund United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees United Nations Development Fund for Women (see UN Women) United Nations Mission in Kosovo United Nations Mission in Liberia United Nations Mission in Timor UN Police United Nations Security Council United Nations Security Council Resolution US Agency for International Development virtual economy violent extremist organizations Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Women Without Walls Initiative women’s protection advisers Women Preventing Extremist Violence Women, Peace and Security Syria–Kurdish People’s Protection Movement


EDITORS’ INTRODUCTION Caron E. Gentry, Laura J. Shepherd, and Laura Sjoberg

Feminist work in International Relations (IR) has been interested in security from its very beginning; foundational contributions to feminist IR explicitly addressed security (including, for example, canonical works such as J. Ann Tickner’s (1992) Gender in International Relations: Feminist Perspectives on Achieving Global Security, V. Spike Peterson’s (1992) edited collection Gendered States, and Jean Bethke Elshtain’s (1987) Women and War). More recently, an explicit subfield of Feminist Security Studies has arisen, an area that has been thriving and growing exponentially over the last decade. Within this subfield, there have been a number of stocktaking exercises in key texts such as Laura Sjoberg’s edited collection in the journal Security Studies and follow-up book Gender and International Security (2009); Annick Wibben’s (2011) Feminist Security Studies: A Narrative Approach; and Maria Stern and Annick Wibben’s (2015) ‘A decade of feminist security studies revisited’ in Security Dialogue. A 2011 Politics & Gender forum thinking about the state of FSS and a 2013 International Studies Perspectives forum conceived as a response featured contributions from, among others, Carol Cohn (2011), Bina D’Costa and Katrina Lee-Koo (2013), Swati Parashar (2013), and Teresia Teaiwa and Claire Slatter (2013); these latter collections in particular pushed those of us who identify as ‘Feminist Security Studies’ scholars to consider what that identification means and what are some of the implications of its articulation. If FSS is well-established, and there have been some stock-taking exercises, there remains a gap in the literature where a comprehensive reader engaging with the key topics of FSS research, written by researchers that have constituted the field internationally, should be. This is the contribution that we hope this book will make. While we are not interested in streamlining the ‘tensions’ that Christine Sylvester (2010) has identified within FSS, as we believe that these tensions have been, and can continue to be, productive, we hope that this volume will help crystallize the subfield of FSS, theoretically and empirically, for the scholars interested in gender, security, and related fields of research. We have aimed to produce this Handbook as both a work of documentation and a work of scholarship. The volume is based on the core argument that gender is necessary, conceptually, to thinking about the central issues in Security Studies; important in analysing causes and predicting outcomes; and essential to thinking about solutions and promoting positive change. Contributions to the volume examine various aspects of studying gender and security through diverse lenses that engage diverse feminisms, with diverse policy concerns, and 1

C.E. Gentry, L.J. Shepherd, and L. Sjoberg

working with diverse theoretical contributions from scholars of security more broadly. To present this wide-ranging body of research, we have produced a Handbook organized around four major themes, each of which is explored in a specific section. These sections are: approaches to security (including theoretical, conceptual, and methodological approaches); gendered insecurities in global politics (including the various ways in which insecurity manifests in the world and the gendered dynamics of these manifestations); practices of security (including practices not normally considered within the remit of conventional approaches to security, such as ethical practice, and popular/cultural practices); and security institutions (including national, regional, and international organizations and modes of organization). In Part I, on gendered approaches to security, we look to share a variety of the different theoretical lenses that feminists use to theorize security, along with different foci and different methods. If, in FSS, there have been a variety of approaches to understanding how security is gendered and gender is securitized, this section focuses on sharing an overview of several of them, their commonalities and differences. We argue that no approach to FSS can (or should) dominate the field of inquiry, but that it is useful to understand the different ways of thinking about gender and security that are prevalent in the field. Using feminist, decolonial, queer, and narrative approaches, the chapters in this section explore concepts as narrow as war and as broad as violence (material, structural, and discursive). A common thread through the chapters is a concern with gender as a central factor in security however security is defined; each individual chapter gives a different take and a different contribution to that question. This collection of approaches aims both to provide a general overview of the theoretical and methodological tools of the field of FSS and provide foundation for many of the chapters later in this book exploring particular aspects of, or institutions in, security and/or insecurity from a feminist perspective. This first section of the Handbook has two goals. First, it looks to pay homage to the variety of approaches deployed in thinking about gender, security, and global politics. Objects (war, conflict, violence, structural violence), subjects (women, gender, masculinity/ femininity, sexuality), and methods (narrativization, fieldwork, ethnography, discourse analysis) vary significantly across a wide variety of work broadly at home in FSS. While even a Handbook this long and comprehensive cannot do all of the different approaches to thinking about gender and security full justice, Part I looks to provide a diverse sampling of base assumptions and frames at the root of research into gender and security in global politics. Second, and relatedly, this section looks to provide a foundation for the chapters later in the book analysing gender(ed) insecurities, gender(ed) practices, and gender(ed) institutions. Much of the thematic work in those chapters draws from or is informed by many of the approaches that are featured or engaged in this section of the book. No approach in this section is totalizing, or paradigmatic; none is meant either here or elsewhere in the FSS literature as exclusive of the others. Instead, each chapter here provides a lens or a perspective – someplace to look first – that informs its approach to thinking about gender, security, and global politics. Jacqui True and Maria Tanyag bring to the forefront the feminist lesson that violence is not something that is or is not – it is a continuum. Suggesting that gender analysis reveals a multidimensional power structure in global politics which constitutes violence (and violence as gendered), True and Tanyag emphasize a threepart strategy key to both understanding and mitigating gendered violence. The authors characterize violence in the world as multi-layered, as interconnected across forms, and as demanding both short-term and long-term solutions. Arguing that moments of ‘crisis’ simply illuminate continuums of violences, True and Tanyag advocate a broad and holistic approach to (feminist) theorizing of violence. 2

Editors’ introduction

This is a theme that Ronni Alexander picks up in her chapter, ‘Gender, structural violence, and peace’. Alexander contends that the concept of structural violence is useful to the extent (and only to the extent) that it takes account of social relations as gendered. Alexander traces the conceptual history of the concept of structural violence, then applies it to the murder of Japanese woman Rina Shimabukuro, who was raped then killed around the United States military base in Okinawa. Through this analysis, Alexander argues that a feminist approach to theorizing security understands not only militarism and war but all of the aspects of structural violence as gendered, which allows for an interdependent, intersectional analysis of gender, violence, and gender violence in global politics. Intersectional analysis is the focus of Maryam Khalid’s ‘Gender, race, and the insecurity of “security”’. Khalid approaches the study of (gender and) security with the notion that understanding the role that race plays in analysing both/either is key. Using postcolonial and feminist approaches to thinking about security, Khalid argues that the very concept of security itself does significant work in rendering people insecure based on gender, race, and other marginalizing factors. Khalid’s chapter suggests that the logics of ‘security’ in practice, and relatedly the logics of mainstream security theorizing, are gendered and racialized in important ways. The chapter suggests that any view of what security is, and how it functions, which fails to take account of these factors is necessarily partial. Annick T.R. Wibben and Akanksha Mehta’s approach, a narrative approach to (gender and) security, suggests that the variety of stories and storytellers should be the focus of the study of security. They demonstrate that identity and security are interdependent, and interact every day. The chapter shows the utility of the approach to (gender and) security that uses narratives about gender and other intersectional identity markers to understand how the idea of security comes to be shaped and reshaped. Wibben and Mehta contend that feminist research into security should both study and use narratives, and that narrative theory offers an important tool for feminist approaches to security in a wide variety of applications. Laura Sjoberg’s chapter suggests that feminist theorizing has significant relevance even in the narrow application where Security Studies is limited to a traditional understanding that security = war = security. Drawing on Carol Cohn’s (2011) distinction between ‘feminist security’ studies and feminist ‘security studies’, Sjoberg makes the argument that feminisms can transform war theorizing across a wide variety of substantive interests. Suggesting that feminist ‘war theorizing’ can provide different causal and constitutive accounts of the causes, practices, and consequences of war while ‘feminist security’ theorizing can help to question the boundaries of the concept of war, Sjoberg goes over a variety of feminist ‘takes’ on war theorizing. The chapter argues that foregrounding feminisms in understanding war has significant conceptual and normative payoffs. One of the payoffs of foregrounding feminisms can be seen in Paul Higate’s chapter on masculinities and insecurities in global politics. Feminist work on security has suggested that it is not only women who have gender, and not only femininities that influence social and political perceptions and balances of power. Research has shown that masculinities matter in political order (Connell 1995), militarization (Belkin 2012; Eichler 2011), and a wide variety of other security-related matters. Higate uses the lens of masculinity to think about how insecurity is produced and distributed in global politics. Theorizing from the example of the Islamic State (IS), Higate explores the complex gendered matrix of violence, movement, and insecurity in global politics through assemblage theory. With Higate, feminist theorists who think about security assemblages (e.g., Shepherd and Sjoberg 2012) consider the compilation and overlap of different aspects of (gender and) security to see the genderings of security in multidimensional ways. 3

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Another tool that feminist theorists have used to think about gender and security is the idea of figurations, which feature prominently in the approach of Darcy Leigh and Cynthia Weber. Citing Donna Haraway (1997), Leigh and Weber explain that figurations are “distillations of shared meanings in forms or images”. The authors argue that gendered and sexualized figurations can be found across the theory and practice of security, where figurations of security are gendered, sexualized, and geomorphized across conflicts. Using examples from across global politics, Leigh and Weber argue that some figurations must be made ‘secure’ while others are left ‘insecure’, mediated by race, gender, and sexuality, intersectionally. Michael Bosia suggests that thinking about sexuality, and queering security, both highlights homonormativity in the construction of state sovereignty and security and demonstrates the ways that traditional thinking about what security is and how it operates breaks down when delinked from the sexualized straitjackets in which the concept is usually imprisoned. He argues that there is useful analytical purchase in understanding state and international homophobia as securitized and as a force of insecurity, problematizing the juxtaposition of rights and security discourses in the process. Marysia Zalewski and Anne Sisson Runyan’s chapter problematizes the assumption that feminisms are non-violent in their approaches to and critiques of the violent world of security. They acknowledge that feminism is itself a violent force, both generally and as a project within security theorizing and security governance. In Zalewski and Runyan’s understanding, feminisms within and about security are not violent as opposed to some nonviolent alternative. Instead, they are violences in a world of violences – with the view that doing violence does not always warrant normative condemnation but does always warrant recognition. Zalewski and Runyan urge feminist violence toward the gender binaries that legitimize militarism and war, and suggest that attempts to detract attention from the violences of feminism do not make them disappear but do make them less available to command and use to intervene in security assemblages. Megan Daigle’s chapter, which concludes this section, focuses on the practice of gendered research into security dynamics through ethnographic fieldwork. Daigle’s chapter engages with the different contexts and struggles inherent in feminist security fieldwork across widely different locations. Asking what makes fieldwork feminist, Daigle traces commonalities between feminist work in Security Studies and the ethnographic fieldwork literature. The chapter argues that feminist security fieldwork begins from lived experience, amplifies voices of those whom security is often ‘done to’ rather than ‘done by’, takes a reflexive approach, and produces ‘messy’ and complicated knowledge. Daigle concludes by discussing the many advantages of a feminist approach thinking about security that centres the experience of security. Turning to Part II, the contributions collected under the title of ‘Gendered insecurities’ explicitly and implicitly take on the abstractions that Security Studies is accused of perpetuating. Abstractions are thin generalizations about what is meant by security and what is included in the study of security. Much of the literature in mainstream Security Studies revolves around the state and its military (and to a lesser extent, economic) power, and how these engage other states in an anarchic state system. What these abstractions fail to account for is how security, or rather insecurities, impact and affect the lives of the people within, beyond, and in between these states. Furthermore, abstractions hide or cloud the operations of power between states but primarily between people. Therefore, the chapters in this section examine everything from war and militarism, terrorism, and countering violent extremism, the experiences of sexual violence in war and genocide, to migration, everyday violence, and how the global political economy perpetuates further insecurities. These chapters serve 4

Editors’ introduction

to explore how what are often conceived of as security measures can often result in harmful practices, resulting in the gendered insecurities of individual lives. When it comes to IR, feminists have long critiqued the problem of abstraction, which happens with a simplistic focus on generalizations and long-distance ‘take-aways’. When IR scholars, and for the purposes of this volume, Security Studies scholars focus only upon the state, ‘Westphalia’, or the ‘international system’, they therefore fail to acknowledge the individuals, communities, and societies involved in IR (see Sylvester 1994: 34–35). In a refutation of abstraction, for almost four decades feminists have attempted to bring the individual into IR – it is, as Cynthia Enloe declared: the personal is political is international (2000: 195–198). In J. Ann Tickner’s Gender in International Relations (1992), she takes on the issue of abstraction in neo-Realism’s focus upon the rationality of state behaviour. She argues, borrowing from both Richard Ashley and Jean Bethke Elshtain, that “[n]owhere in the rational powerbalancing behavior of states can we find the patriot willing to go to war to defend his women and children in the name of national security” (Tickner 1992: 42). In such a world, “states . . . act independently of human interests” (Tickner 1992: 42). It is a cold and lonely world “in which, as [Elshtain] observes, ‘No children are ever born, and nobody ever dies . . . There are states, and they are what is’” (Tickner 1992: 42). Instead of remaining in the abstracted world of rational states and the balance of power, the people and the stuff of IR emerge in the essays in this section. Though the entire volume looks at the various facets of gender and security writ large, this section deals with what ‘Security Studies’ portends to address but is hampered by abstractions: insecurities. While there are a great many more insecurities than covered in these ten chapters, these essays do an excellent job of positing feminist and gender studies perspectives on war, terrorism, violent extremism, militarism, sexual violence, genocide, migration, technology, everyday violences, economics, and violent extremism. The first chapter of the section, ‘Gender and war’ by Julia Welland, tackles the abstractions of war head-on, beginning with her statement that “A picture of war is a picture of gendered bodies”. She starts by examining what gendered bodies are meant to do in wartime. While men are ‘supposed’ to be the ones who fight war, Welland examines how war plays out on women’s bodies as well, creating connections with the chapters on ‘Gender and genocide’, and ‘Wartime sexual violence’. Abstractions erase and silence – in war they erase women’s active participation in the fighting and men as victims/peacemakers. Similar gender structures are discussed in Caron E. Gentry’s chapter on ‘Gender and terrorism’. Terrorism is often conceptualized along both gender and raced lines, leading to seemingly natural ways of classifying different violences as terrorism or not. The association of men and hegemonic masculinity with violence has meant that men are seen as ‘natural’ terrorists, which is exacerbated by the colonialist alignment of brown men with problematic hypermasculinity and hyperaggression. There is potentially no better way to de-abstract Security Studies than to look at everyday violences, or ‘those forms of violence that occur as part of the banal experience of everyday life’, as Alexandria J. Innes and Brent J. Steele do in their chapter. Their main argument is that if, as Welland argues, war and violence are conceptualized as masculine, then everyday violence is not. Therefore, the individuals and institutions that encompass it are decentred and mundane. To be unexceptional, banal, mundane “doesn’t mean [the violence] doesn’t matter” instead “it goes unnoticed”. Innes and Steele seek to (re)contextualize and complicate these oft-ignored violences within the realm of Security Studies by looking at the legitimate claims and the worthiness of study. 5

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Maya Eichler’s chapter on ‘Gendered militarism’ also begins with a powerful deabstraction with the discussion of a Canadian veteran’s murder-suicide of his family. Eichler argues this is a powerful exemplar of “the ripple effects of violence that can occur when soldiers return home from war, or Canada’s participation in the war in Afghanistan”. The ignorance of such violence is a result of the gendered abstraction of militarism, “an ideology that values the military and its members over civilian society” as well as “militarized . . . means of resolving differences”. Therefore, militarism is a particular focus of IR feminists who grapple with the changing nature of militarism over time and the best way to counter it. Shifting to economics, V. Spike Peterson also notes in her contribution how gendered global political economy (GPE) is. For Peterson, GPE is no less important to understanding gendered security than war or everyday violences. By “emphasiz[ing] . . . the differential valorization – conceptually and materially – of qualities associated with masculinity and femininity affects the unequal distribution of authority, privilege, resources, and insecurities”. In her critique of neoliberal capitalism, Peterson helps the reader understand how some production work is feminized or devalorized, drawing attention to the complexity of both process and product. ‘Gender and genocide’ is Choman Hardi’s investigation of two genocides in KurdistanIraq, the 1988 Anfal genocide and the 2014 Ezidi genocide. In order to specifically combat the gendered erasures that have happened in previous navigations and narrations of genocide, Hardi chooses to highlight how different governmental agencies rely on the edited statements of female survivors to tell the story, dependent upon gendered notions of what victimhood should look like. Meghana Nayak looks at the various gendered insecurities that migrants face. These might include, for example, sexual violence and gendered dynamics of labour economies. More substantially, the chapter offers a theoretical framework that examines the gendered insecurities of states and their encounters with migrants. Nayak suggests an explanation of how migrants and migration becomes an abstracted perspective in which states presume a gendered identity as well as embed gendered and biased perspectives about individuals. Cristina Masters provides a glimpse into the gendered dimensions of violence and technology with a particular focus on drone warfare in her chapter. Masters specifically looks at how “[f  ]eminism searches for bodily/embodied enactments of gender” in drone warfare. Masters convincingly argues that drone warfare is still deeply masculinized and militarized. Drone warfare is distinctly masculinized in its attempt “to circumvent the fleshy body in service of mastery, control, and dominance in hopes of eliminating uncertainty and unpredictability in war – cloaked in precision, humanity, authority, and morality”. Paul Kirby interrogates the “intersection of gender and insecurity” in wartime sexual violence. Kirby begins by looking at how the wars in Yugoslavia and Rwanda in the 1990s began the work of both documenting and politicizing rape and sexual violence in war. Instead of being hidden/accepted in patriarchal socio-political structures as a byproduct of war, rape at this point in time finally began to be viewed as a violation of human rights and as a war crime. Kirby additionally examines the scholarship that focuses on the individuals in the “roles of victim and perpetrator, bystander and protector”. Kirby ends by looking at the problematic distinction between ‘wartime’ and ‘peacetime’ and how to designate the sexual violence that takes place in either realm. The final chapter of this section by Keith Proctor and Dyan Mazurana looks at the role of gender in countering violent extremist organizations (VEO). They use gender to theorize how VEOs recruit and keep male and female members. Most importantly, Proctor and Mazurana argue that those who counter VEOs need to understand the role of gender, as this 6

Editors’ introduction

is key to providing community alternatives to violence. The central enquiry becomes how to address VEO membership by offering different visions of these gendered roles. In Part III, we try to draw attention to particular kinds of security practices, in keeping with the overarching aim of this volume to explore the work that gender, visible in this section as gendered practice, does in holding security together as a concept. Four significant themes emerge through reading the collection of chapters in this section as a body of work: violence, vulnerability, the politics of representation, and the mutual constitution of the state and the human subject – an always already gendered subject – through security practices. Each chapter in this section adds unique insight not only into what it can mean to explore security practices as though gender matters, but also into the complex and varied ways in which we might conceive of security practices themselves. All security issues or concerns, in some sense, are security practices: the movement of bodies across borders, for example, is a practice, although migration is usually framed as a security ‘issue’; similarly, peace processes – discussed in Part IV on ‘institutions of security’ are indubitably practices, in that the individuals involved are required to physically perform mediation, negotiation, and agreement. With this in mind, this section on ‘practices of security’ is organized around a logic that conceives of security practice as those ritualized, embodied, performative practices that bring certain configurations of security into being. The various contributions are bound by the ways in which they demonstrate how security is not only manifest but actually constituted in practice. This section is not concerned just with physicality, nor process, but the ways in which “little security nothings” (Huysmans 2011: 371) are constitutive practices, functioning in particular ways to bring particular configurations of security into being. Thus, the contributions variously interrogate the regulation of sexuality as a political practice that renders certain gender expressions and gendered relations insecure, and the commemorative practices that conjure particular configurations of security and peace: these are embodied, productive, security practices. Each of the chapters touches in some way on violence: the various forms that violence takes; its productive power; the politics of its glorification or prevention. David Duriesmith, for example, draws attention to the ways in which memories and memorialization of violence and trauma produce and reproduce particular meanings attached to violent acts, meanings which are, in turn, deployed in political contexts by political actors to legitimize or delegitimize other kinds of violence, to create and perpetuate relations of (in)security. Elina Penttinen, by contrast, explores the relationship between violence and agency, seeking to understand how agency can be expressed in violent and non-violent ways. Crucially, Penttinen explains that gendered agency need not be conceptually tied to the perpetration of violence: different security imaginaries are possible. The second theme we identify in Part III relates to vulnerability. In some way, each of the chapters in this section touches on the inherent vulnerability of subjectivity and the impossibility of understanding security without understanding the ways in which our relational connections to our many others – those connections that make us inescapably vulnerable – render us simultaneously secure and insecure. Tiina Vaittinen’s engagement with feminist care ethics and theories of embodiment (both of which we can understand as forms of security practice) offers a way to understand how vulnerability is central to security practices that rely on and are informed by gendered power, which determines how and under what circumstances bodies come to matter in contemporary global politics. Relatedly, in her analysis of the gendered logics of protection, Cecilia Åse explores many dimensions of vulnerability, as she examines the ways in which the state and other security actors articulate and therefore constitute the vulnerable, feminized, subject as the referent object of security 7

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policies and practices. Vulnerability, therefore, is central to security practices, because it is an inescapable dimension of human subjectivity (this idea also echoes through Penttinen’s chapter). Third, we identify a theme related to the politics of representation in security practices. This theme is particularly prominent in the chapters by David Duriesmith and Linda Åhäll. Åhäll illuminates the insights that can be derived from treating popular cultural artefacts as forms of security practices. Through the analysis of one such artefact (a song by pop artist Katy Perry), Åhäll lays bare both the gendered logics of the song and the ways in which, in combination with associated representational practices (including the music video and promotional interview material), the song constructs particular interpretive possibilities for the subjects it represents, including women, soldiers, and the military as an institution. Taking the concept of representation in a slightly different direction, Duriesmith examines the politics of memorialization, highlighting – among other insights – the fact that “[e]ven when memorialization practices look to commemorate war and trauma these are often startlingly gender-blind, either totally excluding women from the picture or relying on tropes of female victims and male soldiers” (Duriesmith, this volume). The descriptive representation of women – or lack thereof – in state-led commemorations of war and collective trauma is a security practice that functions to constitute a female subject of war defined by her vulnerability, if not her complete absence. This links to the fourth and final theme we identify, which is the mutual constitution of state and subject through security practices. Anna L. Weissman’s analysis of sex and sexuality through the lens of gender and security demonstrates the total and inescapable imbrication of the security practices of the state (through which, in part, the state is reproduced as a coherent and stable entity, see inter alia Weber 1992) with subjectivity. Toward her conclusion that “[s]ex is very much a part of state-making” (Weissman, this volume), Weissman builds a persuasive theory of ‘repronormativity’ to account for the ways in which the state secures reproduction, including reproductive rights and reproductive capacity, to certain bodies that present or perform gender in certain ways. Similarly, the processes of militarism that Åhäll examines, evidenced in the popular cultural artefact that serves as her vehicle for analysis of security practices, configures the relationship between the state (and state violence) and the subject in particular ways. There are, of course, many more issues and considerations raised by these thoughtful interventions into debates about security practices than those we have discussed here. Each contribution pushes us to understand security in different ways, to rethink and problematize the ways in which we make sense of gender, and to reconsider the relationship between gender and security practices. Each contribution adds unique insight not only into what it can mean to explore security practices as though gender matters, but also into the complex and varied ways in which we might conceive of security practices themselves. Analysis of security institutions, presented in Part IV, reveals themes of women’s rights and women’s agency. Further, the chapters in this collection examine, in different ways, the relationship between feminist encounters with security institutions, and gender mainstreaming initiatives in those same institutions; the latter can often translate to a ‘box ticking’ exercise in compliance with prescribed ‘gender-responsive’ requirements that might not, necessarily, lead to feminist, progressive, or emancipatory outcomes. A related and final theme that emerges in this section is the difference between ‘women’ and ‘gender’; each chapter speaks, in its own way, to the frequent slippage between these concepts and the ways in which security institutions treat them as synonymous. The chapters, individually and collectively, explore and interrogate the ways in which particular configurations of gender are produced in, and are productive of, security institutions. 8

Editors’ introduction

In her powerful and provocative exploration of motherhood, Adrienne Rich distinguishes between motherhood as a relationship – “of any woman to her powers of reproduction and to children” (1976: 13) – and as an institution. Rich argues that the institution of motherhood has “been a keystone of the most diverse social and political systems”, elaborating on the conceptualization of motherhood as an institution by articulating it as an idea or, more accurately, a set of ideas and ideals, a cognitive schema that regulates and organizes human behaviour. In this section, the various authors engage with security institutions in a literal, material sense, examining the activities and initiatives of institutions such as the United Nations and the African Union, and with those more ideational institutions that materialize through practice in different ways in different contexts, such as the Women, Peace and Security agenda and the institutionalization of post-conflict reconstruction. The contributors to this section move seamlessly between the analysis of physical security institutions and the regulatory functions embedded within, or productive of, these institutions, each examining the work that gender does to make these institutions make sense. In Part IV – and indeed, throughout this book as a whole – authors work with the “concept, nature, and practice of gender” (Zalewski 1995: 341) to explore and interrogate the ways in which particular configurations of gender are produced in, and are productive of, security institutions. While the chapters themselves engage with questions of gender and security in different ways and across different contexts, there are a number of thematic resonances that emerge from reading this section as a whole. The first theme we identify revolves around the centrality of women’s rights to feminist analysis of security institutions. As Nicole George, Katrina Lee-Koo and Laura J. Shepherd note in their chapter, the right of women to participate meaningfully in peace and security governance was formalized at the first World Conference on Women in Mexico City in 1975. Arguments about the significance of, and need for, the advancement of women’s rights in and through security institutions, however, pre-date even the International Women’s Congress which took place at The Hague in 1915 and which served as the foundation for the formation of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom – a prominent security institution largely unrecognized as such in conventional accounts of security offered within the disciplines of politics and IR. Kara Ellerby, by contrast, documents many moments of resistance to the advancement of women’s rights in her careful analysis of women’s participation in peace processes since 1992. Ellerby finds, as others have similarly noted, that the post-conflict moment (such as it is meaningful to talk of ‘post-conflict’ at all; see Zarkov and Cockburn 2002: 9) is often “a patriarchal time zone” (Enloe 2004: 215), in which women’s rights are traded away for the illusion of progress in other areas. A second theme is the possibility of a tension in security institutions between feminist engagement and gender mainstreaming. Feminist scholarship in Security Studies and beyond has engaged extensively with the politics, and political utility, of gender mainstreaming as a strategy for advancing women’s rights and diminishing gendered inequalities. In their chapter, Natalie Florea Hudson and Laura Huber offer a compelling historiography of gender mainstreaming in security institutions, concluding that “[t]he disappointing record on gender mainstreaming thus far has revived long-time skepticism about co-optation” (Hudson and Huber, this volume) among feminist scholars and practitioners. In the specific context of peacekeeping operations, Sabrina Karim reaches a similarly sobering conclusion, noting that efforts to mainstream gender (which she usefully distinguishes from efforts to ‘balance’ gender in peacekeeping operations such that there are equal numbers of men and women on mission and in command) have notably failed to achieve the cultural change for which its proponents hoped. Karim, however, proposes that “it is possible that 9

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gender mainstreaming may help mitigate some of the pernicious effects of male dominance in peacekeeping operations” (Karim, this volume) and therefore achieve the feminist ends to which it was hoped by its supporters that gender mainstreaming would be the means. The third, and related theme, is the tension between ‘women’ and ‘gender’ in security institutions. Megan Bastick focuses on this tension in her analysis of security sector reform (SSR), beginning with an acknowledgement of the “tendency for approaches to genderresponsive SSR to be limited to increasing women’s participation in the security sector” (Bastick, this volume). Laura McLeod identifies the potential for slippage between ‘women’ and ‘gender’ as a central problematique in the analysis of post-conflict reconstruction, recognizing that “there are diverse, overlapping and sometimes competing ideas about what it means to ‘do’ gender in post-conflict reconstruction. Do we look to include women, develop a gender perspective, or seek to advocate a feminist outcome?” (McLeod, this volume). All of the authors in this section acknowledge that all three strategies are essential components of a gendered approach to security institutions. Sometimes the questions we ask in our research might seek to understand how women are represented in formal peace and security governance (and which women have access to these spaces, and what influence they have when they are there; see Ellerby, this volume) or whether the presence of women in peacekeeping missions changes the dynamics of the mission itself (see Karim, this volume). Sometimes, by contrast, we might focus on the ways in which logics of gender organize peacebuilding and post-conflict recovery (see McLeod, this volume) or security sector reform (see Bastick, this volume). Both can be compatible with a feminist outcome, and provided that there is conceptual clarity such that gender is not seen or used as a “synonym for women” (Carver 1996), the tension can be a productive one. The fourth and final theme we trace through the chapters in this section is that of women’s agency. The agency of women in peace processes, peacekeeping, post-conflict reconstruction and security organizations more broadly is made visible in each of the contributions here. The chapters that focus on state militaries and paramilitary organizations in particular offer rich accounts of the varied and complex ways in which women work with/ through, and are simultaneously produced in and through, the gendered rules of these institutions. Agency is far from unidimensional in these accounts; joining similarly nuanced accounts of women’s agency in security practices, Melissa T. Brown and Sandra McEvoy illuminate the ways in which women’s participation in, and resistance to, military and paramilitary organizations create spaces for, and tensions in, agentic performances. The relationship between gender, agency, and violence is brought to the fore through the examination of militaries and paramilitaries as security institutions. One dimension of this relationship is an exploration of the gendered power necessary to sustain them as institutions: as McEvoy notes, “the incorporation of women into such forces in effect maintains the strict gendered hierarchies of these institutions rather than disrupt them” (McEvoy, this volume). It cannot be assumed that the simple presence of women in military and paramilitary organizations will change the culture of the organization. In a particularly eloquent phrase, Brown observes that “militaries have found ways to weaponize femininity” (Brown, this volume), which suggests that ‘gender balancing’, as discussed by Karim, is a strategy unlikely to achieve feminist outcomes across the board. The cultures of security institutions, as with other forms of institution, are by nature embedded and difficult to shift: there is a reason why behaviours or rules to which we have become so habituated as to no longer question are deemed ‘institutionalized’. The authors in this section skilfully show that these cultures are gendered, and that the institutions they 10

Editors’ introduction

examine are inextricably implicated in the (re)production of gender as a power relation in security settings. We have collected here a diverse and sometimes provocative collection of essays that we believe represents a good range of the diversity and provocations of the field of Feminist Security Studies and associated fields of study. Perhaps not everyone who has contributed a chapter to this volume would identify as a researcher in the field of FSS, but, as each chapter shows, everyone is working with the concepts of gender and security in different ways to make sense of the world they encounter. We have deliberately avoided offering definitions of the key concepts that animate this collection – gender and security – in our introduction, as part of the strength and richness of FSS research lies in the diverse ways in which these concepts are grasped and deployed. This book can, therefore, be read as a series of conceptual interventions, a set of grounded empirical investigations, a number of theoretical and methodological considerations to guide research and practice: it is all of these things, and more than these things. As with the field of Feminist Security Studies itself, we hope that this book stands as much more than the sum of its individual parts, and attests to the lasting insights generated by those who attend to, and work with, gender and security.

References Belkin, Aaron. 2012. Bring Me Men: Military Masculinity and the Benign Façade of American Empire 18982001. London: Hurst and Company. Carver, Terrell. 1996. Gender is Not a Synonym for Women. Cambridge: Polity Press. Cohn, Carol. 2011. ‘“Feminist Security Studies”: Toward a reflexive practice’. Politics & Gender 7(4): 581−586. Connell, R.W. 1995. Masculinities. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. D’Costa, Bina and Katrina Lee-Koo. 2013. ‘The politics of voice: Feminist Security Studies and the Asia-Pacific’. International Studies Perspectives 14(4): 451−454. Eichler, Maya. 2011. Militarizing Men: Gender, Conscription, and War in Post-Soviet Russia. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press. Elshtain, Jean Bethke. 1987. Women and War. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Enloe, Cynthia. 2000. Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics, revised edition. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Enloe, Cynthia. 2004. The Curious Feminist: Searching for Women in a New Age of Empire. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Haraway, Donna. 1997. [email protected]_Millennium.FemaleMan_Meets_OncoMouse: Feminism and Technoscience. London/New York: Routledge. Huysmans, Jef. 2011. ‘What’s in an act? On security speech acts and little security nothings’. Security Dialogue 42(4/5): 371–383. Parashar, Swati. 2013. ‘Feminist (in)securities and camp politics’. International Studies Perspectives 14(4): 440–443. Peterson, V. Spike (ed.). 1992. Gendered States: Feminist (Re)visions of International Relations Theory. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner. Rich, Adrienne. 1976. Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution. New York: W. W. Norton & Co. Shepherd, Laura J. and Laura Sjoberg. 2012. ‘Trans-bodies in/of war(s): Cisprivilege and contemporary security strategy’. Feminist Review 101: 5–23. Sjoberg, Laura. 2009. Gender and International Security: Feminist Perspectives. London/New York: Routledge. Stern, Maria and Annick Wibben. 2015. ‘A decade of feminist security studies revisited’, Security Dialogue. Virtual special issue. Online at (accessed 1 February 2018). Sylvester, Christine. 1994. Feminist Theory and International Relations in a Postmodern Era. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


C.E. Gentry, L.J. Shepherd, and L. Sjoberg Sylvester, Christine. 2010. ‘Tensions in feminist security studies’. Security Dialogue 41(6): 607–614. Teaiwa, Teresia and Claire Slatter. 2013. ‘Samting Nating: Pacific waves at the margins of Feminist Security Studies’. International Studies Perspectives 14(4): 447−450. Tickner, J. Ann. 1992. Gender in International Relations: Feminist Perspectives on Achieving Global Security. New York: Columbia University Press. Weber, Cynthia. 1992. ‘Reconsidering statehood: Examining the sovereignty/intervention boundary’. Review of International Studies 18(2): 199–216. Wibben, Annick. 2011. Feminist Security Studies: A Narrative Approach. London/New York: Routledge. Zalewski, Marysia. 1995. ‘Well, what is the feminist perspective on Bosnia?’ International Affairs 71(2): 339–356. Zarkov, Dubravka and Cynthia Cockburn. 2002. ‘Introduction’. In Cynthia Cockburn and Dubravka Zarkov (eds) The Postwar Moment: Militaries, Masculinities and International Peacekeeping (pp. 9–21). London: Lawrence & Wishart.



Gendered approaches to security

1 VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN/ VIOLENCE IN THE WORLD Toward a feminist conceptualization of global violence Jacqui True and Maria Tanyag

Today’s world is characterized by escalating insecurity and conflict. Promoting sustainable peace is a global challenge that goes beyond a concern for particular fragile and/or conflictedaffected territories. Feminist conceptualizations of violence offer less partial and more encompassing analysis of all forms of harm within and across borders. With a gendered lens, feminist analysts observe and connect violence at the micro level of the family, household, and community with violence at the macro level, in production relations, vis-à-vis states and non-state actors (Peterson 2003; Tickner 1992). Understanding the connections among different forms of violence, their causes and its consequences, in a global context has never been more important. As well, feminist perspectives make visible the relationship among different forms of violence such as physical, psychological, and economic violence with structural discrimination and symbolic harms. Importantly, they highlight how violence in times of crisis and transition is rooted in pre-existing gendered inequalities that cut across and often reinforce hierarchies of class, race/ethnicity, nationality/citizenship, religion, and sexuality. To achieve global peace and security, a feminist approach strives to be inclusive, not by adding violence against women to the list of violence to be eliminated, but by analysing the intersections of power relations across all sites of belonging and strife. In this chapter, we build on the significant contributions of feminist International Relations (IR) scholars to theorizing the continuum of violence.1 IR feminists explore broader and alternative meanings to peace and security that challenge the traditionally statecentric, top-down, and militarized notions of security in mainstream IR. First, global politics remains male-dominated despite recent progress globally and within states in increasing women’s political and economic leadership. Feminists contend that definitions of war, security, and peace, when drawn largely from male perspectives, tend to view these concepts in narrow terms that privilege masculine traits and activities. Second, the international system – from states’ foreign policy and diplomacy, to macro- and micro-economic processes, and cultural globalization – reflects gendered hierarchies built on and sustained by constructions of masculinities and femininities. These gender hierarchies perpetuate artificial distinctions


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between public and private spheres, the political and the economic, productive and reproductive economies, as well as crisis and non-crisis settings. They obscure the continuum of violence across these interconnected spheres that serves the interests of privileged groups such as, white, heterosexual, elite men and also elite women given their relative structural privileges secured through bargaining with dominant gender norms and inequalities (Kandiyoti 1988). The failure to see the connections among different situations and types of violence comes at the cost of the marginalization, violence toward, and bodily depletion of women and girls as well as other feminized, minority groups. We outline three key components to a feminist reconceptualization of violence in a crisisprone world. The first part of the chapter identifies how violence occurs in layers drawing attention to the mutual constitution of insecurities occurring at household, community, state, and global levels. We use the term layers rather than sites of violence to emphasize the ways by which global processes directly and indirectly enable violence at subnational levels, and vice versa. The second part examines the equal importance of and interconnections across different forms of violence as physical, structural, and symbolic harms. Recognizing the continuum across forms of violence is crucial, especially given contemporary securitization and crisis narratives that typically isolate physical violence from broader structural inequalities and symbolic discrimination. In the third part of this chapter, we demonstrate how inclusive and lasting peace demands that we bridge the gaps in attention and resource allocation between immediate or emergency humanitarian assistance and long-term socioeconomic development for crisis situations. Integrating these three components is necessary for attending to the multidimensional threats to ‘human’ security. In May 2016, the first World Humanitarian Summit was held in Istanbul, Turkey involving 9,000 participants from 173 member states, including 55 heads of state and government, hundreds of private sector representatives, and thousands of people from civil society and non-governmental organizations in attendance (UN Secretary General 2016). The Summit was convened in response to unprecedented levels of human suffering brought about by civil strife, armed conflicts, natural disasters, and pervasive violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws (UN Secretary General 2016). According to the global report of the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), in 2015 alone there were 27.8 million new displacements in 127 countries; 8.6 million of the total was associated with conflict and violence in 28 countries, and 19.2 million with disasters in 113 countries (IDMC 2016: 7). Moreover, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) argues that in our current crisis-prone world this means that many women and girls are experiencing heightened levels of violence and vulnerability (UNFPA 2015). They bear distinctive, gender-specific harms while in displacement such as heightened exposure to sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS, unwanted and forced pregnancies, maternal mortality, and sexual and genderbased violence (SGBV). What does it mean to reconceptualize global violence in a fragile, crisis-prone world? How and in what ways, can a feminist understanding of peace and security allow us to make sense of the multiple crisis narratives in global politics?

Revisiting the feminist continuum of violence The continuum of violence is rendered visible from the standpoint or ‘situated knowledges’ of the oppressed (Haraway 1988). Specifically, a feminist standpoint epistemology examines how global and/or national crises permeate, and are built upon the lives of the most marginalized especially indigenous and internally displaced women and girls (Harding 1991, see also Tickner 2015). Security, from their standpoints, brings into view the multiple and overlapping 16

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hierarchical relationships of power that undermine their human dignity and capabilities. Their experiences of recurring armed conflicts, economic recessions, and environmental disasters pushes us to rethink binary logics that sever the interconnectedness of various political, economic, and socio-cultural insecurities from the individual to the community and the state and global society. Global moments and spaces designated as ‘crisis’ or ‘in crisis’ might serve as critical junctures where dominant understandings of and solutions to attain security can potentially be reoriented. Drawing on feminist conceptualizations of violence allows us to critically examine and harness the rhetoric and momentum created in crises to address the pre-existing violence and injustices that women and girls routinely face in their households, communities, and states that are exacerbated in extraordinary circumstances. As Sjoberg, Hudson, and Weber (2015: 530) argue, “it is important to pay as much attention to what is not swept up in the rhetoric of crisis as to what is included”. This involves the equal investigation of where representations of crisis are drawing our attention to and away from particular understandings of peace and security. In a crisis-prone world, feminist reconceptualizations of violence question representations of armed conflicts, economic recessions, and environmental disasters as ‘exceptional’ or separate from everyday political, economic, and social structural inequalities that define human capabilities and individual life chances. For example, Cynthia Enloe notes that in investigating the ‘mundane’ in conjunction with dramatic events, we begin to reveal “that power was deeply at work where it was least apparent” (2011: 447). Because of their explicit focus on scrutinising silences and boundaries of knowledge, feminist research methodologies offer the range of toolkits for understanding the political nature of our precarious world (Ackerly and True 2010; Wibben 2016). In the following sections, we demonstrate, through a diverse set of case studies and empirical evidence, that lasting peace and security also occurs on a continuum – from the absence of inter- and intra-state conflicts to inclusive and non-violent economies where rights to bodily autonomy and integrity are recognized.

Layers of violence: linking the personal with the international Contrary to most mainstream IR scholars who regard the global decline in inter- and intrastate violent deaths as evidence of a decline in violence per se, “feminist scholars analyse private sphere domestic violence as both a form of political violence (Peterson 1992; Cockburn 2010) and a precondition for more visible violence against women in the public sphere” (True 2015a: 555). Security is not just the absence of inter- and intra-state armed conflicts but also of women’s and girls’ bodily autonomy and integrity especially within their families, clans, and kinship networks which typically remain invisible, underreported, or uncounted (see Davies, True and Tanyag 2016). SGBV perpetrated against women and girls at the household and community levels frequently fuels and exacerbates intra-group conflicts, including wars, and financial crises and environmental disasters (True 2012).

Armed conflicts In conflict situations, feminists have shown and continue to show, how patriarchal gender relations are at the heart of militarism, especially discourses of masculinities and femininities through which the state as well as any armed group draws the complicity of both men and women (Enloe 1989; Tickner 1992). This is evident in how armed conflicts, whether interstate wars or clan, and one-sided violence, rely upon or mobilize the valorization of violent 17

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masculinities of male combatants, as well as the feminized representation of dutiful mothers, wives, and daughters who through acts of sacrifice support these conflicts even in so far as directly participating in violence themselves. Further, the gendered construction of crises helps legitimate special powers by the state even at the expense of civil liberties in responding to national security threats via its projected image of the patriarchal provider of the family and protector writ large to citizens, especially women and children, within and outside of its borders (True 2015b: 420). The interconnectedness of various layers of violence is clearly demonstrated through the prevalence of low-intensity, protracted armed conflicts in the Asia Pacific region where egregious SGBV typically goes unreported due to significant reporting constraints. For example, Davies, True and Tanyag (2016) argue “if a conflict is too small-scale to be recorded, the SGBV which is linked to it, will also go unnoticed”. Using the case of a ‘successful’ peace process in Mindanao, Philippines between the national government and the ethnic minority Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), they show that clan/kinship and intra-community conflicts are not ‘securitized’ owing to their typical exclusion from national peace negotiations. Consequently, we are unable to know the full extent of SGBV perpetrated against women and girls on the basis that they serve as symbolic carriers of clan and ethnic identities. And yet, silencing experiences of SGBV within clans and ethnic groupings might allow for national peace agreements to be signed. However, this does not mean an end to the violence women and girls experience in their households and communities. The precarious lives experienced by internally displaced persons (IDPs), minority groups, and indigenous communities globally stand in contrast to the ‘declinist’ thesis that represents a global decline in war and violence based on state-recorded violent deaths (True 2015a). However, a feminist continuum of violence reveals this claim as deeply flawed because it obscures “interpersonal violence, and implicitly denies its relevance to international security” (True 2015a: 555). First, studies have shown that while men and boys suffer direct deaths during wartime, mortality for women and girls tends to increase after conflicts as a result of the lingering socio-economic consequences of conflict such as poverty and continued militarism (Ormhaug, Meier and Hernes 2009; UNFPA 2015; The Brookings-LSE Project 2014). Second, research by Li and Wen (2005) which uses a time-series cross-national analysis, suggests that, over time, women’s mortality in war is as high as men’s largely due to the long-term effects of war. That is, gendered indirect deaths add up to the same levels as direct deaths thus underscoring the importance of employing a feminist continuum of violence perspective.

Financial crises Similarly, the permeability among different layers of insecurity has been made evident in the case of critiques on how the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) legitimized severe austerity measures, particularly cutbacks on social welfare services while leaving neoliberal economic models and undemocratic financial institutions intact (Hozic and True 2016). Consequently, poor families who are largely dependent on public services continue to suffer, especially women and girls and in households with intense demands for care work such as those with the elderly, infirm, or disabled (see also Elson 2009). Moreover, the feminization of social welfare service means that cutbacks resulted in job losses that had ripple effects on the wellbeing of households with female breadwinners employed in these sectors. Studies have shown direct links between economic strains caused by global economic crises and transitions, and intra-household violence such as heightened rates of domestic violence and suicide (Sutton 2010; True 2012). For labour exporting countries in Asia, the GFC is merely one 18

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manifestation in a series of recurrent social, economic, and political crises rooted in global capitalism and neoliberal globalization (Spitzer and Piper 2014). Hence, survival of household and national economies continues to be built on the backs of mostly women migrants whose vulnerability to violence and exploitation are intensified during crisis periods (Spitzer and Piper 2014; Sassen 2000). By contrast, the GFC benefited economic elites and wealthy states, demonstrating how it has served to retrench the neoliberal global political economy rather than reform it fundamentally (Hozic and True 2016). At the heart of the crisis, as scholars argue, is how economic systems continue to be built on rewarding “masculinist modes of control [that] pervade the practices of both financialization and militarization” (Hozic and True 2016: 5). Feminist political economy analysis reveals the continuum of violence “by showing how macro level non-recognition of socially reproductive work is intimately connected to everyday depletion of individuals, households, and communities” (Elias and Rai 2015: 427). When labour is only valued in certain respects and not others, the economic opportunities and access to resources available to women and girls are further constrained by unequal gendered divisions of labour beginning in the household. For instance, global economic processes are also at once racialized and sexualized – the material effects of which directly reproduce particular cultural and heteronormative representations of ‘the family’ that inform allocation of societal resources. That is, neoliberal economic policies in so far as they consider the family as a site of economic production and distribution – have had detrimental impacts such as for left-behind families of labour migrants primarily from developing countries; or in the varied economic exclusions experienced by ‘queer’ families where their unions are not even recognized by national laws (Safri and Graham 2010; Smith 2016). These multi-layered barriers emanating at household levels continue to engender the exclusion of broader groups of women and girls from key economic decision-making bodies such as in corporate boardrooms, national economic bodies on macro-economic policy, foreign investment, trade, and taxation (Prügl and True 2014). As a result they create and reinforce the conditions that gradually deplete the health and wellbeing of women and girls, including the households and communities that depend on their unpaid labour (Rai, Hoskyns and Thomas 2014).

Environmental disasters Crisis responses and representations of environmental disasters also typically obscure how security is a multidimensional concept that encompasses various threats to human life. For example, as J. Ann Tickner (2015) points out, indigenous knowledge offers a holist view that recognizes the eternal continuity of life between humanity and earth. However, as Western colonization pushed indigenous communities to the peripheries, so have indigenous beliefs and identities been rendered ‘invalid’ and permanently under threat. Indeed, in the case of the Amazon River, development aggression has meant that hundreds of indigenous lives have been lost in their effort to stake their rightful claim to protect the river where their identities and sustenance are rooted. In other parts of the world, environmental activists, especially those belonging to indigenous and ethnic minorities, protesting the excesses of multinational mining and logging corporations are routinely targeted in often state-sanctioned extrajudicial killings. According to one study in 2015 alone, there were at least 185 documented deaths in 16 countries all of which are in the global South (Global Witness 2016). In indigenous communities that are also typically matriarchal, the gendered nature of targeted political violence on women indigenous leaders, such as the assassination of Berta Cáceres, a Honduran 19

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indigenous land rights activist, remains under-examined in the context of increasing securitization of environmental issues (Global Witness 2016; see also Lakhani 2016). The historical and contemporary dislocation of many indigenous communities from their ancestral domains at the same time exposes them to the severest consequences of climate change. Since they are literally pushed to the margins, this means they are more likely to reside in remote regions where the direct weather impacts of rising sea levels and changing global temperatures are felt. Consequently, their geographical remoteness and their indigenous status might also mean that they have pre-existing barriers to accessing state social welfare services disproportionately affecting women and girls due to distinct sexual and reproductive health needs. This also suggests that they have the least access to humanitarian relief and assistance when calamities do occur precisely on the basis of their indigenous and/or minority status. Finally, the growing attention on climate change is exposing its consequences as threat multipliers which can amplify societal tensions that trigger armed conflicts, particularly with resource scarcities in times of drought or flooding (IDMC 2016). For certain geographical contexts where communities are routinely exposed to severe natural disasters as well as armed conflicts, the death and displacement they experience are compounded, multiple, and increasingly normalized (UNFPA 2015; IDMC 2016). A feminist continuum of violence engages with social science research that exposes how environmental disasters are as much social, political, and economic phenomena (Neumayer and Plumper 2007). Employing a feminist perspective means critically interrogating the extents by which constructions of risks at national and community levels actually expose and address why women and girls do not necessarily share in the distribution of material resources post-disaster because their productive and reproductive contributions in households are undervalued. As a result, women and girls are also prevented from fully participating in leadership roles for disaster prevention at community and national levels (ActionAid International 2016).

Forms of violence: linking physical, symbolic, and structural harms Reconceptualizing global violence from a feminist perspective considers how violence operates in various forms (Cockburn 2004, 2010). That is, “power operates not only through direct coercion but also through the structured relations of production and reproduction that govern the distribution and use of resources, benefits, privileges and authority within the home and transnational society at large” (True 2012: 30). Interrogating the continuum of violence in this regard is even more crucial given the securitization of sexual violence. For instance, preventing sexual violence in armed conflicts specifically and in crisis and emergencies more broadly has been recognized as a global security goal through the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda beginning with UN Security Council Resolution 1325. Furthermore, WPS has been pivotal in establishing the norm that states and international actors are responsible for women’s protection against SGBV, the promotion of their participation in peace and security processes, as well as broadening their roles in peacebuilding and conflict prevention (see Shepherd 2014; True 2016). However, the agenda has been criticized for its tendency to be narrowly interpreted as a policy of making war safe for women and girls (Shepherd 2016). Rather, the point is not to isolate visible or ‘incident-based’ forms of violence directly inflicted on an individual’s body during crisis from the wider gendered structures and symbols that relegate unequal status and levels of access to resources and decision-making that significantly impact life chances prior to and in the aftermath of a crisis. 20

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Between 1990 and 2011 across 31 peace processes, women represented just 2 per cent of chief mediators, 4 per cent of witnesses and signatories, and 9 per cent of negotiators (UN Women 2015: 45). These figures underscore the significant strides that are needed for achieving gender balance in peace processes. However, Thania Paffenholz et al. (2016: 6) argue that the direct inclusion of women does not per se increase the likelihood that more peace agreements are signed and implemented. What makes a difference is the influence women actually have on a process. In short, making women’s participation count is more important than merely counting the number of women included in peace processes. In bringing women into formal political and economic decision-making, we must also seek to uncover how and why broader groups of women and girls are kept out of these processes, which might mean shining a light to material inequalities within intersectional identity categories (Paffenholz et al. 2016). By focusing exclusively on the former, we reproduce “a highly feminised, and perhaps fetishised, portrait of women’s agency as peacebuilders. This portrait may not necessarily be empowering in the longer term and may mask other more complex gendered experiences of conflict” (George 2016: 3). For instance, feminist scholars have identified that prevailing and deeply embedded masculine biases in security sectors, among other factors, prevent inclusive peace (Wilén 2014). Another related example is the broader participation of women at informal and community levels where they are better able to leverage cultural and religious values to legitimize their leadership roles rather than in state-level peacebuilding (George 2016). What these conditions emphasize is the relevance of interrogating not just why women should have a voice in peace processes as a sign of empowerment, but also how and why many keep silent and/or are silenced by these processes in historically contingent and context-specific ways (see Parpart 2010). First, we must be attentive to the unintended consequences the inclusion of women in these formal political spaces might bring in heightening their risks as targets of political violence. This is likely to occur when efforts to bring women ‘in’ are not matched by attitudinal or cultural reforms on women’s political participation and gender equality more broadly (Ní Aoláin 2006). Indeed, political compromises during transitions often involve ‘patriarchal bargains’ such that women’s rights and gender equality are neglected in order to secure the peace and advance ethnic group grievances (Davies, True and Tanyag 2016). Second, the global attention through the WPS agenda to ending SGBV in conflicts and emergencies must take stock of the ongoing challenges and complexity associated with reporting SGBV among internally displaced women and girls in fragile contexts especially. For example, studies show that experiences of conflict-related SGBV are strongly mediated by the ethnic, religious, minority status of women and girls (see Baaz and Stern 2009). Building on similar points, the study by Davies and True (2015) reveals the strong empirical relationship between normalized and systemic gender discrimination and which groups of women are most at risk of mass SGBV. As minority women, the physical harms they experience while in displacement are compounded by their marginalization from state structures of protection prior to and after armed conflicts. This also means that they have greater barriers to accessing justice, thus further enabling impunity for individual perpetrators. In effect, their pre-existing marginalization from political, economic, and legal resources renders them effective targets because perpetrators are likely to go scot free (Davies and True 2015). 21

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Narrowing the gap between humanitarian and long-term development responses Crises and emergencies are more frequently occurring in fragile states with recurrent and protracted internal displacement the ‘new normal’. As Levenson-Keohane and Madjsberg (2016: 8) argue, the costs of economic, social, and environmental problems compound over time, whether it’s an Ebola outbreak that escalates to an epidemic, a flood of refugees that tests the strength of the EU, or the rise of social inequalities that reinforce poverty . . . And governments and international organisations spend 40 times as much money responding to crises as they do trying to prevent them. Feminists have a role to play in critically interrogating how our responses to crises might, paradoxically, be reinforcing the conditions for their proliferation by deepening the silos between political-military and socio-economic security (see True and Tanyag 2017). The deployment of crisis narratives might further lend credence to more exclusionary decision-making processes on the basis of attending to what is immediate and urgent. Consequently, such strategies might normalize crisis responses that divert resources away from long-term prevention of violence and sustainable development. Studies show that the bulk of global expenditures for creating and containing violence continue to significantly outweigh global resources allocated for building peace (Mercy Corps 2016). We are already seeing this, for instance, in how environmental threats are increasingly used to legitimize the strengthening of militaries due to their expanding role for responding to disasters primarily in restoring political order (see for example Chandler 2001). And yet, ‘disaster militarism’ or militarized humanitarianism more broadly, when juxtaposed against global austerity policies that reduce state support for social welfare services including health, reveal how international peace and security policy-making are less able to challenge unequal political and economic power structures.2 Militarizing responses to environmental disasters obscures how they are shaped by socio-cultural, political and economic processes that pre-date periods of crisis. For internally displaced populations, especially women and girls, rebuilding secure lives after a disaster requires reducing the presence of arms and militaries, providing access to justice and to resources for human as well as economic development. From their standpoints, these are all simultaneously immediate and long-term needs. Refugees and IDPs embody the adverse implications of reinforcing artificial distinctions between immediate and long-term interventions such that one is prioritized over the other. As the director for the IDMC points out, refugee crises are, in large part, a symptom of the failure to protect and assist IDPs in their own country. Many if not most refugees do not cross a border at the first sign of war. They flee first inside their country, hoping for peace or aid that never comes. Bilak 2016 A crisis occurs, therefore, as a result of accumulated failures in protection. In order to address the root causes of the global refugee crisis, we need to understand the structural conditions that push whole families and communities to be internally displaced and subsequently to move across seas and borders (IDMC 2016). For example, states have the responsibility to promote the health and well-being of all individuals under international human rights and humanitarian laws regardless of crisis 22

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(UNGA 2013). Bodily autonomy and integrity, especially for women and girls in crisis situations, are both an outcome of addressing pre-existing gendered inequalities and precondition for meaningful political and economic participation post-crisis. A disproportionate focus on allocating state and international resources for military power in order to protect or secure ‘victims’ of global violence ultimately fails when the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities are fundamentally neglected due to long-term human development taking a ‘back seat’ in security agendas. Despite the intensification of sexual and reproductive health needs of women and girls in displacement and fragile contexts, state and global expenditure inflows to sustain the health and well-being of women and girls remain inadequate. Over half of the world’s maternal deaths routinely occur in the poorest, most conflict-afflicted, and fragile states (UN Women 2015; UNFPA 2015). These preventable deaths are among the most egregious forms of gender-based violence directly influenced by global distributions of resources. A feminist continuum of violence can inform more comprehensive protection mechanisms for victims of SGBV in crisis contexts. In IDP camps, for instance, where there might be higher rates of SGBV that go unreported, there is an even greater unmet need for comprehensive services and supplies that are crucial to treating the often brutal consequences of rape and sexual violence (Center for Reproductive Rights 2016). The timely and effective provision of emergency health, water, and sanitation services is interconnected with strong social welfare service delivery before and after crises. Gender-sensitive crisis responses also require strengthening pre-existing SGBV reporting mechanisms so that they are not readily rendered inutile in crisis and emergencies. More importantly, crisis responses must attend to how pre-existing cultural or traditional beliefs help propagate myths and misconceptions regarding women’s sexual and biological needs which might also underpin various forms of SGBV in crisis. Deeply embedded barriers such as shame and stigma prevent victims from reporting experiences of rape and sexual violence. They are particularly effective in societies with strong ‘honour’ codes such that violating a woman’s body serves to violate clan or kinship identities (see Davies, True and Tanyag 2016). Importantly, shame and stigma are mutually shaped and exacerbated by low awareness on sexual and reproductive health among women and girls. Such reporting barriers also point to wider gendered inequalities in accessing sex education, contraception, and safe abortion to the detriment of women and girls’ bodily autonomy before, during, and after crises (Center for Reproductive Rights 2016). Meanwhile, the very lack of reporting of SGBV affects the availability of sexual and reproductive health services such as post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), which is partly informed by prevalence estimates.

Conclusion: sustainable peace requires a ‘global’ understanding of violence In this chapter, we have offered a reconceptualization of the feminist ‘continuum of violence’ notion for addressing global violence in a crisis-prone world. At a time of protracted, compounded and recurrent crises generated by conflicts, recessions, and disasters, our analytical and policy tools must encompass multiple dimensions of peace and security. This includes examining layers of violence to render visible the links between personal or individual violence, and violence writ large; the different forms of violence occurring in a continuum of physical, structural and symbolic harms; and the timing or phase in which violence occurs in order to mitigate the tendency to privilege immediate and militarized security at the expense of long-term peacebuilding. We argue that our capacity to prevent conflict and 23

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violence and to forge peaceful societies rests on our ability to comprehend the connections among these layers, forms and time-frames of violence, and how they fuel and exacerbate one another. Recognizing that global violence and violence against women and girls occur on a continuum necessitates a commensurate, holistic approach to achieving more inclusive, sustainable, and just societies. Such an aspiration might be realized by abandoning the siloed approach to political-military order and socio-economic stabilization that constitutes current peace- and state-building agendas. It requires integrating immediate humanitarian needs with long-term human development. In practice, this means strengthening the implementation of the WPS agenda and integrating its prevention, protection, participation, and relief and recovery pillars alongside the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). A continuum of peace, as well as of violence, demands that we create solutions that promote security and dignity for all, beginning with those on the margins particularly the indigenous and internally displaced who disproportionately bear the consequences of multiple crises.

Notes 1 See Cockburn 2004, 2010; Tickner 1992; Enloe 1989. 2 See for examples Rock (2014) on militarizing the Ebola Crisis and Fukushima et al. (2014) on disaster militarism in the Asia Pacific region.

References Ackerly, B. and J. True. 2010. Doing Feminist Research in Political and Social Science. London: Palgrave Macmillan. ActionAid International. 2016. On the Frontline: Catalysing Women’s Leadership in Humanitarian Action. Johannesburg: ActionAid. Baaz, M. and M. Stern. 2009. ‘Why do soldiers rape? Masculinities, violence and sexuality in the armed forces of the Congo’. International Studies Quarterly 53(2): 495–518. Bilak, Alexandra. 2016. ‘Missing the heart of the problem: Why ignoring internal displacement undermines the purpose of the UN summit on migrants and refugees’. Thompson Reuters Foundation News, 16 September. Center for Reproductive Rights. 2016. Hidden Casualties: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and Sexual Violence in Conflict. Available at (accessed 8 November 2016). Chandler, David. 2001. ‘The road to military humanitarianism’. Human Rights Quarterly 23(3): 678–700. Cockburn, C. 2004. ‘The continuum of violence: A gender perspective on war and peace’. In W. Giles (ed.) Sites of Violence (pp. 24–44). Berkeley: University of California Press. Cockburn, C. 2010. ‘Gender relations as causal in militarization and war’. International Feminist Journal of Politics 12(2): 139–157. Davies, S. and J. True. 2015. ‘Reframing conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence’. Security Dialogue 46(6): 495–512. Davies, S., J. True and M. Tanyag. 2016. ‘How women’s silence secures the peace: Analysing sexual and gender-based violence in a low- intensity conflict’. Gender and Development 24(3): 459–473. Elias, J. and S. Rai. 2015. ‘The everyday gendered political economy of violence’. Politics & Gender 11(2): 424–429. Elson, D. 2009. Social Reproduction in the Global Crisis. UNRISD Conference on Social and Political Dimensions of the Global Crisis. Enloe, C. 1989. Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics. Berkeley, CA; London: University of California Press. Enloe, C. 2011. ‘The mundane matters’. International Political Sociology 5(4): 447–450.


Violence against women and in the world Fukushima, Annie, Ayano Ginoza, Michiko Hase, Gwyn Kirk, Deborah Lee and Taeva Shefler. 2014. ‘Disaster militarism’. Foreign Policy in Focus, 11 March. Available at (accessed 26 April 2018). George, Nicole. 2016. ‘Light, heat and shadows: Women’s reflections on peacebuilding in post-conflict Bougainville’. Peacebuilding, DOI: 10.1080/21647259.2016.1192241. Global Witness. 2016. On Dangerous Grounds. London: Global Witness. Available at www.globalwitness. org/en/reports/dangerous-ground/ (accessed 26 April 2018). Haraway, Donna. 1988. ‘Situated knowledge: The science question in feminism and the privilege of partial perspective’. Feminist Studies 14(3): 575–599. Harding, Sandra. 1991. Whose Science? Whose Knowledge? Thinking from Women’s Lives. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Hozic, A. and J. True (eds). 2016. Scandalous Economics: Gender and the Politics of Financial Crises. New York: Oxford University Press. Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) (2016) Global Report on Internal Displacement. Geneva: IDMC. Kandiyoti, Deniz. 1988. ‘Bargaining with patriarchy’. Gender and Society 2(3): 274–290. Lakhani, Nina. 2016. ‘Berta Cáceres’s name was on Honduran military hitlist, says former soldier’. The Guardian, 21 June. Levenson-Keohane, G. and S. Madsbjerg. 2016. ‘The innovative finance revolution: Private capital for the public good’. Foreign Affairs, July/August. Available at app/uploads/20170215144835/FARockefellerFinalPDF_1.pdf (accessed 26 April 2018). Li, Q. and M. Wen. 2005. ‘The immediate and lingering effects of armed conflict on adult mortality’. Journal of Peace Research 42(4): 471–492. Mercy Corps. 2016. An Ounce of Prevention: Why increasing investment in conflict prevention is worth more than a ‘pound of cure’ in addressing the displacement crisis. Oregon: Mercy Corps. Available at www. pdf (accessed 26 April 2018). Neumayer, E. and T. Plumper. 2007. ‘The gendered nature of natural disasters’. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 97(3): 551–566. Ní Aoláin, Fionnuala. 2006. ‘Political violence and gender during times of transition’. Columbia Journal of Gender and Law 15(3): 829–849. Ormhaug, Christin, Patrick Meier and Helga Hernes. 2009. Armed Conflict Deaths Disaggregated by Gender. PRIO Paper, 23 November. Oslo: International Peace Research Institute. Paffenholz, Thania, Nick Ross, Steven Dixon, Anna-Lena Schluchter and Jacqui True. 2016. Making Women Count – Not Just Counting Women: Assessing Women’s Inclusion and Influence on Peace Negotiations. Geneva and New York: Inclusive Peace and Transition Initiative and UN Women. Parpart, Jane L. 2010. ‘Choosing silence: Rethinking voice, agency, and women’s empowerment’. Working Paper #297, July, Center for Gender in Global Context, Michigan State University. Peterson, V. S. 1992. ‘Security and sovereign states’. In V. S. Peterson (ed.) Gendered States: Feminist (Re) Visions of International Relations Theory (pp. 31–64). Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner. Peterson, V. S. 2003. A Critical Rewriting of Global Political Economy. London: Routledge. Prügl, E. and J. True. 2014. ‘Equality means business? Governing gender through transnational publicprivate partnerships’. Review of International Political Economy 21(6): 1137–1169. Rai, S., C. Hoskyns and D. Thomas. 2014. ‘Depletion: The social cost of reproduction’. International Feminist Journal of Politics 16(1): 86–105. Rock, Joeva. 2014. ‘Militarising the Ebola Crisis’. Inter Press Service News Agency, 28 September. Safri, M. and J. Graham. 2010. ‘The global household: Toward a feminist postcapitalist international political economy’. Signs 36(1): 99–125. Sassen, S. 2000. ‘Women’s burden: Counter-geographies of globalization and the feminization of survival’. Journal of International Affairs 53(2): 503–524. Shepherd, L. 2014. ‘Advancing the women, peace and security agenda: 2015 and beyond’. Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre Expert Analysis, 28 August. Shepherd, L. (2016). ‘Making war safe for women? National Action Plans and the militarisation of the women, peace and security agenda’. International Political Science Review 37(3): 324–335. Sjoberg, L., H. Hudson and C. Weber. 2015. ‘Gender and crisis in global politics: Introduction’. International Feminist Journal of Politics 17(4): 529–535.


Jacqui True and Maria Tanyag Smith, N. 2016. ‘Toward a queer political economy of crisis’. In Aida Hozic and Jacqui True (eds) Scandalous Economics (pp. 231–247). New York: Oxford University Press. Spitzer, D. and N. Piper. 2014. ‘Retrenched and returned: Filipino migrant workers during times of crisis’. Sociology 48(5): 1007–1023. Sutton, Barbara. 2010. Bodies in Crisis: Culture, Violence, and Women’s Resistance in Neoliberal Argentina. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. Tickner, J. A. 1992. Gender in International Relations. New York: Columbia University Press. Tickner, J. A. 2015. ‘Revisiting IR in a time of crisis’. International Feminist Journal of Politics 17(4): 536–553. The Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement (The Brookings-LSE Project). 2014. Improving the Protection of Internally Displaced Women: Assessment of Progress and Challenges. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution. True, J. 2012. The Political Economy of Violence Against Women. New York: Oxford University Press. True, J. 2015a. ‘Winning the battle but losing the war on violence’. International Feminist Journal of Politics 17(4): 554–572. True, J. 2015b. ‘A tale of two feminisms in international relations?’ Politics & Gender 11(2): 419–424. True, J. 2016. ‘Is gender mainstreaming in peace and security effective?’ In Jill Steans and Daniela Tepe-Belfrage (eds) Handbook on Gender and World Politics (pp. 457–466). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar. True, J. and M. Tanyag. 2017. ‘Reconceptualising global violence and security from a gendered perspective’ In Anthony Burke and Rita Parker (eds) Global Insecurity: Futures of Global Chaos and Governance (pp. 43–63). London: Palgrave. UNFPA. 2015. Shelter from the Storm: State of the World Population 2015. New York: UNFPA. UN General Assembly (UNGA). 2013. Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. 68th session, 9 August. A/68/297. UN Secretary General. 2016. Standing up for Humanity: Committing to Action (Chair’s Summary). World Humanitarian Summit, Istanbul 23–24 May 2016. UN Women. 2015. Preventing Conflict, Transforming Justice, Securing the Peace: A Global Study on the Implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. New York. Wibben, A. T. R. (ed.). 2016. Researching War: Feminist Methods, Ethics and Politics. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. Wilén, Nina. 2014. ‘Security sector reform, gender and local narratives in Burundi’. Conflict, Security & Development 14(3): 331–354.



Introduction In March 2016, a young Japanese woman named Rina Shimabukuro was reported missing in Okinawa, the island housing 75 per cent of US military installations in Japan. Two months later, her mutilated body was found in the woods. A former US Marine and current employee at a US military base was arrested and accused of rape and murder. The outraged local community gave a collective shout of “Our anger has reached its limit!” and, several weeks after the body was found, people gathered at a mass demonstration to express their anger at the US bases in general and sexual violence by US soldiers in particular (CBS News 2016). Some of those voices called the rape an example of not only direct violence but also structural violence such as militarization and racism (Takara 2016).1 Violence is a frequently used term with a multiplicity of definitions generally related to violence as force and/or violence as violation.2 The idea of structural violence was first suggested by peace scholar Johan Galtung (1969) who, in seeking a more precise understanding of peace, proposed that violence can come from invisible sources and affect people in indirect ways. This approach enriched understanding of peace and non-peace, and has become a core concept in peace research. However, as Galtung did not recognize the role of gender in the construction of violence or the ways that social structures are engendered, analyses using structural violence often lack a gender perspective. Taking a feminist approach, this chapter analyses the concept of structural violence and suggests that it can be useful only if it incorporates an understanding of how social relations are gendered. In order to do this, I will first contextualize the concept of structural violence by looking at some of the debates underlying the emerging discipline of peace research at the time it was proposed in the late 1960s by Johan Galtung, and then examine the concept itself, introducing Galtung’s violence triangle. The rape and murder of Ms Shimabukuro is used here to illustrate the importance of understanding gender and show both limitations of the concept of structural violence as well as ways in which it can be put to use.

Setting the stage: agendas for peace research Throughout history, scholars, theologians, and activists alike have sought ways for people to live in peace. Most Western approaches focus on war and take its absence to mean peace. In 27

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this view, states have primary responsibility for war and, by association, for peace, but, as many feminist scholars have pointed out, these analyses do not consider the ways citizenship, social institutions, and states themselves are masculinized nor do they address the ways that war and peace affect men and women differently (see, for example, Enloe 1989; Hooper 2001; Parpart and Zalewski 2008; Reardon 1985; Shepherd 2008; Sjoberg 2013; Sylvester 2013). This lack of a critical and gendered perspective also applies to the origins of what we know as peace research today. In the wake of the devastation wrought by two world wars, American peace research in the 1950s and 60s focused on measurable and objective causes of war, taking a scientific and positivist approach. Given urgency by the Cold and Vietnam Wars, the primary objective was the prevention of war or achieving negative peace. In contrast, for European peace researchers, the Vietnam War brought American imperialism and neocolonialism into focus. Countries of the global South that had been under foreign domination were gaining independence and grappling with the legacies of their colonial past as well as with the neocolonial policies and proxy wars foisted on them by the Cold War adversaries. ‘Development’ was seen as a panacea for the growing gaps in income, access to basic human needs such as food, water and fuel, education, health care, and life expectancy between the countries of the North and those in the global South. But development strategies soon proved to be far less effective and much more problematic than initially promised. It was against these deep divisions over methodology, focus, and the role of violence in the creation of peace that Norwegian sociologist Johan Galtung first proposed his idea of structural violence (1969). Galtung had studied and taught in the United States and was greatly influenced by American positivism. In the 1960s, he had also spent time in Africa, experiencing firsthand the reality of maldevelopment, and at the Institute of Gandhian Studies in Varanassi, India. While he retained his belief, honed in the United States, in the efficacy of using a scientific approach, he joined his European colleagues in acknowledging the importance of stressing issues of social justice (Lawler 1995: 70). This is reflected in his understanding of the focus for peace research which he suggested has two branches: “negative peace which is the absence of violence, absence of war – and positive peace which is the integration of human society” (Galtung 1964: 2).3 Many scholars have subsequently used this negative/positive peace approach. Taking a scientific approach, some scholars try to measure the degree of peacefulness/ peacelessness.4 Others apply it to peace education, such as feminist scholars Birgit Brock-Utne (1997) and Betty Reardon (Reardon and Snauwert 2015: 115), the latter of whom prefers the term ‘organic’ to positive peace. Reardon was one of the first scholars to identify the importance of women’s rights in creating peace, seeing global violence and warfare as both the “cause and consequence of the structural violence that denies the human rights of women” (1993: 71) and to identify the relationship between sexism and militarism (1985). Around the same time, Cynthia Enloe (1989) identified ways in which understandings of gender underlie international politics. These and subsequent feminist understandings of peace, violence, and the military make it clear that, while Rina Shimabukuro and her murderer might have had a personal dispute, the institutionalized militarism, misogyny, and racism of the US military in Japan set the stage for her rape and murder.

Galtung’s concept of structural violence Galtung proposed structural violence in the context of seeking a global focus for peace that would be different from that of International Relations and help to transform the international system (Lawler 1995: 50). He hoped to find non-violent solutions to not only direct acts of violence, but also to what he saw as highly unacceptable social orders. This required 28

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addressing the ways people unintentionally cause extreme harm. In looking for a structural approach, Galtung borrows from Marx, but credits Gandhi for giving him an appreciation of holistic approaches acknowledging the interconnectedness and sacredness of all life and for the inspiration to move away from the actor-oriented perspective of much Western science (Galtung 1985: 146; 1990: 302). Working toward a clear definition of violence, Galtung begins with the idea that “violence is present when human beings are being influenced so that their actual somatic and mental realizations are below their potential realizations” (1969: 185). He uses a definition that is not limited to intentionally destructive acts, calling for an “extended concept” of violence, defined as the “cause of the difference between the potential and actual”. He offers the example of a person dying from tuberculosis in the 18th century and one dying of the same cause today. In the former example, medical knowledge was such that death would have been unavoidable and thus not considered to be violence. Today, however, when medical resources are available, then violence would be present. If the actual is avoidable and the potential is higher than the actual, then there is violence. If the actual is unavoidable, then violence is not present (1969: 168–169). Galtung stresses the importance of clarifying this extended concept of violence, and thinks in terms of influence involving a subject, an object and an action. He outlines six dimensions. The first two characterize the mode of influence: physical (violence that works on the body)/ psychological (violence that works on the soul) and negative (coercion)/positive (reward) approaches. The third dimension focuses on the presence or absence of an object that is hurt, including such aspects as the threat of violence and destruction of things rather than persons. The fourth dimension concerns whether or not there is a subject who acts. The fifth dimension concerns whether the violence is intended or unintended and the sixth distinguishes between manifest and latent violence (Galtung 1969: 169–172). The above dimensions reflect aspects of both violence as force and violence as violation. Structural violence refers in particular to the fourth dimension and describes the less visible aspects of violence, contrasting it with personal violence which occurs when there is a person who can be held accountable for the injurious act. Structural violence is “unintended harm to human beings”, a slow process of misery that eventually leads to death (Galtung 1985: 145–146). While lives might be lost as a result of structural violence, “the violence is built into the structure and shows up as unequal power and consequently as unequal life chances” (Galtung 1969: 171).5 Thus when the identities of both the subject and object of violence are clear, it is personal violence; when they are not clear, it is structural violence.6 Galtung does not distinguish between male and female bodies as subjects of structural violence and is not concerned with recognition, but rather with the possibility for avoidance. Hunger is structural violence if it is objectively avoidable regardless of the cause, and a slave is subject to structural violence regardless of whether s/he is aware of his/her condition. For Galtung, subjects and objects are important for identifying the presence of violence, but he does not concern himself with the process of subjectification in particular sociopolitical contexts (see, for example, McSorley 2013; Price 2012; Shepherd 2009; Sylvester 2013). However, an understanding of violence as being both produced by and productive of particular subjectivities would allow for a more nuanced understanding of the construction of both violence and resistance. When the concept of structural violence was first introduced, it opened up a whole range of possibilities for the study of violence and peace. Galtung himself was interested in the relationship between peace and health, and structural violence provided a way to address the harmful effects of poverty without invoking, in his terms, subjects and objects. 29

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Many scholars working on health issues have found structural violence useful for explaining the complexity of HIV/AIDS and other cases of extreme suffering. Medical anthropologist Paul Farmer, for example, looks at illness in Haiti and Latin America (Farmer 2005, 2009) as a problem not only of individual behaviours and opportunities, but also as a manifestation of structural violence. Others have used, and criticized, structural violence in analyses of issues in poverty, human rights, and human security (Ho 2007; Pogge 2003; Shepherd 2008). Structural violence is a concept which, in many ways, is a reflection of its time. It was offered to peace researchers in the late 1960s as a way to nuance their understanding of the meaning of peace; a way to talk about life and death issues of nuclear war and development in the same conversation. In general, it was greeted with approval by those interested in issues of development and post- and/or neocolonialism, but those focusing on war and nuclear war found the concept to be overly normative and too broad. They felt that allowing the inclusion of everything would lead to the illumination of nothing. It could not help to prevent nuclear holocaust nor could it contribute to the creation of a more peaceful world (Boulding 1977).7 Critics have also focused on Galtung’s reliance on negation, binaries, and opposites to explain the relationship of violence to peace. Feminists have criticized Galtung’s structural violence, as well as his later work, for its dependence on binaries and opposites, noting the lack of recognition of the ways the pairs are unequal and are gendered. Although Galtung does occasionally mention men and women, his understanding is based on male and female bodies rather than norms of masculinity/femininity and gender hierarchies.8 Structural violence as a concept could be greatly enhanced by reflecting the wealth of feminist scholarship from a range of theoretical perspectives that addresses the construction of gender and the ways gendered hierarchies impact International Relations, that is relations international as performed by gendered bodies (for example, see Enloe 2007; Butler 2004; Parpart and Zalewski 2008; Sjoberg 2013; Sjoberg and Gentry 2007; Shepherd 2008; Åhäll and Shepherd 2012; Connell 1987; Tickner 1992; Sylvester 1994; Whitworth 2004). Confortini (2006), in an extensive discussion of the ways Galtung fails even to mention gender except in one publication (Galtung 1996), offers four possible ways that feminism might contribute to his work.9 She suggests that understanding gender as power relations would lead to the realization of ways that gendered norms and customs contribute to the reproduction of violence. In particular, attention should be paid to masculinity and the relation of masculinity to the production of violence, as well as to the importance of language in the production/ reproduction of violence and peace. Confortini suggests that the introduction of a feminist perspective into analyses of structural violence will allow for a deeper understanding. Conversely, without one, the ultimate goal of social justice will be impossible to achieve.

Cultural violence and the violence triangle As suggested earlier, Galtung’s ultimate objective in studying and defining violence is the creation of peace. Finding himself dissatisfied with the direct/structural violence binary, in 1990 he added a third dimension: cultural violence. As outlined below, he used triangles to illustrate this concept as well as its positive opposite. The violence (vicious) triangle came from the need for understanding not only the use of violence but also the legitimation of that use in order to transcend it (Galtung 1990: 291). Direct and structural violence comprise two corners of the violence triangle. To the third corner is assigned cultural violence, defined as “those aspects of culture, the symbolic sphere of our existence – exemplified by religion and ideology, language and art, empirical science and formal science (logic, mathematics) – that can be used to justify or legitimize direct or 30

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structural violence” (1990: 291). In other words, cultural violence makes direct, and at times structural, violence acceptable. It is through this process of normalization that violence becomes invisible and/or unrecognizable as violence. Causality flows in all six directions of the violence triangle, and can begin from any point and go in any direction. So, for example, an act of explosive violence (direct violence) can be understood as terrorism and cause intolerance toward particular groups (structural violence) justified by the injury (cultural violence). Similarly, perceived intolerance (structural violence) can lead to explosive violence (just war) legitimated by claims of protection of human rights, culture, and/or religion (cultural violence). Equally, insistence that certain religious or cultural practices be followed (cultural violence) can lead to explosive violence (direct violence) which, in turn, can be followed by further intolerance and sanctions (structural violence), and so on. As the terminology suggests, Galtung’s structural violence is predicated on oppressive and exploitative social structures. For example, torture is a visible and direct manifestation of violence, but it is built upon “strategies of capitalist and social imperialism” (Galtung 1994: 133). These social structures both make the perpetrators of violence invisible and at the same time serve to legitimize the violence so as to make it imperceptible and/or acceptable to the majority of people. Accordingly, the eradication of this violence or, in Galtung’s framework, the transcendence of structural violence to structural peace (transformation of negative peace to positive peace) requires not only eliminating the immediate visible signs of violence, but also the underlying structural/cultural causes. As with his other concepts, Galtung contrasts the violence (vicious) triangle to a selfreinforcing virtuous triangle. The conversion of vicious to virtuous requires work on all three corners at the same time; changing one is not sufficient to change the others. Anticipating criticism that cultural violence further broadens the agenda for peace studies, he suggests that like the study of health, the study of peace is complex and that peace research could contribute to a new scientific enterprise, “the science of human culture” (1990: 303, emphasis in original). In Galtung’s 1969 article, he suggested that “[o]ne husband beating his wife is personal violence, but one million husbands keeping one million wives in ignorance constitutes structural violence” (1969: 171). The addition of cultural violence might enable a more dynamic analysis of gender violence. Even so, without a gender perspective, the utility of the violence triangle is extremely limited. Using the above example, Galtung might, in 1990, have also described one man beating his wife as an example of cultural violence, because in some cultures, men ‘discipline’ their wives. This assessment of wife-beating as direct violence and/or cultural violence is helpful, but does not address the act of ‘wife-beating’ as a performance of masculinity (see, for example, Butler 1990; Connell 1987). In fact, as the second part of Galtung’s sentence refers to keeping women in ignorance, it implies not only the lack of subjectivity on the part of the women but also an implicit understanding that if women were less ignorant they might prevent or at least avoid being beaten by their husbands. Again, there is no attention given to the role of gender hierarchies in the ‘private’ lives of men and women, nor to the cultural/social circumstances in which this wife-beating and knowledge deprivation occur.10 In other words, Galtung does not interrogate how masculinity and/or femininity contribute to social understandings of violence, particularly of the ways certain understandings of masculinity normalize male violence. Like structural violence, the violence triangle is, to a great extent, based on binaries – negative/positive, male/female, top dogs/under dogs – and on pre-existing structures and hierarchies of power. For Galtung, these structures are not relations of power as produced and productive in a Foucauldian sense (Foucault 1976), nor are they constructed through 31

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discourses. Rather, they are simply there. Structural violence tells us that there are underlying oppressive structures that allow the ‘top dogs’ to be rich while the ‘under dogs’ suffer, and that those same structures obscure the oppression experienced by the under dogs from the top dogs, and perhaps even to the under dogs themselves (Galtung 1969). What it does not tell us however, is how those structures came to be in place. What discursive practices and/ or norms create and maintain the unequal power relations within our social institutions? Galtung identifies “religion and ideology, language and art, empirical and formal science” (1990: 296) as six cultural domains used to legitimize structural and/or direct violence but fails to explore the role of power in those contexts. The ‘top dogs’ are powerful, but how is their power defined and from where does it originate? And, who exactly are those ‘top dogs’ and ‘under dogs’? Galtung builds his arguments on opposing binaries, but ignores both how the two sides of the binary are, respectively, privileged and marginalized, and the range of difference within and among those groups (see, for example, Chaudry 2004; Collins 2000; Crenshaw 1991). In describing them as such, he is reproducing the invisibility of those who do not match his categories. Both the violent and virtuous triangles thus both identify, and reproduce, violence (Price 2012).

Gender, militarization and structural violence In this section, we return to the example of Rina Shimabukuro to consider how use of a gendered understanding of structural violence could make visible the intersections of militarism, gender, and racism. Using the violence triangle as a point of departure, we can identify the ways different kinds of violence are constituted by, and serve to constitute, each other. Sexual assault and murder are obviously instances of direct violence. However, use of the violence triangle allows us to see that these acts of violence are not only the result of a single violent act by a single violent man. It is important that the perpetrator was a man, and also that he was employed by the military and a former Marine stationed in Okinawa. Why? Because militarized masculinities both promote and normalize the use of violence including, and especially, sexual violence (Enloe 2007; Whitworth 2004; Lutz 2009; Vine 2015; de Matos and Ward 2012; Higate 2003).11 Militaries are institutions that promote the use and control of violence. On the one hand, they need to take new recruits and make them into soldiers who will not baulk at engaging in killing other humans. On the other hand, those same soldiers have to be controlled so that they do not turn their aggression and violence on one another. Connell and Messerschmidt (2005) discuss the idea of ‘hegemonic masculinity’, suggesting that, although there are many different masculinities, certain features such as reluctance to express emotion and toughness are prioritized. Militaries are one place where hegemonic masculinity is cultivated and spread. Feminist scholars have shown how militaries invoke gendered hierarchies to promote masculinity through misogyny and the denigration of femininity. These hierarchies play into colonial hierarchies of domination and subjugation through which colonizers assert their superiority by degrading feminized and ‘barbarian’ others. Militarization multiplies this process of othering and feminizing by glorifying and normalizing the military masculinity. The normalization occurs to such an extent that ‘militarization of the everyday’ becomes invisible. Military hardware incorporated into everyday food labels is but one example of the many ways that military motifs (camouflage designs, clothing styles, etc.), ideas, and language have become part of mass culture and everyday life (Enloe 1989; Alexander 2015). The rape and murder of Rina Shimabukuro occurred against a background of militarism, militarization, and militarized masculinities. Okinawa was the site of a bloody battle in June 32

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of 1945 and in addition to heavy military casualties on both sides, one in four Okinawan civilians were said to have been killed, many by Japanese soldiers. Okinawa was not included when independence was re-established in Japan after the signing of the peace treaty. The island remained occupied, and a large (and contested) US military presence stayed even after Okinawa was returned to Japan in 1972. Today, as mentioned, the island hosts 75 per cent of the US military forces in Japan, including large and controversial bases.12 The murder of Rina Shimabukuro is one of the most recent of close to 500 reported incidences of sexual violence by US soldiers in Japan, most of which go unprosecuted in Japan and are often swept under the carpet by US military authorities (Associated Press 2014).13 As we can identify many layers of ‘avoidable harm’, some intentional and some not, in the rape and murder of Rina Shimabukuro, structural violence can be said to be present. We can also find cultural violence, as Galtung (1990: 296) suggests that the ideology of militarism is the way militarization as a process becomes invisible and normal. His essentialist understanding of gender as sex might allow recognition that the perpetrator was a man and the victim a woman, but would ignore the militarized masculine violence of the ‘victorious’ US military presence in ‘defeated’ Japan, especially in the already marginalized Okinawa. Promiscuous sexual behaviour, excessive consumption of alcohol, substance abuse, and aggressive behaviour are all part of military masculinity and, when combined with hierarchies of domination, result in situations where the health and well-being of the local population is put at risk. In this case, making violence ‘avoidable’ would be to question the military presence itself.

Conclusion Structural violence is a concept that grew out of divisions in the peace research community in the late 1960s. It was proposed by Johan Galtung with the objective of creating a more nuanced definition of peace by making visible the harm caused by violence having no subject or object. The concept has been useful, particularly for addressing issues of positive peace and social justice, but was at the time criticized for expanding the definition of peace and violence to such an extent that it was no longer useful for preventing war or for peace action. Johan Galtung has been criticized for his positivist perspective, as well as his use and treatment of binaries as equal opposites without interrogating the power relations between the members of each pair. Moreover, his work lacks a gender perspective, an understanding of gender as power relations and of the ways social institutions are gendered. The case of the rape and murder of Rina Shimabukuro illustrates these shortcomings, particularly with reference to militarism and militarization. Structural violence was initially intended as a way to incorporate issues such as hunger or maldevelopment into the conversation about peace and violence; war was understood in the context of direct violence. The lack of an understanding of the ways social structures are gendered prevented the linking of structural/cultural violence with militarism, militarization, and war. In order to do this, it is preferable to move away from unidimensional structures and understand structural violence as institutionalized relations of power which are supported by, and support, gendered social hierarchies in the form of social relations, customs, and norms. The analysis of intersecting relations of differing violence(s) including structural or institutional violence can be useful for making hidden aspects of violence visible, showing the ways violence is produced and reproduced, and understanding the ways the peace and/or violence experienced by one person is related to that experienced by others. Such an understanding reflects that true peace is only possible for one if it is also possible for all. 33

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Notes 1 US military bases abroad are governed by Status of Forces Agreements (SOFAs). In Japan, the SOFAs limit the access and jurisdiction of local authorities to members of the US military suspected of committing crimes. As a result, many soldiers have escaped prosecution for sexual violence. “At US military bases in Japan, most service members found culpable in sex crimes in recent years did not go to prison . . . . Instead, in a review of hundreds of cases filed in America’s largest overseas military installation, offenders were fined, demoted, restricted to their bases or removed from the military” (Associated Press 2014). 2 According to Bufacchi (2005), the word ‘violence’ comes from the Latin violentia (vehemence, impetuosity) and “because acts of excessive force frequently result in the violation of norms, rights or rules, the meaning of violence is often conflated with that of ‘Violations’, from the Latin violare, meaning ‘infringement’” (p. 194). ‘Force’ is often used synonymously with violence, but while violence refers to destructive actions, force is not necessarily destructive or measurable as particular actions. Some scholars argue that the degree to which a particular act of violence is intentional and/ or harmful is not necessarily clear (Dewey 1916: 364; Pogge 2003), and so understanding violence means understanding its relation to power (Arendt 1969). Like Galtung, these scholars note that as it is often not possible to identify the perpetrators, violence is not necessarily goal oriented and involves more than the intentional use of force to inflict damage, injury, or death to particular ‘others’. 3 Quincy Wright distinguished between negative peace (the absence of war) and positive peace, (international justice). He believed that the “positive aspect of peace – justice – cannot be separated from the negative aspect – elimination of violence” (Wright 1964). 4 T  he Positive Peace Index, for example, is composed of 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators. It ranks countries and territories on three broad themes: the level of safety and security in society; the extent of domestic or international conflict; and the degree of militarization (Institute for Economics and Peace 2016: 9). 5 In a footnote (n13; p.188), Galtung (1969) refers to an essay by Stokeley Carmichael in ‘Black Power’ (p. 51 in David Cooper (ed.) (1968) The Dialectics of Liberation, London: Penguin) in which he distinguishes between two types of racism: individual and institutional. Galtung confirms that the individual/institutional division is the same as his personal/structural violence but emphasizes that a person might act on behalf of a group, while ‘individual’ is understood as the opposite of a group. Group violence, he asserts, is important, but is not institutional. 6 Webel and Galtung (2007) discuss the meaning of structure in the following way. “If conflict = incompatible/contradictory goals, where do the goals come from? We can identify three broad categories of answer: from Nature, Culture and Structure. Nature is in us, and around us; Culture is in us as internalized values and norms; and Structure is around us as institutionalized, positive and negative, sanctions” (15–16). 7 Galtung addresses this criticism in his later work, saying that positive peace can only come through addressing the underlying causes of negative peace, the virtuous triangle and through his work with Transcend (Galtung 1987, 1990; Webel and Galtung 2007). 8 Joan Scott, for example, defines gender as “a constitutive element of social relationships based on perceived differences . . . a way of signifying relationships of power” (Scott 1988: 7). 9 These are: (1) understanding gender as power relations; (2) recognizing that dichotomous categories are gendered and reproduce violence; (3) recognizing the ways language is gendered and ways violence and peace are constituted through language and (4) recognizing that violence is both productive of, and produced by, gender identities (Confortini 2006: 333). 10 Needless to say, in this example, ‘ignorance’ no doubt refers to ‘education’ which of course is important. However, it makes one curious as to the depth of Galtung’s interest in the dimensions and realities of women’s knowledge. 11 It is important to note that the discourse of sexual violence in the military often excludes male to male sexual violence (Kwon 2010). 12 Okinawa Prefecture and the Japanese government are currently deadlocked over plans for relocating US Marines from the Futenma base to Guam, building a new base at Henoko and a helipad in the pristine forest of Takae. 13 According to the National Police Agency and Okinawa prefectural police, in the early 1990s there were close to 300 crimes committed by those with ties to the US military in Japan. The number dropped to 90 in 1996, but by 2003 had risen to 194. The number has hovered at around 100 annually thereafter, with about half of the crimes committed in Okinawa (Okinawa Times 2016).


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References Åhäll, Linda and Laura Shepherd. 2012. Gender, Agency and Political Violence. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Alexander, Ronni. 2015. ‘Living with the fence: Militarization and military spaces on Guahan/Guam’. Gender, Place and Culture. DOI:10.1080/0966369X.2015.1073697. Arendt, Hannah. 1969. On Violence. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Associated Press. 2014. ‘Sexual assaults by US military in Japan unlikely to end in prison’. Available from the Guardian at (accessed 4 August 2016). Boulding, Kenneth E. 1977. ‘Twelve friendly quarrels with Johan Galtung’. Journal of Peace Research 14(1): 75–86. Brock-Utne, Birgit. 1997. ‘Linking the micro and macro in peace and development studies’. In J. Turpin and L.R. Kurtz (eds) The Web of Violence: From Interpersonal to Global (pp. 150–160). Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press. Bufacchi, Vittorio. 2005. ‘Two concepts of violence’. Political Studies Review 3: 193–204. Butler, Judith. 1990. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York: Routledge. Butler, Judith. 2004. Undoing Gender. New York and London: Routledge. CBS News. 2016. ‘With renewed fury, Japanese protest U.S. military presence in Okinawa’. 20 June. Available at (accessed 30 August 2016). Chaudry, Lubna Nazir. 2004. ‘Reconstructing selves in the Karachi conflict: Mohajir women survivors and structural violence’. Cultural Dynamic 16(2/3): 259–290. Collins, Patricia Hill. 2000. Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment. 2nd edition. New York: Routledge. Confortini, Catia. 2006. ‘Galtung, violence, and gender’. Peace & Change 31(3): 333–367. Connell, R.W. 1987. Gender and Power. Cambridge: Polity Press. Connell, R.W. and James W. Messerschmidt. 2005. ‘Hegemonic masculinity: Rethinking the concept’. Gender & Society 19(6): 829–859. Crenshaw, Kimberlé. 1991 ‘Mapping the margins: Intersectionality, identity politics, and violence against women of color’. Stanford Law Review 43(6): 1241–1299. De Matos, Christine and Rowena Ward (eds). 2012. Gender, Power, and Military Occupations: Asia Pacific and the Middle East since 1945. New York: Routledge. Dewey, John. 1916. ‘Force and coercion’. International Journal of Ethics 26(3): 359–367. Enloe, Cynthia. 1989. Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics. Berkeley: University of California Press. Enloe, Cynthia. 2007. Globalization and Militarism. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. Farmer, Paul. 2005. Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Farmer, Paul. 2009. ‘On suffering and structural violence: A view from below’. Race/Ethnicity: Multidisciplinary Global Contexts 3(1): 11–28. Foucault, Michel. 1976. The History of Sexuality: 1 The Will to Knowledge. Robert Hurley, translator. London: Penguin Books. Galtung, Johan. 1964. ‘An editorial’. Journal of Peace Research 1(1): 1–4. Galtung, Johan. 1969. ‘Violence, peace and peace research’. Journal of Peace Research 6(3): 167–191. Galtung, Johan. 1985. ‘Twenty-five years of peace research: Ten challenges and some responses’. Journal of Peace Research 22(2): 142–158. Galtung, Johan. 1987. ‘Only one quarrel with Kenneth Boulding’. Journal of Peace Research 24(2): 199–203. Galtung, Johan. 1990. ‘Cultural violence’. Journal of Peace Research 27(3): 291–305. Galtung, Johan. 1994. Human Rights in Another Key. Cambridge, MA: Polity Press. Galtung, Johan. 1996. Peace by Peaceful Means: Peace and Conflict, Development and Civilization. Oslo: IPRI. Higate, Paul. 2003. Military Masculinities: Identity and the State. Westport, CT: Praeger. Ho, Kathleen. 2007. ‘Structural violence as a human rights violation’. Essex Human Rights Review 4(2): 1–17. Hooper, Charlotte. 2001. Manly States: Masculinities, International Relations and Gender Politics. New York: Columbia University Press.


Ronni Alexander Institute for Economics and Peace. 2016. ‘Positive Peace Report’. Online at: report/world/positive-peace-report-2016 (accessed 10 September 2016). Kwon, Insook. 2010. ‘Masculinity and male-on-male sexual violence in the military: Focusing on the absence of the issue’. In Setsu Shigematsu and Keith L. Camacho (eds) Militarized Currents (pp. 223–250). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Lawler, Peter. 1995. A Question of Values: Johan Galtung’s Peace Research. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers. Lutz, Catharine (ed.). 2009. The Bases of Empire. London: Pluto Press. McSorley, Kevin (ed.). 2013. War and the Body: Militarization, Practice and Experience. London: Routledge. Okinawa Times. 21 May 2016. ‘沖縄~米軍関係者の凶悪事件 本土復帰後571件検挙’ (Okinawa: Brutal Crimes by U.S. Military Personnel – 571 such crimes listed since Okinawa’s return to Japan). Available at (accessed 9 May 2018). Parpart, Jane L. and Marysia Zalewski. 2008. Rethinking the Man Question: Sex, Gender and Violence in International Relations. London: Zed Books. Pogge, Thomas. 2003. ‘Priorities of global justice’. In David Held and Anthony McGrew (eds) The Global Transformations Reader (pp. 548–558). Cambridge: Polity Press. Price, Joshua. 2012. Structural Violence: Hidden Brutality in the Lives of Women. New York: State University of New York Press. Reardon, Betty. 1985. Sexism and the War System. New York: Teacher’s College Press. Reardon, Betty. 1993. Women and Peace: Feminist Visions of Global Security. Albany: State University of New York Press. Reardon, Betty and Dale Snauwaert. 2015. Betty A. Reardon: A Pioneer in Education for Peace and Human Rights. Albany: State University of New York Press. Scott, Joan. 1988. Gender and the Politics of History. New York: Columbia University Press. Shepherd, Laura J. 2008. Gender, Violence and Security: Discourse as Practice. London: Zed Books. Shepherd, Laura J. 2009. ‘Gender violence and global politics: Contemporary debates in Feminist Security Studies’. Political Studies Review 7: 208–219. Sjoberg, Laura. 2013. Gendering Global Conflict: Toward a Feminist Theory of War. New York: Columbia University Press. Sjoberg, Laura and Caron E. Gentry 2007. Mothers, Monsters, Whores: Women’s Violence in International Politics. London: Zed Books. Sylvester, Christine. 1994. Feminist Theory and International Relations in a Postmodern Era. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Sylvester, Christine. 2013. Experiencing War: Contributions from International Relations and Feminist Analysis. New York: Routledge. Takara, Sachika. 2016. ‘Kouzouteki Bouryoku kara Kaihou wo’ (Seeking Release from Structural Violence). Ryukyu Shinpo Newspaper, 22 May 2016. Tickner, J. Ann. 1992. Gender in International Relations: Feminist Perspectives on Achieving Global Security. New York: Columbia University Press. Vine, David. 2015. Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World. New York: Metropolitan Books. Webel, Charles and Johan Galtung (eds). 2007. Handbook of Peace and Conflict Studies. New York: Routledge. Whitworth, Sandra. 2004. Men, Militarism, and UN Peacekeeping: A Gendered Analysis. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers. Wright, Quincy. 1964. A Study of War. 2nd edition. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.



Introduction ‘Security’ is a contested concept in International Relations (IR) and related disciplines. Both in terms of scholarly study and practice, ‘security’ reflects a range of assumptions, knowledges, and concerns about the world and the people in it. Security Studies (SS) emerged as a subfield of IR during the Cold War period, dominated largely by realist understandings of the world. Concerned with what was assumed to be the ‘aggressive’ nature of humans and a state system that was rooted in the anarchical, realists (and later neorealists) were concerned with securing the nation-state from outside the boundaries of the national community. While the field has taken broader approaches to ‘security’ (and other related concerns), the function of the state as protector is largely unproblematized. Engaging with mainstream SS entails acknowledging the field’s relationship with the assumptions and logics of mainstream IR more broadly, and how the logics of SS and security-as-practice interact with broader (historical and contemporary) gendered and racialized discourses of global politics, and ultimately function to enable and perpetuate violence. To this end, this chapter outlines feminist and postcolonial approaches to SS (in the context of IR more broadly) and key examples of security-as-practice in order to illustrate that both are fundamentally gendered and racialized. Considering how using gender and race can be used as lenses to provide insights into understanding what ‘security’ might entail, the chapter outlines critiques of dominant perspectives and offers insights into the field that would otherwise be overlooked. The first section of the chapter sets out some of the core concerns and assumptions of dominant mainstream approaches to SS, tracing the logics that underscore these approaches. The second section sets out how feminist and postcolonial scholars have analysed and contested dominant meanings of ‘security’ and key events related to the concerns of SS. Gender and race are necessary for thinking about the core issues in SS, for analysing events and phenomena related to ‘security’. The third and fourth sections of the chapter draw on contemporary examples to illustrate how ‘security’ is inextricably linked to broader dominant discourses (such as ‘development’), demonstrating how the gendered and racialized logics of ‘security’ function in practice.


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Interrogating mainstream Security Studies ‘Mainstream’ or ‘traditional’ SS refers to the work on security done through the lens of the IR approach of political Realism. Mainstream SS shares with Realism a core set of assumptions, logics, and narratives which are reflected in the work of a range of scholars. Realist thinkers (both classical and neo) take the state as the referent object of ‘security’, and have tended to focus largely on war as the main threat to the security of the state. At the most basic level, this is also reflected in another key tradition of ‘mainstream’ IR (and SS): Liberalism. While allowing for more potential for cooperation between states than Realism, Liberal approaches in SS are, like Realism, also underscored by a concern with states and ‘security’ in terms of a positivist problem-solving focused approach which takes particular power and social relationships as ‘given’ (Cox 1981). In this context, the core issues in mainstream SS tend to overlook individuals as actors, instead focusing on the interaction between militaristic states, analysing inter-state relationships primarily in terms of war within a system in which (interstate) violence is perceived to be endemic (inter alia Walt 1991). This reflects the broader assumptions and logics underscoring ‘mainstream’ IR, in which (state-centric) politics is posited as centred around competition for power among states, with power exerted through coercive capability largely focused on military and economic power. This perspective is illustrative of the focus, in ‘mainstream’ SS (and IR) on particular expressions of masculinity (associated with ‘men’) in terms of understanding the world and engaging with it. Classical Realism, for example, makes assumptions about ‘human nature’ (often extrapolating behaviours commonly associated with ‘men’ and ascribing certain behaviours to non-white ‘Others’) in engaging with concepts such as power and rationality, and functions as a highly gendered and racialized paradigm that overlooks (and indeed obscures) the varied human experiences in which states should be understood (Youngs 2004). There are a range of approaches that seek to de-centre the state in the study of ‘security’, and in doing so, reconceptualize the idea of ‘security’ as more than “the study of the threat, use and control of military force” (Walt 1991: 212). These approaches have sought to broaden understandings of what ‘security’ encompasses. For example, constructivists go beyond militarism to include the political, social, economic, and environmental (increasing ‘threat’ to include political oppression, poverty, environmental degradation). As Barry Buzan explains it, ‘security’ in this approach includes a substantial range of concerns about the conditions of existence. Quite where this range of concerns ceases to merit the urgency of the “security” label (which identifies threats as significant enough to warrant emergency action and exceptional measures including the use of force) and becomes part of everyday uncertainties of life is one of the difficulties of the concept. 1991: 432–433 The Copenhagen school addresses this by moving away from a normative approach to ‘security’ by using the concept of ‘securitization’ as an analytical tool to identify how and where the concept of ‘security’ is deployed. Feminists and postcolonial scholars share a similar commitment in terms of engaging with ‘security’, critiquing what ‘security’ entails, how the concept has been used, and to what effect, by interrogating the gendered and racialized assumptions and knowledge that underpin its use in scholarship and the way it has operated in practice. Feminist and postcolonial SS scholars have sought to move away from the narrowness of the field by seeking to develop non-state-centric approaches to ‘security’, and 38

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take a variety of approaches to understanding and interrogating the function of gender and race in global politics, and in the field of IR and subfields such as SS. They are broadly concerned with uncovering the assumptions, logics, and power relations that shape the fields (and practice), using gender and race as both analytical categories and empirical units of analysis. Ultimately, these scholars have reconceptualized SS and IR’s key assumptions and core concerns. In these perspectives, ‘security’ can be understood as encompassing myriad political, economic, and social relationships, as well as processes and practices. While not overlooking the nation-state, feminist and postcolonial scholars see ‘security’ (and thus the realm of SS) more broadly. This means considering key actors in the realm of SS beyond the nation-state, and acknowledging the individual in global politics. For example, a feminist or postcolonial approach to SS asks who is secured by the activities taking place in the name of ‘security’ (such as military activities and interventions, legislation, military expenditure). At the most basic level, feminist scholars interrogating SS (and IR) share a commitment to challenging the idea of gender (and, often, sex) as biologically determined, instead understanding gender as “a set of socially constructed characteristics describing what men and women ought to be” (Tickner and Sjoberg 2013: 206). Gaining traction in the 1980s and 1990s, feminist IR scholars have interrogated the masculinist bias in IR, identifying and challenging a series of gendered binaries and hierarchies which privileged the masculine over the feminine, and underscored the analysis of the discipline (e.g., male/female, masculine/ feminine, rational/irrational, strong/weak, public/private, perpetrator/victim, protector/ protected) (Tickner 1992; Hooper 2001; Sjoberg 2009a). J. Ann Tickner explained, “international relations is a man’s world, a world of power and conflict in which warfare is a privileged activity” (1988: 429). Laura Sjoberg (2009b: 1), speaking of international security more specifically, explains that [w]omen in privileged positions in international security policy-making remain rare (and are often identified primarily by their gender when they do reach those positions), and entire scholarly texts can be found with no reference to women or gender at all. The key insights of feminist critiques of SS highlight the role of the human subject (as opposed to a state-centric focus) and make clear the importance of identifying and interrogating dominant configurations of masculinity and femininity (and the binary understandings of gender that underpin this worldview). Feminist IR scholars have asked a range of questions about gender, ranging from its function as “an identity-constituting system” that shapes the ways in which states position themselves vis-à-vis state and non-state actors in global politics (Wadley 2010: 54), to empirical analyses that seek to uncover the role women (otherwise largely under-researched in SS) play in ‘security’ in various contexts (MacKenzie 2010). Indeed, the assumptions of IR and SS, feminists argue, perpetuate the violence that they seek to prevent. Binary understandings of ‘men’ and ‘women’, the roles they play, and ultimately, the idea of ‘security’ have material impacts that perpetuate dominant discourses of gender and security. For example, Laura Shepherd’s (2008) work on UN Resolution 1325 illustrates how the Resolution’s discursive construction reflects the dominant gendered discourse in which women are passive and peaceful. Postcolonial scholars (and some feminist scholars) look to race as both an analytical lens and empirical unit of analysis, and have sought to expose the Western-centric nature of SS (in terms of obscuring the function of race in global politics) and of security-as-practice (in enacting and enabling particular events and privileging the rights of some over others in the name of ‘security’). They too critique the idea of the state as the central actor in relation to 39

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‘security’ but also as the provider of ‘security’, by analysing the ways in which the state engages in activities that render some peoples ‘insecure’. For example, dominant discourses of ‘security’ feature commonly accepted ‘markers of progress’ which are “part of a chronology where only certain events and dates, such as World War Two, the Cold War, and September 11 2001, matter” in terms of understanding and achieving peace and security (Nayak and Selbin 2010: 125; Krishna 2001). Relatedly, and as feminist scholars argue through a gender lens, mainstream IR and SS take a particular view of what entails ‘secure’ and ‘peace’ and who is able to achieve ‘peace’ and ‘security’ (Nayak and Selbin 2010: 125). This must be understood against the dominant views in the field that are deeply Western-centric (emerging from a Eurocentric history) in some key ways: privileging Anglo-American perspectives on key issues, events, and concepts, deploying racialized (at times orientalist) knowledge of the non-Western world in making sense of events taking place there, and presuming the rational, ethical, and benign character of the Western ‘Self’. As Pinar Bilgin explains, while there is a research agenda in SS that explores ‘security’ within the “South/Third/developing world, it offers relatively little insight into non-Western insecurities” (2010: 617). Tracing this back to canonical texts in the field, Tarak Barkawi and Mark Laffey highlight the overwhelmingly Western focus of these, to the extent that even content looking beyond Western states reflects Western interests at the time (for example, one of the two chapters of the 1941 edition of Makers of Modern Strategy, a standard text in the field, focused on Japanese naval strategy at a time when this was a pressing concern for the US) (2006: 335). As they explain, these texts “take for granted . . . the point of view of Western great powers in a world they dominate and compete over”; this perspective is reflected in the dominant texts of contemporary SS, which explain violence in non-Western parts of the world through a lack of European institutions rather than drawing on, for example, the role that colonial legacies play in the political landscape of various regions (Barkawi and Laffey 2006: 336, 347).

Gender, race, and (in)security How, then, do gender and race function to shape dominant ideas about security and insecurity? Understanding security as gendered and racialized means understanding gender and race as ways of ordering the world that are imbued with power to create, legitimize, and naturalize knowledge (for example, knowledge about and for people, places, ideas). For example, Peterson and Runyan point out that mainstream understandings of ‘power’ and relatedly of ‘security’ are gendered in that they privilege aggressive masculinities. In this view, outside masculine and militarized ways of seeing the world, ‘security’ might be understood as “celebrating and sustaining life” but in dominant understandings it is presupposed as “the capacity to be indifferent to ‘others’ and, if necessary, to harm them” (2010: 18). The normalization of gender in this way functions as a dominant logic of security; this not only shapes “who and what is masculinized”, it is also “inextricable from devaluing who and what is feminized” (Peterson and Runyan 2010: 18). As the next two sections will illustrate, dominant logics of security are refracted through gendered and racialized understandings of the world, in which ‘Western’ and ‘masculine’ values (of ‘appropriate’ global governance, order, development, and economic rationality) are privileged over the (feminized) ‘backwardness’ of the ‘underdeveloped Other’. Engaging with this means examining the power of gender and race in global politics more broadly (not just security) in terms of the ways in which certain entities, states, and peoples (within, between, and beyond states) are masculinized and feminized (Peterson and Runyan 2010: 40

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18). Gender and race are “powerful legitimator[s] of war and national security” (Tickner 2002: 336). As Jill Steans explains, there are “deep and profound connections between the construction of masculinities, femininities, and state-sanctioned violence” (2006: 61). One example of this is the protector/protected ‘myth’ (or ‘Man as Warrior’ and ‘Beautiful Souls’), where women (assumed to be weak, vulnerable) are constructed as in need of the (military) protection that is offered by the (masculine) state (e.g., Elshtain 1985). In contemporary politics the operation of race in relation to this is particularly salient in terms of the contemporary expression of the ‘white man’s’ (and woman’s) burden in dominant narratives of security post-9/11, which will be explored in the last section of this chapter.

Security and development since the two world wars A particularly salient example of the practice and scholarly concerns of security lies at the intersection of ‘development’ and interventionism. In the contemporary context, this finds expression in neoliberal restructuring and related interventions (military, economic, or otherwise) into non-Western states in the name of ‘security’; these are inextricably linked to dominant discourses of ‘development’, which itself is racialized, gendered, and rooted in imperialism. With antecedents in European colonial understandings of the notion of ‘progress’ as defined against ‘backward’, ‘passive’, ‘stagnant’, or ‘declining’ non-Western societies, the project to engage in the political and economic development of these societies along liberal and capitalist lines has been repackaged as a highly gendered and racialized version of the ‘white man’s burden’ that has been used to justify colonialism. While not drawing explicitly on the overtly sexist or racist binaries of the colonial era, dominant development discourses post-1945 have been predicated on the basic logics underscoring colonial discourses. That is, discourses of development/underdevelopment find expression in a series of differences between ‘them’ and ‘us’ (urban/rural, modern/traditional, productive/unproductive), illustrating the interplay between gender and race in determining what constitutes ‘appropriate’ global political order (Khalid 2016). Analysing this discourse through the lenses of gender and race reveals the ways in which ‘security’ and ‘development’ intersect and the impacts this has; put another way, using race and gender to interrogate mainstream scholarship on, and practices of, ‘security’ and ‘development’ illustrates how intervention is enabled by the securitization of development. To speak of the practice of development as ‘securitized’ means to understand development as being conceptualized and pursued in the context of gendered and racialized understandings of ‘security’ more broadly. For example, the practice of development is aimed specifically at places and peoples that are perceived to threaten ‘our’ ‘security’, and is predicated on and (re)produces racialized and gendered logics (Duffield 2001: 15). As Duffield writes, in the contemporary context there are “pressures to reprioritize development criteria in relation to supporting intervention, reconstructing crisis states and, in order to stem terrorist recruitment, protecting livelihoods and promoting opportunity within strategically important areas of instability” (Duffield 2006: 14). One way this has been done is through the concept of ‘failed’ states. As Bilgin explains, this concept “finds fault with some states (or their leaders/regimes) but not with the global political-economic structure that allows them to ‘fail’” (2010: 619). In constructing the world as comprised of developed/underdeveloped and effective/failed states, dominant develop ment discourse (re)produces categories of ‘civilized’ (democratic, egalitarian, developed) and ‘barbaric’ (backward, despotic, underdeveloped) (Duffield 2007: 227–228) which are gendered in their privileging of particular kinds of output, effort, and activeness. The ‘barbaric’ is able 41

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to be constructed as such not only by reference to cultural norms ascribed to ‘them’ but also through delineating ‘them’ in ways that draw on gendered behaviours. For example, ‘their’ economic stagnation is the result of ‘feminine’ illogical or irrational economic choices, and is pitted against ‘our’ economic rationality (a ‘masculine’ trait). The very ability to represent the world in this way is predicated on the deployment of gendered and racialized binaries such as “civilized/barbarian, advanced/backward, active/passive, industrious/sensuous”, which are applied to peoples who do not “measure up” to “our” standards of civilization (Duffield 2007: 230). The Truman Doctrine is a useful historical example of this; the doctrine “set a framework that directed the security policies” of US administrations until the 1990s (Sjöstedt 2007: 236). For example, post-Second World War US foreign aid programmes such as the Marshall Plan were designed to “serve as a global mechanism to maintain international order while promoting economic growth in developing and the newly-emerging countries” (Tschirgi 2006: 47) and as “precursors” of contemporary “development assistance” incorporated aid into a ‘security’ strategy to contain threats from those constructed as ‘Other’ (Duffield 2002: 1065– 1066). Dividing the world into spheres of ‘freedom’ and ‘totalitarianism’ embodied in (‘Western’) capitalism and communism was a feature of the Truman doctrine, which illustrated the racialized and gendered logics underlying constructions of ‘them’ and ‘us’ that operate in dominant discourses of ‘security’. In the context of the Truman doctrine, this was reflected in, for example, “the cultivation of imperial masculinity” equating manliness and heroism with physical strength, military service, and uncritical loyalty to the state’ (Dean 2001: 12–18). In terms of Cold War logics, this can be seen in the feminization of communists and homosexuals (for example, through the use of the term ‘pinko’ to describe those accused of being sympathetic to communists). Cold War constructions of US ‘Self’, then, were organized around a desire to project a hypermasculine ‘Self’, against the threatening masculinity posed by an ‘aggressive’ and ‘totalitarian’ ‘Other’, and the ‘homosexual threat’ inside (Weldes 1999: 46; Hooper 2001: 86–87). This is also reflected in more contemporary discourses of ‘progress’ in relation to ‘failed’ and ‘fragile’ states, a core ‘security’ concern in the field of SS. This illustrates the gendered and racialized nature of mainstream development and security discourse, which has a fixation on ‘us’ (in the West) performing appropriate masculinity (as expressed in particular political and economic behaviours), and a concomitant concern with feminization. Fears of insecurity are centred around vulnerability (as a feminine trait) if assertive or aggressive policies are not pursued to manage these states (Bialasiewicz et al. 2007: 412). ‘Failed’ states have failed to perform the ‘Western’ and ‘masculine’ traits of rationality, wealth, and power, failing to achieve ‘progress’ by subscribing to the ideals of neoliberalism. In this scenario, the ‘Other’ embodies “brownness, blackness or yellowness shackled by superstitions or fundamentalisms . . . and exhibits irrationality, poverty, and powerlessness” (Ling 2008: 1, 3). The functions of gender and race in terms of ‘security’ concerns of ‘developed’ states here intersect to enable practices which “promote neo-trusteeship or benign imperialism” and “legitimize these prescriptions as non-racist, technical fixes to failures of governance” (Shilliam 2008: 778–779). In this way, the idea and practice of ‘development’ is securitized and operates a “liberal relation of governance” – speaking of ‘development’ means exercising the power to speak on behalf of particular types of peoples’ “rights, freedoms, and well-being” (Duffield 2007: 230). The relationship between development and security discourses is captured in the common assertion in security scholarship and political discourse that by promoting ‘their’ development, ‘our’ security and indeed global security might be achieved (Duffield 2007: 225–226). This 42

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concern has historical antecedents that illustrate the central role of ‘othering’ (both racialized and gendered) in security (as practice and scholarship). As Duffield explains, “[T]he nineteenth-century liberal urge to protect and better has been supplemented by a contemporary developmental need to secure unfamiliar and incomplete life” (2007: 234). Indeed, a demarcation between a civilized ‘Self’ and underdeveloped ‘Other’ has been central to the liberal international world order since at least the Wilsonian era, and been used to prescribe the necessity of ‘us’ bringing ‘progress’ to ‘them’; delivering ‘rational’ political and economic institutions to supposedly ‘backward’ societies has functioned as a security strategy in post-First World War liberal internationalism, with integration into the political and economic systems of the ‘West’ designed to ‘lift’ non-Western peoples into the realm of the civilized or ‘developed’ (Hobson 2012: 167–169; Smith 1999: 177–178). While the provision of development aid by wealthy capitalist economies has, in dominant contemporary discourses, been “framed in universalist terms of bringing progress and development to the Third World”, the concern with development is focused on ‘our’ security as much as ‘theirs’ (McCormack 2011: 246).

‘Security’ and the ‘Eastern Other’ in contemporary global politics The ways in which performances of masculinity and femininity (and the binary relationship between them) have been central to dominant narratives of threat and violence in global politics, and organized into hierarchies structured by both gender and race, is particularly well illustrated by using the Middle East as a case study. A focal point of dominant security discourses since the 1990s, the practice and scholarship of ‘security’ in relation to this region illustrates well the ways in which gender and race function to shape contemporary mainstream security concerns, particularly in Western scholarship and (foreign) policy. In dominant understandings of contemporary global politics, the Middle East has been viewed as a key site of ‘threat’ to global ‘order’ and ‘security’. As one of the most significant actors in relation to this, the US’s engagements with the Middle East offer insights into the operation of gender and race in relation to ‘security’ in this context. Both race and gender function to shape understandings of Middle Eastern states and their peoples (largely viewed as a monolithic entity), as well as responses to (and constructions of) threats to ‘our’ (Western) ‘security’ emanating from this region. The history of intervention in this region illustrates well how security is linked to other discourses, in particular discourses of development. These function together to enable intervention and often result in the very violence and other insecurities they seek to redress. Dominant discourses of security focused on states in the Middle East through the 1990s and particularly after the 11 September 2001 Al-Qaeda attacks on the US. In this context, mainstream discourses of security, and the activities carried out within this discursive framework, were closely linked to discourses of development which themselves have led to activities (such as economic restructuring) in many parts of the world. In particular, they have operated in the Middle East to render the region as being in need of economic and military intervention in the name of global ‘security’ and ‘order’. As Meghana Nayak points out, this is reflected in US security prescriptions that have focused on ‘appropriate’ economic and political development policies that encourage the ‘Eastern Other’ to subscribe to ‘Western’ political and economic models in order to make “the world safe for capitalism”; this is inextricably linked to the assertion of ‘Western’ identity in the racialized and gendered hierarchy of global politics (Nayak 2006: 56). Of particular importance here is ‘democratization’ as a ‘security concern’ as it intersects with development, both in terms of dominant global politics and in US policy toward the 43

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Middle East specifically. The ways in which ‘security threats’ are identified and acted upon is mediated by traditional understandings of gender and expectations of the behaviours of particular ethnic groups, which shape discourses that posit the Middle East as a ‘threat’ to those outside the region (and, at times, to those constructed as vulnerable within the region). Of interest here is the ways in which acceptable performances of masculinity and femininity are deployed in relation to both ‘them’ and ‘us’. An example that highlights this well is the operation of US neoconservative foreign policy prescriptions, which have purported that democratization and broader economic ‘development’ are necessary to avoid leaving the US “‘weak’, ‘helpless’, and ‘dependent’” on its European allies in the face of security threats emerging from the Middle East (Takacs 2005: 298). For example, in dominant discourses of threat after the attacks of 11 September 2001 (and representations of identity within these discourses) ‘security’ (as practice and field of research) was configured by racialized and gendered logics in the form of the trope of ‘oriental despotism’ in relation to Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq. The trope, as deployed in dominant narratives of ‘security’ in relation to the Middle East in service of the 2003 US-led war in Iraq, simultaneously posited the Ba’ath regime as embodying a barbarism specific to the Middle East (expressed through violence inflicted upon the Iraqi population as well as through deviant sexual behaviour), and cast ‘ordinary’ Iraqis wholly as victims unable to secure their own liberation from despotism (Khalid 2014). ‘Security’ in this narrative reflected a common concern in dominant discourses of global politics, of (re)affirming ‘our’ masculine self-image in the face of the uncontrolled masculinity of the ‘Other’. In the contemporary context, in relation to the Middle East specifically, orientalism operates as a particular type of racialization that intersects with gender in relation to ‘security’. Much like gendered logics, orientalist logics deploy binaries in order to make sense of the world and, in doing so, create dichotomies between a ‘civilized West’ and a ‘backward East’. Organized into a series of hierarchical categories, these logics function to delineate ‘Arab/ Muslim’ ‘Other’ and ‘Western’ ‘Self’ through racialized and gendered characteristics. In contemporary discourses of ‘development’ and ‘security’, ‘civilization’ and ‘backwardness’ are often identified through particular understandings of ‘appropriate’ economic strategy and ‘development’. Contemporary gendered orientalist representations of the Middle East, both inside and outside academia, draw an explicit link between economic and political development and (in) security in doing this (Tuastad 2003). In relation to this, in both the practice and study of ‘security’ (and global politics more broadly), a particular definition of ‘progress’ is privileged (Saurin 2006: 27). This is captured in the assertion that “‘the rest of the world’ has benefited and continues to benefit from the spread of the West’s civilizing values and institutions” (Jones 2006: 55). These ideas have a long history, and can be identified in various permutations in specific historical and geographical contexts. However, they are made intelligible through continually recognizable (and naturalized) understandings of gender and race. Retaining the basic binary logics shaping ‘East’–‘West’ interactions during the colonial era and earlier, contemporary expressions are seen in the hierarchical categories of ‘us’/‘them’, ‘civilized’/‘barbaric’ that are understood and constructed by reference to lack of ‘appropriate’ political and economic structures in terms of contemporary ‘security’ discourse relating to the Middle East and ‘the West’. In predicating ‘Arab culture’ and/or ‘Islam’ (or the Islamic world) as backward, orientalist discourses simultaneously construct the ‘West’ as rational and progressive by contrast (Sardar 1999: 55). For example, the limited flourishing of state capitalism in the Middle East after decolonization has been explained as the outcome of cultural peculiarities emerging from the influence of Islam in the region (Sadowski 1993: 15–19). Indeed, the discourse of ‘Islam’ 44

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(in mainstream media, academic, and political representations) has found a ‘security’ problem in the (male) Middle Eastern ‘Other’. This ‘Other’ is identifiable through ‘his’ lack of economic and political ‘progress’, reflected in the rejection of (Western-but-universalized) values that are purported to ensure ‘progress’ (Said 1997; Sardar 1999; Samiei 2010). In these ways, gendered and orientalist discourses construct ‘the East’ as a site of insecurity (for ‘us’ as much as for the feminized ‘ordinary’ Middle Easterners in these narratives) precisely because of its failure to adopt ‘appropriate’ modes and paths of political and economic development.

Conclusion Ultimately, ‘security’ as a concept and practice is shaped by the operation of gender and race (two of the most fundamental ways of understanding the world and the people in it). Acknowledging the ways in which gender and race have mediated the concept and practice of ‘security’ is central to challenging dominant understandings and practices of ‘security’. For example, in the context of the Middle East, gender and race (in the form of orientalism) offer insights into how long-standing narratives of the region’s ‘backwardness’ and ‘barbarism’ are repackaged in the contemporary context, and how violent conflicts here have been enabled and how they have played out. Gender and race function separately but also together, at various points, to organize the world into us/them. This is done by drawing on dominant binary logics in which particular understandings of ‘masculinity’/‘femininity’ and ‘West’/‘East’ are mapped onto various peoples and places. These logics are reflected in both the mainstream research agendas and analyses in the field of SS (and IR) (shaping how the field thinks and works) and in the practice of global politics by states that dominate this sphere of activity. Utilizing the insights of analyses that explore the function of gender and race in relation to ‘security’ is important because this approach offers ways to challenge the dominant understandings of (in)security that privilege particular political and economic values, enable conflict, silence non-Western concerns about what ‘security’ entails, and ultimately has gendered and racialized effects.

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Introduction In Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, queer Chicana feminist activist and scholar Gloria Anzaldúa writes about how the world is not safe: We shiver in separate cells in enclosed cities, shoulders hunched, barely keeping the panic below the surface of the skin, daily drinking shock along with our morning coffee, fearing the torches being set to our buildings, the attacks in the streets. 1999 [1987]: 42 Women, especially those on the margins of societies stratified by the intersections of gender, race, class, sexuality, and more, have often found themselves ‘unsafe’ in a variety of ways – “when her own culture, and white culture, are critical of her; when the males of all races hunt her as prey” (ibid.). Notes Anzaldúa (ibid.): alienated from her mother culture, “alien” in the dominant culture, the woman of color does not feel safe within the inner life of her Self. Petrified she can’t respond, her face caught between los intersticios, the spaces between the different worlds she inhabits. Anzaldúa’s narratives of (in)security and borders do not find space in most literatures in Security Studies. Yet, for feminist scholars who study security, voices like hers are crucial to not only understanding the politics of gender, identity, and the everyday but the very making and unmaking of the meanings and practices of security. Anzaldúa wants “the freedom to carve and chisel my own face, to staunch the bleeding with ashes, to fashion my own gods out of my entrails. And,” she goes on, “if going home is denied me then I will have to stand and claim my space, making a new culture – una cultura mestiza – with my own lumber, my own bricks and mortar and my own feminist architecture” (1999 [1987]: 44). As feminist scholars maintain, until hierarchies of gender and “other hierarchies associated with class and race are dismantled and until women have control over their own security a truly comprehensive system of security cannot be devised” (Tickner 1992: 30). 48

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As (in)securities shift and slide according to contexts, a narrative approach to gender and security offers crucial insights where “the differences among stories and storytellers, which characterize personal narratives, are explicitly acknowledged” (Wibben 2011: 86). Paying attention to (personal) narratives shows how identity and security implicate each other in the everyday: In her exploration of the life stories of poor Mayan women at the end of the civil war in Guatemala, Maria Stern (2005) finds that their experiences with (in)securities were shaped by the varied relations to the dominant Ladino community and the Guatemalan state as well as within the household, the Mayan community, and the fincas where the women lived and worked. Paying this kind of close attention also reveals that emphasizing only some identities (for example, national identities, in the case of dominant frameworks of national security) privileges certain kinds of security over others, marginalizing, ignoring, and silencing a variety of actors and their lived experiences. This chapter will discuss narrative approaches to gender and security to show how challenging dominant modes of thinking security needs to entail attention to gender and other intersectional markers of identity that are intimately involved in shaping that which is to be secured in the first place. While it will dwell mostly on how narratives can be used as a mode of analysis, this chapter will also consider how narrative as a mode or form of writing can reshape understandings of security.

What are narratives and what do narratives do? A narrative, put simply, is “a way of making sense of the world around us” (Moulin 2016: 138). Through narratives, we engage with the world, produce meanings and knowledges, articulate our intentions and politics, and justify our actions (Wibben 2011: 2). They, thus, “tell us a lot about the limits and possibilities of political life, since they articulate particular worldviews, create and enable certain political subjects, and (re)produce specific understandings about facts, relations, and formations” (Moulin 2016: 138). As discursive formations in motion, narratives are sites where power is exercised and worlds are investigated as well as invented (Wibben 2011: 2). Narratives can insist on grand singular meanings that confirm social orders and power structures but can also disrupt overarching discourses and understandings of the world, challenging authoritarian structures and hierarchies (Shapiro 1998: 19). Traditional security narratives organize themselves around (nation) states and their sovereignty, treating the two as “ontologically stable and unproblematically identifiable” (Wibben 2011: 72). These narratives limit how we think about security and disallow the crucial questions: What is security? Whose security is important? How is security achieved? How do multiple insecurities intersect? (ibid.: 65). They also simultaneously allow the powerful to frame any issue/event in terms of security and to exclude a plethora of voices, contradictions, contexts, contesting claims, interpretations, experiences, and subjectivities. Approaches in Critical Security Studies have worked to address the silences in traditional security narratives by moving beyond the state as the referent of security (e.g., Booth 1991; Buzan 1991; Wæver 1995). Elaborating on the processes and practices of security, some of this scholarship highlights the “contextual nature of security meanings” and creates space for debates on the politics of securitization (Wibben 2011: 78). The Copenhagen school (Buzan, Wæver and de Wilde 1998), for example, applies speech act theory to processes and practices of security to elaborate on securitization and desecuritization as processes that frame and de-frame a situation/issue/event in terms of security. Notably these processes rely on security agents who are subjects that are seen as authorized and legitimate to frame an issue or event as a security situation – an important issue for feminist scholars. 49

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Problematically, the changes proposed by some of these approaches are “largely additive rather than subversive” (Wibben 2011: 81) as they aim to broaden and deepen security narratives without investigating, challenging, and displacing their fundamental structure, foundations, and the politics of the very meaning of security. For example, while these approaches include gendered readings of security with women as referents of security, their analyses rely on identifying security agents, i.e. subjects that have the ability to speak and to be heard (Hansen 2000: 294). While these critical approaches move beyond the state as the (only) security agent, they continue to make liberal assumptions about political subjectivities and the politics of speaking, listening, and being heard. Where will everyday narratives of security and insecurity find place in these analyses? Can marginalized groups (such as women of colour, working class women, lower caste women, trans* women, etc.) become authorized agents of security? Are their narratives of security/insecurity irrelevant? Would Anzaldúa’s (1999 [1987]) words and the experiences of poor Mayan women whom Stern (2005) researches be heard in these frameworks? What other sites of security narratives (e.g., Daigle 2015; Park-Kang 2014; Shepherd 2013) are we missing? How can feminist and gendered voices be considered worthy of speaking and be heard if the very meaning and politics of security are undisturbed? A feminist narrative approach to Security Studies addresses the aforementioned shortcomings in traditional and certain critical approaches and offers new ways of thinking about security, methodologies, methods, and research ethics, as well as the practices and politics of academic knowledge production (Wibben 2011, 2016a, 2016c). It takes into account everyday gendered experiences and stories of (in)security and violence, paying attention to the multiplicity of identities and subjectivities and how they shape our personal-political lives. It recognizes that narratives of (in)security are “untidy” and non-linear and that feminist knowledge production can only occur by paying attention to their twists, turns, messiness, surprises, and contradictions (Stern 2005: 12; Zalewski 2008: 42–61). A feminist narrative approach to security allows scholars to dissect hegemonic (and often oppressive) understandings of world politics and political violence and to challenge dominant stories by writing politics and security from multiple, alternative, and decolonial vantage points. Troubling the very meaning of security and what it means to be secure, it dispels the dichotomy between security and insecurity. It acknowledges that there “is not one version of security, but how the security of some is deeply implicated in, and even predicated upon, insecurity for others” (Wibben 2011: 91). For example, the Hindu right-wing and Zionist settler women that Mehta (2015, 2016) researches, find utmost safety, peace, mobility, and agency only at times of heightened violence and tensions with the ‘other’ and their communities. Their security (from its discourses and policies to its everyday practices) hinges upon moments of rampant instability and furthers violence and insecurity in the lives of their designated ‘others’. Finally, a feminist narrative approach to security interrogates not only the stories but also the intersectional positionalities of the storytellers, etching out silences, emotions, and voices that remain unspoken and unheard and addressing the politics of speaking, listening, and being heard (Wibben 2011). Feminist scholars such as Anzaldúa have long employed narratives to write the lives and politics of women and their experiences of identity and (in)security. However, these narratives have not found a space in the canons of academic work in political science, International Relations (IR), and Security Studies. A feminist narrative approach to Security Studies not only brings such stories to the core of scholarship but also questions the mechanisms and reasons for their silencing. In doing so, it also acknowledges that in our writing and analyses of narratives of security, some stories will always be unspoken and unheard. 50

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Using narratives in feminist research There are two key ways in which narratives are used in the study of gender and security – as a mode of analysis and a form/style of writing and expression. As mentioned in the previous section, as a mode of analysis, narratives offer a way of examining the production of meanings and politics in our research on gender and security, as well as in the words and actions of our interlocutors. Narrative theory offers a toolbox to formulate, compare and challenge different interpretations of events and actions, and narrative analysis can help to elaborate on the actualization of interpretation and its conditions of possibility, thus helping to clarify value judgements and the politics of telling stories (Wibben 2011, 2016a; Moulin 2016). As a form or style of writing, narratives offer a mode of knowing and knowledge production that moves far away from positivist knowledge production, thereby providing means of epistemological critique and pluralism in the social sciences (and especially in politics, IR, and security) research. Feminist narrative writing challenges the rigidities, norms, and boundaries of ‘disciplines’, questioning the very ways in which academics have been trained to think, speak, and write and providing alternate forms of engagement where theories are intertwined with stories. Feminist narrative writing also reclaims “the importance of everyday life to understanding global processes . . . presenting alternative voices (and consequently unheard stories) of [ordinary] peoples, places, and events that are central to the unfolding of international affairs” (Moulin 2016: 145). Most importantly, as feminists of colour from Anzaldúa to Audre Lorde (1983, 1984) have long explored and has more recently been discussed by Naeem Inayatullah and Elizabeth Dauphinee (2016; see also Dauphinee 2013), narrative writing offers a means of inserting the researcher and her subjectivities into the research, forcing scholars to “consider their own complicities, partialities, and problematic placements in the unfolding of the plots that constitute their argument/understanding of particular international problems” (Moulin 2016: 145).

Gendered security narratives When we study security, one of the key concerns and questions is the frame through which we perceive the world. After all, we need to know which issues and events Security Studies should be concerned with, what security means, and who is being secured. To this end, students of security are generally taught particular security logics (Huysmans 1998, 2006) which find their expression in “a fairly closed narrative structure consisting of four main elements: threats locating danger, referents to be secured, agents to provide security, and means to contain danger” (Wibben 2011: 66). These security logics, which operate also in critical security scholarship, continue to limit the meanings of security, the politics of these meanings, and the kinds of stories that can be told and that are heard. Framing security in a manner different from the above-mentioned four-fold structure tends to not get the desired attention. In what follows, we will discuss three examples that illustrate the workings of feminist narrative approaches to gender and security. The first two examples are centred around the events of 9/11, its aftermath, and the ‘war on terror’. The final example is centred on the Maoist movement in contemporary India. In a televised address the night of 9/11, Bush provided the official narrative of the day, framing the events in a way in which they were ordered and comprehensible, legitimizing the responses of the state and limiting any alternative narratives (Wibben 2011: 57). Danger was located (e.g., Al-Qaida and other ‘terrorist’ organizations as well as states such as Afghanistan and Iraq); referents that were to be secured were identified (the ‘American’ people, their ‘way 51

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of life’, and their interests referred to as ‘our people’ and ‘our nation’); agents that were authorized to speak about security and provide security were identified (the US state and military); and the means to contain danger were unleashed (the ‘war on terror’ and its racialized draconian policies, invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, torture and detention mechanisms, etc.). By framing the events along this familiar narrative structure, the 9/11 narratives paint the events as “‘uncaused’ cause” (Zehfuss 2003: 521) and work “to preclude certain kinds of questions, certain kinds of historical inquiries, and to function as a moral justification for retaliation” (Butler 2004: 4). A feminist narrative approach offers new ways to understand how the gendered, racialized, and incomplete narrative of 11 September 2001 did not begin and end on that day. Bush’s address to the nation and subsequent official 9/11 narratives, while focusing on the loss of ‘American life’, attack on ‘American values’, and the urgent to need to protect ‘our nation’, omitted narratives that questioned US exceptionalism, liberalism, the limitations of pluralism and multiculturalism in the US, and the meanings of what it means to be ‘American’ or hold ‘American values’. Feminist and postcolonial studies scholar Gayatri Spivak (1988: 287) argues that by “measuring silences” and what is left unheard, we are “investigating, identifying, and measuring . . . the ‘deviation’ from an ideal that is irreducibly differential”. A feminist narrative approach to 9/11, thus, not only analyses how and why these omissions were deployed to build a singular story that benefits certain (draconian) security responses but also makes space for silenced stories, emotions, bodies, reactions, and aftermaths to 9/11; from the racial discrimination and attacks faced by Muslim (and Sikh) men and women (most of whom were also ‘American’) to post-traumatic stress among those returning from the frontlines of the ‘war on terror’. Furthermore, a feminist narrative approach to the aftermath of 9/11 also examines how gender was used to make the case for military intervention and invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq (e.g., Hunt and Rygiel 2006). For example, to make the case for intervention in Afghanistan, Laura Bush, then first-lady of the US, used the weekly presidential radio address on 17 November 2001 to claim that “the fight against terrorism is also a fight for the rights and dignity of women” and that ousting the Taliban would be a step toward this goal of saving Afghan women and girls. This co-optation of women’s rights issues and of a feminist agenda in the theatre of war, and the orientalist assumptions and narratives it relies on, must be interrogated. Many of the problems experienced by the Afghan population, and women in particular, were the outcome of decades of war in which the US was deeply implicated and hence the sudden “‘focus on women’s liberation in Afghanistan [seems] little more than a cynical ploy’” (Stabile and Kumar 2005: 765). What is more, Dana Cloud’s analysis of photographs of the ‘War on Terror’ published in Time magazine and in the year following 11 September 2001, reveals how the photo essays “construct paradigmatic binary oppositions, encourage viewers to adopt a paternalistic stance toward Afghan women, and offer images of modernity, aligned with light, in contrast to the darkness of chaos and backwardness” (Cloud 2004: 290–291). When doing narrative analysis, the point of view from which the elements of a story are presented is important. Presenting the story from a particular point of view results in a certain focalization, that is the relation between who perceives and what is perceived (Bal 1997: 8). A second example of feminist narrative analysis from the ‘war on terror’ that keenly highlights the above-mentioned process of focalization involves the representations of the US Marine Corps Female Engagement Teams (FETs). FETs are all female teams, generally attached to a male infantry battalion, who are charged with engaging Afghan women as women as part of the effort to ‘win hearts and minds’ in US counterinsurgency practices in Afghanistan. 52

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When Keally McBride and Wibben (2012) analysed representations of FETs in official documents as well as worldwide media reports, they found that none of the material available even considered the point of view of Afghan women who were supposed to be benefiting from the actions of women in FETs. Only one account, written by the team who came up with the idea for FET (Pottinger, Jilani and Russo 2010), features an unnamed Afghan elder who is quoted saying, “‘your men come to fight, but we know the women come to help’” (p. 4). Even seemingly progressive accounts, such as that of Ann Jones for The Nation (2010), while drawing out some of the broader context of Afghan women’s lives and its material realities end up not featuring a single Afghan voice (Wibben 2016b). Narratives of women in FETs highlight the gendering of war, conflict, and counterinsurgency, where gendered assumptions about men, women, and their roles (with men as combatants and women as peacemakers) are solidified and used as the basis of policy (Khalili 2011). With FETs as the focal point of these narratives, and the subsequent silencing of Afghan women’s lives, stories, and experiences, they also highlight the inherent power hierarchies of the ‘war on terror’ that are built on orientalized, gendered, and racialized stereotypes of the Afghan women (and men). Similarly, Melanie Richter-Montpetit’s (2007, 2016) feminist queer analyses of the racialized/sexualized torture of detainees by the US military at the Abu Ghraib prison (officially known as the Baghdad Central Prison) in Iraq highlight the orientalist gendered and racialized stereotypes of Iraqi men (and women) and the colonialist/civilizational workings of the violence of the ‘war on terror’. What we see through this second example of the FETs (and Abu Ghraib) is that even feminist narratives can have trouble overcoming colonialist framings that do not pay sufficient attention to multifaceted local contexts and “replicate problematic aspects of Western representations of Third-World nations or communities, aspects that have their roots in the history of colonization” (Narayan 1997: 45). Indeed this particular kind of embedded feminism (Hunt 2006) has proved deeply divisive among feminists as it has also provided further evidence that “the Third World Woman” (Mohanty 1988: 333) still cannot speak – or at least cannot be heard. Beyond the issue of colonialist representation there is also the question of not just the gendered but racialized and orientalist frames at play in these latest attempts to save brown women from brown men (Spivak 1988; Bhattacharya 2008). As far as the ‘war on terror’ narrative is concerned (see also Wibben 2016b), it is clearly not enough to simply ask for women to be included, whether as objects or agents of intervention, but we always have to ask how that inclusion takes place. Narrative analysis can help tease out the nuances of particular representations and provide revealing evidence. A third example that highlights the necessity of a feminist narrative approach to security is the political violence and struggle of the Maoist/Naxalite movement in India and the question of women’s participation in it. United under the umbrella of an organization called the Communist Party of India (Maoist), the Naxalite movement is a group of women and men from economically and socio-culturally marginalized populations. Members of the group perceive the Indian state as a neoliberal and upper-caste oppressor that marginalizes, loots, and kills in its quest for natural resources, land, and political power (Parashar 2013: 622). The male leadership of the party and the movement insist that the ‘people’s war’ they are waging also aims to obliterate patriarchy and the subjugation of women (Mehta 2012: 203). Dominant security narratives perpetuated and supported by the Indian state as well as traditional security analyses construct the Maoists/Naxalites as ‘deviant’ citizens that are the greatest internal security threat to the country (Ramana 2008). While these analyses are predominantly gender-blind, they remain perturbed by the participation of women in armed conflict and violence, theorizing women as “victims” of male 53

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cadres, who are not only instrumentalized into joining the movement but are also routinely subjected to sexual violence within the movement (Mehta 2012: 203). Left-wing and feminist activist responses to these dominant security narratives examine the larger structural violence faced by marginalized communities across India and highlight the brutality of the state’s military/paramilitary excesses in the name of counterinsurgency and security (Bhatia 2006; Sundar 2006; Roy 2010). Feminist narrative approaches that draw on grassroots, activist, discursive, and ethnographic knowledges and are grounded in the intersectionality of gender, caste, and class (can) offer an even more nuanced understanding of the Maoist movement and the experiences and politics of its members. Problematizing knowledge claims and binaries put forth by both the state and the male leadership of the Maoist/Naxalite movement, feminist narrative research seeks to find the difficult “middle path” to understand women’s participation, roles, and politics in this armed conflict (Parashar 2016: 42). Feminist scholars not only question the state’s conception of citizenship, (in)security, threat, violence, development, and its counterinsurgency excesses, but also draw out the gender- and caste-based contradictions, exclusions, and violence within the Maoist movement (Mehta 2012; Parashar 2016). Capturing women’s multiple experiences in this movement in a “war collage” that blurs and juxtaposes “high and low politics, places, and people” (Sylvester 2013: 126), feminist narrative approaches assert that here “there are no linear stories, no dominant emotion, no binaries between victimhood and agency, and plenty of gray areas between their [women insurgents’] traditional gender roles as wives and mothers and as combatants and militants” (Parashar 2016: 45). Paying attention to silences, emotions, bodies, the everyday lives and experiences of Maoist women, and the relationships between the researcher and the researched, feminist narrative approaches examine interviews with Maoist women as well as various other sources such as their songs, poetry, fiction, visuals, films, autobiographical writings, and political speeches and commentaries (Mehta 2012; Parashar 2016). They assert that although this armed conflict enables certain shifts in traditional gender norms and roles and opens up spaces for mobilization of female cadres, women in the movement were largely foot soldiers who provided logistical support and cultural legitimacy while being excluded from larger decision-making and leadership roles in the party and movement (Mehta 2012; Parashar 2016). Women joined the movement for various personal-political reasons (including ideology, unemployment, and as a means to resist patriarchies in society and find ‘safety’ and ‘security’ from state violence). However, they continued to face both class and caste patriarchies and violence in ‘mainstream’ society as well as various exclusions and violences within the movement (Mehta 2012; Parashar 2016). Their participations were varied and adapted to the overall male-formulated strategies of the movement. Women also departed the movement for various reasons, including the exclusions they faced within the party. Women’s bodies in the movement are thus sites of a continuum of violence, which also extends to the anti-Maoist and counterinsurgency operations of the state. As the Indian state seeks to ‘eliminate’ or ‘rehabilitate’ the ‘deviant’ Maoist citizens, women bear the brunt of state harassment, abuse, torture, sexual violence, and exploitation that is rampant in the military/paramilitary operations (Mehta 2012; Parashar 2016). As all of the three aforementioned examples have demonstrated, feminist narrative approaches uncover the contested and changing meanings of security and insecurity and highlight how these intersect with categories such as gender, class, caste, race, ethnicity, religion, etc. In doing so, gendered security narratives also address bigger questions about power in the disciplines of Security Studies and IR (as well as Gender Studies) – whose stories get told and why? Whose narratives are excluded? What binaries are used to sustain stories and why? 54

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What is lost with these exclusions and binaries? (Parashar 2016: 51). These are questions without which we cannot begin to fully comprehend the world we inhabit.

Limits of narrative approaches Gendered security narratives tell complex and difficult stories of the world around us. As mentioned in the earlier sections of this chapter, gendered security narratives enable different ways of thinking about the world and the politics of security, violence, and peace. However, scholars who engage with these narratives and who use narrative as a form of writing and knowledge production (must) grapple with a variety of ethical dilemmas that function as the possible limitations of these approaches. Here, we must begin by asking the basic questions: Whose stories are we telling? To whom? Who benefits from these narrations and analyses? Why are we telling these stories? How are we telling them? Since there will always be stories that continue to be untold or unheard, we need to further examine why they are omitted. We should ask: What stories are we choosing not to tell and why? Whose voices – and therefore stories – are we unable to hear because of our biases? As we offer varied ways of thinking about the world and shed light on a multitude of power hierarchies, positionalities, privileges, and politics, we must always remember in the process of telling and analysing stories, we remain hindered by blind spots around the intersections of gender, race, sexuality, class, caste, ability, etc. As shown by the examples in the previous sections, feminist analyses are also limited and at times reproduce problematic assumptions. We need to acknowledge that narratives about security are not easy to read and write. They involve trauma, violence, intense emotions, embodied experiences, and stories that are often far out of our comfort zones. How do we mediate someone else’s experience of security, of conflict, of violence, of peace, and of trauma while acknowledging the distortions we bring to it? How do we write emotions and embodied politics? What are the effects of (secondary) trauma on our researcher-selves? Especially when we write auto-ethnographic narratives of security, how do we address the need for self-care? At the same time, how can we prevent our exercises in knowledge production from turning into practices of navel-gazing and selfindulgence? Finally, it is important to remember that even though we challenge dominant narratives about security, we also continue to be complicit in the production and maintenance of various gendered and racialized hierarchies inside and outside the academy. How do we engage with and subvert hegemonic narratives while acknowledging our role in their perpetuation?

Conclusion Overall, critical feminisms take seriously the multiplicity of women’s lives, interests, and ideas and highlight the difficult political questions at stake. As Carol Cohn (2013: 2) highlights in relation to war: “The diversity of women’s experiences of and relations to war are due to both diversity among women and among war.” Additionally, “women are also thinkers who make their own sense of the multiple social, cultural, economic, and political forces which structure their lives” (ibid.). This multiplicity consequently “gives rise to contradictory interests among women [which means that] attempts to generalize about ‘women and war’ [. . .] always run the risk of doing conceptual violence to the realities of women’s lives” (ibid.). To maintain the necessary contextual specificity, as well as to be able to offer multiple points of view and highlight complexities, we argue for sharing/creating a multiplicity of 55

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narratives. Crucially, when multiple narratives circulate, there is also room to “oppose the terms of power and authority circulated and recirculate in discourse” (Shapiro 1988: 19) by highlighting different storylines and insisting that they do not all have to align neatly. It is important to stress – as we have done above – that thinking about gendered insecurities through narratives is actually not a new approach, but rather a really old one. The work of Anzaldúa, quoted at the outset of this chapter, is one example of writing on the identity– security nexus, integrating not just poetry but also writing in a multiplicity of languages to capture the variety of narrative standpoints. I, Rigoberta Menchú (Menchú 1983) is another example in the genre of testimonio that is not a recognizable text about security as far as Security Studies is concerned, but it clearly deals with the relevant issues. Meanwhile the work of Algerian novelist Assia Djebar, which attempted to write disappeared resistance fighter Zoulika Oudai back into existence, further reveals the importance of the literary imagination for feminist work rethinking security (Doubiago 2016). Indeed, it is possible to read much of women’s storytelling in this way. That this work has long existed but is not, generally, read as pertaining to security (even in feminist circles) is indicative of broader disciplinary questions about whose work and in which formats gets taken seriously. The increasing attention to narrative(s) in (Feminist) Security Studies, and IR more broadly, is hence both exciting and revealing.

References Anzaldúa, Gloria. 1999 [1987]. Borderlands/La Fronterra: The New Mestiza. 2nd edn. San Francisco, CA: Aunt Lute Books. Bal, Mieke. 1997. Narratology: Introduction to the Theory of Narrative. 2nd edn. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Bhatia, Bela. 2006. ‘On armed resistance’. Economic and Political Weekly 41(29). Bhattacharya, Gargi. 2008. Dangerous Brown Men: Exploiting Sex, Violence and Feminism in the ‘War on Terror’. London & New York: Zed Books. Booth, Ken. 1991. ‘Security and emancipation’. Review of International Studies 17(4): 313–326. Bush, Laura. 2001. Radio Address by Laura Bush to the Nation on 17 November. White House. Available at html (accessed 10 January 2017). Butler, Judith. 2004. Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence. London: Verso. Buzan, Barry. 1991. People, States, and Fear: An Agenda for International Security Studies in the Post-Cold War Era. 2nd edn. New York: Harvester-Wheatsheaf. Buzan, Barry, Ole Wæver and Jaap de Wilde. 1998. Security: A New Framework for Analysis. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner. Campbell, David. 1998. Writing Security: United States Foreign Policy and the Politics of Identity. 2nd edn. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Cloud, D.L. 2004. ‘To veil the threat of terror’: Afghan women and the in the imagery of the U.S. war on terrorism. Quarterly Journal of Speech 90(3): 285–306. Cohn, Carol (ed.). 2013. Women & Wars. Cambridge: Polity Press. Daigle, Megan. 2015. From Cuba with Love: Sex and Money in the Twenty-First Century. Berkeley: University of California Press. Dauphinee, Elizabeth. 2013. ‘The ethics of autoethnography’. Review of International Studies 36(3): 799–818. Der Derian, James. 1995. The value of security: Hobbes, Marx, Nietzsche, and Baudrillard. In Ronnie D. Lipschutz (ed.) On Security: New Directions in World Politics (pp. 24–45). New York: Columbia University Press. Dillon, Michael. 1996. Politics of Security: Towards a Political Philosophy of Continental Thought. London: Routledge. Doubiago, Shawn. 2016. ‘Algerian feminist methodologies of recovery, redress and resistance in Assia Djebar’s La Femme Sans Sépulture (2002)’. In Annick T.R. Wibben (ed.) Researching War: Feminist Methods, Ethics and Politics (pp. 239–257). London & New York: Routledge.


Feminist narrative approaches to security Hansen, Lene. 2000. ‘The little mermaid’s silent security dilemma and the absence of gender in the Copenhagen school’. Millennium: Journal of International Studies 29(2): 285–306. Hunt, Krista. 2006. ‘“Embedded Feminism” and the war on terror’. In Krista Hunt and Kim Rygiel (eds) (En)Gendering the War on Terror: War Stories and Camouflaged Politics (pp. 51–71). Aldershot: Ashgate. Hunt, Krista and Kim Rygiel (eds). 2006. (En)Gendering the War on Terror: War Stories and Camouflaged Politics. Aldershot: Ashgate. Huysmans, Jef. 1998. ‘Security! What do you mean? From concept to think signifier’. European Journal of International Relations 4(2): 226–255. Huysmans, Jef. 2006. The Politics of Insecurity: Fear, Migration and Asylum in the EU. London & New York: Routledge. Inayatullah, Naeem and Elizabeth Dauphinee (eds). 2016. Narrative Global Politics: Theory, History and the Personal in International Relations. New York: Routledge. Jones, Ann. 2010. ‘Woman to woman in Afghanistan’. The Nation. 15 November: 11–15. Available at (accessed 10 January 2017). Khalili, Laleh. 2011. ‘Gendered practices of counterinsurgency’. Review of International Studies 37(4): 1471–1491. Lorde, Audre. 1983. Zami: A New Spelling of My Name. Trumansburg, NY: The Crossing Press. Lorde, Audre. 1984. Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches. Trumansburg, NY: The Crossing Press. Menchú, Rigoberta. 1983. I, Rigoberta Menchú an Indian Woman in Guatemala. London: Verso. Mohanty, Chandra Talpade. 1988. ‘Under Western eyes: Feminist scholarship and colonial discourses’. Feminist Review 30(1): 61–88. McBride, Keally and Annick T.R. Wibben. 2012. ‘The gendering of counterinsurgency in Afghanistan’. Humanity 3(2): 199–215. Mehta, Akanksha. 2012. ‘No revolution without women, no liberation without revolution: Women in India’s Maoist movement’. In Robin Jeffrey (ed.) More than Maoism: Politics, Policies and Insurgencies in South Asia (pp. 203–214), New Delhi: Manohar Publications. Mehta, Akanksha. 2015. ‘The aesthetics of “everyday” violence: Narratives of violence and Hindu right-wing women’. Critical Studies on Terrorism 8(3): 416–438. Mehta, Akanksha. 2016. ‘Right-wing sisterhood: Everyday politics of Hindu nationalist women in India and Zionist settler women in Israel-Palestine’. Unpublished PhD dissertation, SOAS, University of London. Moulin, Carolina. 2016. ‘Narrative’. In Aoileann Ní Mhurchú and Reiko Shindo (eds) Critical Imaginations in International Relations (pp. 136–152). New York: Routledge. Narayan, Uma. 1997. Dislocating Cultures: Identities, Traditions, and Third World Feminism. London & New York: Routledge. Parashar, Swati. 2013. ‘What wars and “war bodies” know about international relations’. Cambridge Review of International Affairs 26(4): 615–630. Parashar, Swati. 2016. ‘Women and the matrix of violence: A study of the Maoist insurgency in India’. In Annick T.R. Wibben (ed.) Researching War: Feminist Methods, Ethics and Politics (pp. 38–56). London & New York: Routledge. Park-Kang, Sungju. 2014. Fictional International Relations: Gender, Pain and Truth. London & New York: Routledge. Pottinger, Matt, Hali Jilani and Claire Russo. 2010. Half-hearted: Trying to win Afghanistan without Afghan women. Small Wars Journal. Available at (accessed 10 January 2017). Ramana, P.V. 2008. The Naxal Challenge: Causes, Linkages, and Policy Options. New Delhi, India: Pearson. Richter-Montpetit, Melanie. 2007. ‘Empire, desire and violence: A queer transnational feminist reading of the prisoner ‘abuse’ in Abu Ghraib and the question of “gender equality”’. International Feminist Journal of Politics 9(1): 38–59. Richter-Montpetit, Melanie. 2016. ‘Militarized masculinities, women torturers and the limits of gender analysis at Abu Ghraib’. In Annick T.R. Wibben (ed.) Researching War: Feminist Methods, Ethics and Politics (pp. 92–116). London & New York: Routledge. Roy, Arundhati. 2010. ‘Walking with the comrades’. Outlook Magazine. 29 March. Available at (accessed 25 January 2017).


Akanksha Mehta and Annick T.R. Wibben Shapiro, Michael J. 1998. The Politics of Representation: Writing Practices in Biography, Photography, and Policy Analysis. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. Shepherd, Laura J. 2013. Gender, Violence and Popular Culture: Telling Stories. London & New York: Routledge. Spivak, Gayatri C. 1988. ‘Can the subaltern speak?’ In C. Nelson and L. Grossberg (eds) Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture (pp. 271–313). Basingstoke: Macmillan. Stabile, Carole A. and Deepa Kumar. 2005. ‘Unveiling imperialism: Media, gender and the war on Afghanistan’. Media, Culture & Society 27(5): 765–782. Stern, Maria. 2005. Naming Security – Constructing Identity: ‘Mayan Women’ in Guatemala on the Eve of ‘Peace’. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Sundar, Nandini. 2006. ‘Bastar, Maoism, and Salwa Judum’. Economic and Political Weekly 41(29), 22 July. Sylvester, Christine. 2013. War as Experience: Contributions from International Relations and Feminist Analysis. London: Routledge. Tickner, J. Ann. 1992. Gender in International Relations: Feminist Perspectives on Achieving Global Security. New York: Columbia University Press. Wæver, Ole. 1995. ‘Securitization and desecuritization’. In Ronnie D. Lipschutz (ed.) On Security: New Directions in World Politics (pp. ). New York: Columbia University Press. Wibben, Annick T.R. 2011. Feminist Security Studies: A Narrative Approach. London & New York: Routledge. Wibben, Annick T.R. 2016a. Researching War: Feminist Methods, Ethics & Politics. London & New York: Routledge. Wibben, Annick T.R. 2016b. ‘Female engagement teams in Afghanistan: Exploring the “war on terror” narrative’. In Researching War: Feminist Methods, Ethics & Politics (pp. 57–75). London & New York: Routledge. Wibben, Annick T.R. 2016c. ‘Opening security: Recovering critical scholarship as political’. Critical Studies on Security 4(2): 137–153. Zalewski, Marysia. 2008. ‘Distracted reflections on the production, narration, and refusal of feminist knowledge in International Relations’. In Brooke A. Ackerly, Maria Stern and Jacqui True (eds) Feminist Methodologies for International Relations (pp. 42–61). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Zehfuss, Maja. 2003. ‘Forget September 11’. Third World Quarterly 24(3): 513–528.



Many of the traditional locations of war theorizing in disciplinary political science tend to ignore gender and feminism, or to treat them as tertiary in the meaning, causes, and constitution of war. For example, the journal Security Studies had, through the mid-2000s, never even incidentally published the word ‘woman’. Several overview articles or textbooks on war theorizing either do not address gender at all, or footnote a few places where they note that it is possible that men and women might behave differently in particular situations. On the other hand, war theorizing has not always been the most comfortable ground for feminist analysis, given both the strong history of feminist pacifism and the association of war theorizing with a particularly narrow, disciplinary notion of the study of war. Feminist thinking about war has often mixed activism, pacifism, creative methodology, artistry, and the like – where ‘war theorizing’ feels like a classification that captures and sanitizes a small part of that work. So the potential for feminist war theorizing seems grim, and fraught with tension. Carol Cohn (2011) made a distinction in the term “feminist security studies” – where she commented that work in that field looks different depending on which two words you group. In Cohn’s (2011) view, feminist “Security Studies” represents a feminist approach to the traditional subject matter and practice of the scholarship of Security Studies, while “feminist security” studies represents an approach that puts feminist analysis of security first. This chapter explores feminist war theorizing from both sides. It begins with feminist ‘takes’ on traditional war theorizing. A second subsection considers what might look different about war theorizing that puts feminism first. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the history and trajectory of feminist war theorizing.

Feminisms on war theorizing War theorizing within Security Studies has many dimensions – theorizing about the nature of war, about the causes of war, about the practices of war, and about the impacts of war. Feminist theorizing about war has been present since well before feminist theorizing entered International Relations (IR) in the mid to late 1980s, but this chapter will focus on the work that has been either explicitly engaged in IR or been used in IR work. It has chosen that focus because IR debates about sex, gender, and sexuality often either lag behind or represent 59

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partially scholarship in Gender Studies, or even in cognate disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. Feminist work in IR is that work most likely to explicitly engage with, or implicitly critique, IR and Security Studies’ theorizations of what war is, how it happens, and what its impacts are.

Feminist foundations Perhaps the earliest work that had an impact on IR and addressed the relationship between gender and violence came in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Three works stand out as exemplars: Susan Rae Peterson’s (1977) analysis of the “protection racket”, Cynthia Enloe’s (1983) understanding of militarized masculinities, and Betty Reardon’s (1985) analysis of sexism and the war system. I mention these three works because they contribute important key ideas that continue to be reflected in feminist work theorizing war. Sue Rae Peterson made the argument that discussions of the responsibility to protect women from violence can be seen as a ‘racket’ where masculinity is tied to claims to protect women, and the actual protection of women is secondary or even irrelevant. In plain language for IR purposes, states will commit political violence claiming their purpose is to protect women and children ‘back home’, and will seek and receive recognition for the claim even when the political violence, on balance, increases risk to women. This understanding has been crucial to the development of feminist work on the multiplicity of gendered impacts of wars (e.g., Cohn 2013), gendered claims for war justification (e.g., Cooke and Wollacott 1993; Sjoberg 2013), and the use of images of female civilians to justify or claim humane treatment of civilians (e.g., Carpenter 2005; Sjoberg 2006). Cynthia Enloe (1983), asking “Does khaki become you?”, looks at the ways that militarization in social and political realms can shape women’s lives and structure gender relations. She outlines many of the roles that women play in wars and conflicts that are often invisible in historical, analytical, and even media coverage of those events. In addition to traditional understandings of women as the civilian victims of war, Enloe suggests that women can be found in many other places: as nurses, as army wives, as prostitutes, as workers, and as soldiers. Enloe contends that recognizing women in these many roles in war and conflict could easily (and incorrectly) lead to the conclusion that war is becoming less gendered, and less gender-oppressive. She argues instead that the institutions of war and conflict do not become less gendered simply by the inclusion of women in their already-gendered structures and functions. Instead, those institutions structure the (gendered) experiences of their participants. Enloe then argues that militarization can be seen not only in the roles that women have in war and conflict, but also in times that scholars and citizens alike might otherwise consider peaceful. Looking at everyday phenomena, from the shape of the noodles in a can of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle soup to the ways that town economies can be built around military bases, Enloe shows that the gendered implications of war and conflict are much more wide-ranging in time and space than the traditional boundaries of a geographic location and a start and end date for a war. She also suggests that the variety of gendered implications, from educational and job constraints to impacts on social structure and from sex-differential military rules to sex-differential pressures on patriotism, are wider than was previously accounted for in accounts of the victimization of female civilians. This understanding has been crucial to work exploring the gendered structures around female soldiers (e.g., RichterMontpetit 2007; MacKenzie 2009; Brown 2012), representations of women’s political violence (Sjoberg and Gentry 2007; McEvoy 2009; Parashar 2014), and explorations of gendered militarization (Cockburn 2010; Sjoberg and Via 2010; Golan 1997; McClintock 1993). 60

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Betty Reardon’s (1985) Sexism and the War System proposes that militarization and sexism are not just related, they are co-constituted. Discussing what she identifies as the “militarist-sexist symbiosis”, Reardon characterizes misogyny as the “mother’s milk” of militarism (1985: 52). Looking to point out the “need for an integration of feminist scholarship with peace research in order to overcome the inadequacies of each in their separate attempts to abolish respectively sexism and war”, Reardon (1985: 1, 5) argues that sexism could not exist without militarism, and militarism could not exist without sexism – that they are interdependent manifestations of the common problem of social violence. Reardon goes on to analyse the ways in which the “war system” – the competitive social order that fuels conflicts from arguments to large-scale wars – is produced by the same forces that produce male and masculinized dominance in social and political structures. She contends that this war system pervades not only interstate relations but also everyday life, and that it does so in gendered ways. To address these issues, Reardon suggests that feminists and peace researchers join forces, making war theorizing more central to feminist analysis and making peace research less of a male-dominated field. Like Enloe, though, Reardon does not see this being accomplished by the addition of female researchers to the cadre of those who do peace research. Instead, she (1985: 76) suggests that there is a “Cartesian trap” where the epistemological referents of peace research need to change to allow it to understand the (gendered) war system. Reardon argues that feminist thought is transformative both for how war and security are conceptualized, and for how they can be researched. An understanding of a fundamental relationship between sexism and the war system can be seen in feminist work analysing the gendered nature of security discourses (Shepherd 2008; Kronsell and Svedberg 2011; McLeod 2015; Stern and Zalewski 2009), the relationship between feminist scholarship and peace research (Confortini 2006; Tickner 1992; Pankhurst 2012), and the relationship between feminist activism and the achievement of peace (de Alwis 2009; Confortini 2012; Berkowitz 2003).

Feminist ‘takes’ on war theorizing There is not just one feminist approach to theorizing war, and not just one feminist theory of war. Instead, there have been many feminist approaches to thinking about what war is, what causes war, how wars are constituted, how wars impact people, and how to think about wars in normative and practical terms. These works are, of course, too numerous and too diverse to do justice to in a short chapter on feminist war theorizing. Instead, using the methodology of feminist sociologist Nilufer Göle (2000), this chapter will discuss various ‘snapshots’ of feminist war theorizing. These snapshots will discuss a work within a particular approach in some detail, mentioning, where relevant, other similar works, to give some context for the diversity of ways that feminists have contributed to knowledges about wars and conflicts. This section features five such snapshots: Annick Wibben’s (2010) Feminist Security Studies: A Narrative Approach; Laura Shepherd’s (2008) Gender, Violence, and Security; Katherine Moon’s (1997) Sex among Allies; and Swati Parashar’s (2013) ‘What wars and “war bodies” know about International Relations’. Wibben’s (2010) Feminist Security Studies: A Narrative Approach suggests that one of the most important contributions feminisms can make to thinking about war and conflict is to challenge the inherited meanings in both the theory and practice of security. In opening the book, Wibben suggests that the narratives of security that often receive attention, both in the mainstream of the field of scholarship that studies war and in the policy world, are often 61

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narrow discourses that take gendered assumptions so for granted that they are often barely visible in (rehearsed) discussions. As Wibben (2010: 1–2) argues: [T]he question of a shared understanding, or normality, is central to feminist interventions . . . [b]ecause feminist theorizing starts from women’s experiences of everyday life, . . . resistance to abstraction, . . . a corrective to the generalizing and universalizing tendencies in traditional science. In other words, feminisms are in the simultaneous business of deconstructing the universalized and gendered elements of traditional theories of war and conflict and bringing attention to the narratives of security in everyday life that the gendered nature of traditional narratives makes invisible. Since narratives can make meanings, express intentions, and legitimize actions, Wibben (2010: 2) argues that feminist war theorizing (with feminist security theorizing more generally) should focus on the content and form of war narratives. Wibben (2010) uses this approach to thinking about security to analyse the relationships between nationalist narratives and gendered accounts of security. Other scholars have looked at gendered narratives in the framing of what sort of security is provided (Gjørv 2012), the inclusion of female peacekeepers in deployed forces (Karim and Beardsley 2013), the gendered nature of security narratives in Serbia (McLeod 2015), and gendered discourses of private security companies in global politics (Eichler 2015). Laura Shepherd’s (2008) Gender, Violence, and Security also pays attention to the narratives around security, but with particular attention to the relationship between (gendered) violence and security – where (gendered) violence is defined, in Judith Butler’s (2004: 35) terms as that which “emerges from a profound desire to keep the binary order of gender natural or necessary”. Feminist attention to the study of security, then, should “study the subjects produced through gendered violence in the context of debates over the meaning and content of security” (Shepherd 2008: 2). In Gender, Violence, and Security, Shepherd (2008) performs a poststructuralist feminist reading of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 to think about the relationship between (international) security and (gender) violence as a complex, co-constitutive one. Shepherd argues that the resolution is undergirded by a liberal notion of gender (and politics) which produces and reproduces an essential subject of ‘women’ as a group which is homogenized by the assumption of the essential commonalities of pacifism and an interest in the social good or social order. Put straightforwardly: the very deployment of women and femininity in a limited and essentializing frame in the interest of peace is an instantiation of gendered violence. Shepherd (2008) uses this understanding to suggest that the constitution of (international) security as something to which (a particular notion of) women are essential is part of the gendered violence it nominally looks to eradicate. This careful deconstruction of assumptions about women, gender, war, and security is a key snapshot of feminist poststructuralist war theorizing which demonstrates that the deconstruction of settled gender binaries is key to understanding not only war, but broader relationships between gender, violence, and security. Helen Basini (2013) has used a similar approach to think about disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration strategies in ‘postconflict’ Liberia. Other scholars have examined the relationship between motherhood and political violence (Åhäll 2015), the global governance of refugees (Olivius 2016), campaigns against nuclear proliferation (Eschle 2013), and counterinsurgency practices (Dyvik 2014). Poststructuralist feminist theorizing has also been done on the co-constitution of sexuality and the nation (e.g., Weber 2016) and the violences that can be involved in political inclusions (e.g., Haritaworn, Kuntsman, and Posocco 2013) as well as claims to sexual equality (Picq and Thiel 2015). 62

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Katharine Moon’s (1997) Sex among Allies predates both Shepherd’s and Wibben’s books, and includes some different elements. Sex among Allies traces the parallel and related evolutions of US–Korea security relations and the evolution of law and practices around camptown prostitution in Korea. Using the combination of ethnographic interviews, historical analysis, and policy analysis, Moon (1997) contends that camptown prostitution was a subject of interstate security, and interstate security was integral in constituting the ways that camptown prostitution was structured and functioned. She argues that international security was both sexualized and economized, and that both sexual relationships and economic ones were securitized. While ‘war theorizing’ has traditionally been done at the level of states or state leaders, Moon (1997) makes the case that ordinary people’s lives were both the locus of the conflict and impacted by the conflict. This understanding is evident in other feminist work that looks at the everyday in security issues, including work on everyday terrorism (Pain 2014; Gentry 2015; Innes and Steele 2015), everyday insecurity (Blanchard 2003), and women’s bodies as weapons of war (Sjoberg and Peet 2011; Cohn 2013; Sjoberg 2013). Other scholars have also looked at the inter-relationship between political economy and security issues conceptually (Tickner 1992; Whitworth 1994; Marchand and Runyan 2010). Swati Parashar’s (2013: 615) ‘What wars and “war bodies” know about International Relations’ argues “that war is not a disruption of the ‘everyday’, an abstraction that has a definite beginning and end”, but “war shapes the banal and the fervent”. Parashar (2013) looks at war in the everyday and the everyday in war, but from a very different perspective than Moon’s piece. Parashar’s (2013) article starts with the observation that it is strange how central war theorizing is to disciplinary inquiry in IR given how unfamiliar most IR theorists are with living war. She then suggests that those who are situated within, or across, wars and conflicts, have a different and richer knowing of the international, and the wars within it, than those who would study it with data extracted from those happenings in various ways. Parashar (2013) argues that looking at war from the perspective of ‘war bodies’ changes the questions war theorists should ask – where people who live wars are less interested in how wars begin and end, and more interested in how they work – everyday life inside wars. She then extends the argument to contend that war theorizing should focus on war bodies which are “dead, decapitated, abused, and brutalized” because those flesh-and-blood bodies are at both the literal and figurative center of wars (Parashar 2013: 620). Parashar’s (2013) account of war starts from embodiment and experience, looking both at those issues generally and at their gendered origins and implications. Other feminists have looked to theorize war and violence as experienced (Sylvester 2012; Dyvik 2016; Harel-Shalev and Daphna-Tekoah 2016) and embodied (Wilcox 2015; Crane-Seeber 2016; Daggett 2015). These various feminist ‘takes’ on war theorizing have some things in common – a focus on gender, an interest in broadening or even casting aside traditional approaches to theorizing war, and attention to the margins of the international not only in their own right but also to understand the implications of and for what John Mearsheimer (2001) calls “great power politics”. Still, their epistemological, ontological, and even political divergences suggest that there is not just one feminist theory of war, but many. I have presented them in this section as ‘takes’ on theorizing war because I think that each approach (along with many others that could not be detailed here) has something to offer, and what they have to offer cannot be confined or adequately described by trying to categorize sub-paradigms of different types of feminist war theorizing. Instead, resisting the traditional metrics of disciplinary inquiry which urge classes, categorizations, and boxes, I mean to suggest that many feminisms have many different approaches to war theorizing, which together (even when incommensurable) and separately offer a wide variety of tools for studying war that are not available when feminist 63

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perspectives are ignored or diminished. The next section looks to consider some of the things that can be learned from an amalgamated group of (sometimes incommensurable) feminist theories of war and conflict.

Foregrounding feminisms in feminist war theorizing As I mentioned in the introduction to this chapter, Carol Cohn (2011) suggested that there is a significant difference between feminist ‘Security Studies’ and ‘feminist security’ studies, even though each uses the same three words as a descriptor. The former, Cohn argues, takes as a given a pre-existing field of inquiry ‘Security Studies’ and tries to intervene in its preset terms of debate in feminist ways. The latter thinks about what security might look like from a feminist perspective. Similarly, I argue that taking mainstream (or even critical) ‘war theorizing’ as a starting point for feminist ‘war theorizing’ looks fundamentally different from ‘feminist war’ theorizing. Much of my previous work has done the former – looked at the existing body of literature theorizing war, and tried to make interventions taking various assumptions from that literature as givens (e.g., Sjoberg 2012, 2013). This chapter is interested in thinking about the implications of the former – how foregrounding feminism in the analysis of war has been able to (and can continue to) change the terms of the debate. The first way that foregrounding feminisms in theorizing war shapes war theorizing is that it has a profound effect on thinking about what war is. Whether feminist theorists start thinking about war from women’s experiences (e.g., Cohn 2013), theorize war bodies (e.g., Parashar 2013), or think about the gendered implications of militarism (e.g., Enloe 1983; Sjoberg and Via 2010), they almost universally suggest that wars are not things that have a discrete beginning and end as many traditionally histories assume. Instead, looking at everyday violence (e.g., Pain 2014), sexual violence (e.g., Baaz and Stern 2009), and military practices (e.g., Sasson-Levy 2003), feminist theorists have demonstrated both that militarism is the norm rather than the exception in social and political life, and that conflicts have impacts both before they ‘start’ and after they ‘end’, if either really happens at all. Along with suggesting that the timing of war is longer and less clear than many other war theorists realize, feminist theorists then argue that the scope of wars’ reach is larger than many war theorists acknowledge. War reaches into homes, jobs, social relationships, nutrition, health, gender relations, sexual relations, environmental surroundings, and many other areas traditionally considered outside of the reach of war theorizing. Feminist scholars have also suggested that the theoretical line between ‘war’ and violence which is ‘not war’ can be arbitrary, empirically problematic, and normatively problematic. Instead of ‘war’ being some privileged (often interstate) unique form of violence that connotes emergency, feminist theorists have suggested that states, non-state actors, and even individual people are involved in everyday wars and everyday terrorism that matter for safety and security. As such, many ‘feminist security’ takes on war theorizing can provide a basis for thinking of ‘war theorizing’ as a part of broader feminist theorizing on violence, and can serve to critique and reconstruct the object of war theorizing. A second way that foregrounding feminisms in war theorizing can shape how war is thought about is that feminism explicitly looks to identify where and how gender matters in wars. Feminists have suggested (e.g., Sjoberg 2013) that gender is essential to every part of thinking about a war, from the causes and consequences to the nature of war, and from the experiences of war to the stories that are told of wars. Here, many feminisms contribute many different ways in which gender matters (e.g., Shepherd 2014). Some feminist research has looked at where women are in wars (e.g., Enloe 2010), how women are involved in 64

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wars (e.g., Sjoberg and Gentry 2011), and how women experience wars (e.g., Cohn 2013). This work suggests that the causal accounts and histories of wars most traditionally told both by scholars and more generally were written largely by men for men with an interest and narrow focus on men’s experiences. It suggests that looking for women in wars not only uncovers the experiences of half of the population that was previously neglected, but also shows different dimensions to war and conflict. However, feminists thinking about war and conflict have been careful to suggest that it is not only women who have gender. This has resulted in a number of studies of men and masculinity in war and conflict (e.g., Cohn and Enloe 2003; Hutchings 2008; Belkin 2012), as well as studies that pay attention to the ways that gender, rather than sex, operates in war and conflict. By paying attention to the ways that gender, rather than sex, operates in war and conflict, I mean that many feminist researchers who focus on war and conflict look to see how masculinities and femininities operate in the discourses and narratives surrounding war; in the decisions that war-makers make around strategy, tactics or logistics; and in the ways that people understand war. Scholars have looked at how war shapes femininities (e.g., Enloe 1983), how feminization functions in war (e.g., Peterson 2010; Sjoberg 2013); and how wars affect gender roles and vice versa (e.g., Cohn 2013). But feminists have also suggested that it is important to understand that gender is neither a binary (male/female, masculine/ feminine) nor a scale (from masculine to feminine) (e.g., Shepherd 2008). Instead, feminists studying war have observed that militarisms can be simultaneously masculinizing and feminizing (e.g., Eichler 2011), and can be queer or queering (e.g., Weber 2002, 2016). Seeing gender in war is not just a matter of locating where men are and where women are: it is about complex matrices of bodies, performances, and social forces, and their multifaceted and multidimensional genderings. A third way that foregrounding feminisms in war theorizing has a unique intellectual footprint is that thinking about gender in war and conflict often opens up war theorizing to a host of concerns that traditional war theorists did not find relevant. An early feminist theorist in IR suggested that feminist work is by definition concerned with the position not only of women but of everyone who is socially subjugated (Brown 1988). Others (e.g., Tickner 1992; Steans 1998) have argued that feminist research is interested not only in genderbased emancipation, but in emancipation more generally. As a result, feminist scholars have found wars not only in brothels (Moon 1997) and beauty parlours (Enloe 2010), but also in homes (Cohn 2013) and prisons (Richter-Montpetit 2007). Feminists have looked to theorize war through decolonization (Dixit 2014), sexuality (Weber 2016), and class (Chowdhury and Nair 2003). These are just a few of the lessons that can be learned from individual pieces of feminist research doing war theorizing as well as from the work as an aggregate. Each of these lessons interrogates the scope, substance, and normative direction of traditional war theorizing, and raises questions about what a useful starting point for thinking about war might be. While traditional war theorizing might start at histories of diplomatic relations, feminist work has shown that starting at gender, at intersectionality, and at the everyday provides a potentially richer bank of resources with which to understand what war is and how it works.

Looking back and looking forward to feminist war theorizing Feminist scholars who theorize war have not only interrogated what war is, how it might be studied, where women and gender are in war and conflict, and who else might be marginalized in either wars or the discourses around them. Feminist work has also fundamentally 65

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questioned what it means to theorize. If Carol Cohn (2011) suggested it is important to distinguish ‘feminist security’ studies from feminist ‘Security Studies’, I argue here that it is equally important to distinguish feminist ‘war theorizing’ from ‘feminist theorizing’ war. In this distinction, feminist ‘war theorizing’ takes war theorizing as a given, and does that work with a feminist lens. ‘Feminist theorizing’, however, takes on a different meaning when we dive into feminist work theorizing theory itself. Marysia Zalewski (1996: 341) argued that there are three ways that scholars can see theorizing: theory as a tool, theory as critique, and theory as practice. Most traditional war theorizing uses theory as a tool, looking to leverage it to gain knowledge of the causes of war. Most critical war theorizing uses theory as critique, looking to leverage it to point out the fundamental flaws in the existing system. Zalewski (1996: 346) argues, and I agree here, that many feminist theorists treat theory as everyday practice. She suggests that “these writers do not think of theory as a noun at all, but as a verb”. Along these lines, “theorizing is a way of life, a form of life, something we all do” (Zalewski 1996: 346). In this sense, feminist war theorizing is not something static in books, or in snapshots, or in lists of commonalities. It is something vibrant, alive, moving, and changing. Feminist theorizing of war shares, and keeps, a gender lens to look at the nature, constitution, causes, practices, and consequences of wars, in a broad definition and with a broad view. But outside of falling within those categories, feminist war theorizing has no rules, no boundaries, and therefore no limitations. ‘Feminist theorizing’ war is a way of theorizing as much as it is a theoretical perspective, and both have many contributions and boundless potential.

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Laura Sjoberg McLeod, Laura. 2015. Gender Politics and Security Discourse: Personal-Political Imaginations and Feminism in ‘Post-conflict’ Serbia. London: Routledge. Mearsheimer, John J. 2001. The Tragedy of Great Power Politics. New York: WW Norton & Company. Moon, Katharine. 1997. Sex among Allies: Military Prostitution in U.S.–Korea Relations. New York: Columbia University Press. Olivius, Elizabeth. 2016. ‘Constructing humanitarian selves and refugee others: Gender equality and the global governance of refugees’. International Feminist Journal of Politics 18(2): 270–290. Pain, Rachel. 2014. ‘Everyday terrorism: Connecting domestic violence and global terrorism’. Progress in Human Geography 38(4): 531–550. Pankhurst, Donna (ed.). 2012. Gendered Peace: Women’s Struggles for Post-War Justice and Reconciliation. London: Routledge. Parashar, Swati. 2013. ‘What wars and “war bodies” know about International Relations’. Cambridge Review of International Affairs 26(4): 615–630. Parashar, Swati. 2014. Women and Militant Wars: The Politics of Injury. London: Routledge. Peterson, Susan Rae. 1977. ‘Coercion and rape: The state as a male protection racket’. In Mary Vetterling-Braggin, Frederick A. Elliston and Jane English (eds) Feminism and Philosophy (pp. 360–371). Totowa, NJ: Rowman & Littlefield. Peterson, V. Spike. 2010. ‘Gendered identities, ideologies, and practices in the context of war and militarism’. In Laura Sjoberg and Sandra Via (eds) Gender, War, and Militarism: Feminist Perspectives (pp. 17–29). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger Security International. Picq, Manuela Lavinas and Markus Thiel (eds). 2015. Sexualities in World Politics: How LGBTQ Claims Shape International Relations. London: Routledge. Reardon, Betty. 1985. Sexism and the War System. New York: Teacher’s College Press. Richter-Montpetit, Melanie. 2007. ‘Empire, desire and violence: A queer transnational feminist reading of the prisoner “abuse” in Abu Ghraib and the question of “gender equality”’. International Feminist Journal of Politics 9(1): 38–59. Sasson-Levy, Orna. 2003. ‘Feminism and military gender practices: Israeli women soldiers in “masculine” roles’. Sociological Inquiry 73(3): 440–465. Shepherd, Laura. 2008. Gender, Violence, and Security. London: Zed Books. Shepherd, Laura J. (ed.). 2014. Gender Matters in Global Politics: A Feminist Introduction to International Relations. London: Routledge. Sjoberg, Laura. 2006. Gender, Justice, and the Wars in Iraq. New York: Lexington Books. Sjoberg, Laura. 2012. ‘Gender, structure, and war: What Waltz couldn’t see’. International Theory 4(1): 1–38. Sjoberg, Laura. 2013. Gendering Global Conflict: Toward a Feminist Theory of War. New York: Columbia University Press. Sjoberg, Laura and Caron E. Gentry. 2007. Mothers, Monsters, Whores: Women’s Violence in Global Politics. London: Zed Books. Sjoberg, Laura and Caron E. Gentry (eds). 2011. Women, Gender, and Terrorism. Athens: University of Georgia Press. Sjoberg, Laura and Jessica Peet. 2011. ‘A(nother) dark side of the protection racket: Targeting women in wars’. International Feminist Journal of Politics 13(2): 163–182. Sjoberg, Laura and Sandra Via (eds). 2010. Gender, War, and Militarism. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger Security International. Steans, Jill. 1998. Gender and International Relations: An Introduction. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. Stern, Maria and Marysia Zalewski. 2009. ‘Feminist fatigue(s): Reflections on feminism and familiar fables of militarisation’. Review of International Studies 35(3): 611–630. Sylvester, Christine. 2012. ‘War experiences/war practices/war theory’. Millennium 40(3): 483–503. Tickner, J. Ann. 1992. Gender in International Relations: Feminist Perspectives on Achieving Global Security. New York: Columbia University Press. Weber, Cynthia. 2002. ‘Flying planes can be dangerous’. Millennium 31(1): 129–147. Weber, Cynthia. 2016. Queer International Relations: Sovereignty, Sexuality, and the Will to Knowledge. New York: Oxford University Press. Whitworth, Sandra. 1994. Feminism and International Relations: Towards a Political Economy of Gender in Interstate and Non-Governmental Institutions. New York: Springer.


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In recent years, the rise of Islamic State (IS) and their high-profile use of extreme violence in Syria has been used to shock the public and, in turn, stimulate a militarized response from the wider international community. For many, the violence perpetrated by IS exemplifies a deeply visceral form of insecurity, where the use of social media by the group renders horrific imagery instantly accessible to its geographically disparate audience. What most analyses of this and other contemporary conflicts miss is that gender is vital to thinking about what violence is in global politics, and that conflict should often be viewed in light of what I call the men-masculinity-security nexus. In this chapter, discussion of men, masculinity, and global insecurity is organized into three main sections. It opens with an overview of men and (in)security in global politics before considering complexity in gender identity alongside feminist-influenced explanations for insecurity. It then considers a binary marked by forms of ‘bestial’ masculinity, contrasting a beheading video at one end of the spectrum with an account of a rational and heroic former soldier who travels to fight the ‘extremists’. Finally, in moving beyond the oppositional framing of these groups as ‘uncivilized’ and ‘civilized’, respectively, this chapter argues that, when viewed through the lens of masculinity, there is a good degree of commonality in gendered identity and practice across contexts. The particular commonality on which it focuses is the common perception that militarized violence is effective and desirable. Varied claims to state or non-state group masculinity are manifested in fairly similar resorts to violence – a perception that can inspire violent cycles of insecurity. The chapter concludes by considering the nexus linking masculinity, insecurity and global politics theoretically.

Masculinity, insecurity and global politics The empirical record suggests that men feature overwhelmingly in criminal activities from low level, everyday transgression, through to transnational crime, with the latter institutionalized through the global, neoliberal and heteronormative orders (Griffin 2007; Weber 2016). Invariably, it is men who deploy, control, and train militaries (Goldstein 2001), including non-state actors such as right-wing, extremist militia (Kimmel and Ferber 2000). And it is men who are most likely to be involved in shootings outside of the formal military context, demonstrated in the massacres in Columbine (Consalvo 2003), Sandy Hook (Kellner 2013), 70

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and in the case of the killer Anders Breivik, on the island of Utoya in Norway (Van Gerven 2011). It is also (younger) men that dominate gangs and are most likely to use weapons to inflict injury and death on others (Myrttinen 2012). As a key aspect of the wider war machine, it is men who dominate the military-industrial-media-entertainment-network (MIMENET) (Der Derian 2001), and it is also men who are at the forefront of the small arms trade that has a hugely damaging impact on communities across the globe (Farr, Myrttinen and Albrecht 2009). Men are disproportionately responsible for violence against women and at certain moments other men, in both the public and private spheres (Fahlberg and Pepper 2016). As the masculinity scholar Raewyn Connell has argued, though not all men are rapists, it is mainly men who rape as their experience of power and the performance of a (violent) compensatory masculinity might provide for a sense of entitlement over the bodies of others. Indeed, it might be reasonable to assume that men are implicated in many contemporary global insecurities that involve not just direct violence in its physical or militarized guise (Runyan and Petersen 1999), but also structural violence from poverty through environmental degradation, and on to corporate irresponsibility (Galtung 1969). While the tendency to conflate gender with women pervades popular culture and beyond, to the level of high politics (Carver 1998), the nexus linking insecurity with masculinity has been of justifiable concern to critical scholars of gender. Behaviours of the kinds indicated above are made possible by constellations of power and privilege manifest in ideas, symbols, and values associated with, though not determined by, the biological category of male. Men can be feminized through being framed as ‘pussies’ or ‘faggots’ as noted in army training when they fail to live up to particular standards of soldiering masculinity, and similarly women might be undermined through their rejection of feminine values (styles of dress, haircut, demeanour, and so forth) embodied in the label ‘butch’ (Halberstam 1998). The association of violence with certain expressions of masculinity is of particular concern here and to large degree is normalized, whereas the same cannot be said of feminized others who use violence; the gender-contradictory ways female peacekeepers (Henry 2012) or female boxers (Mennesson 2000) are framed, stand as cases in point that span the military, civilian, and International Relations contexts (Carver 2014).

Gendered articulations of the everyday Over recent decades, scholars have questioned the malestream tenets of social scientific thought through revealing how understandings of the social world – and in particular for the purposes of the current chapter – security, follow masculinized logics. This critical scholarship foregrounds everyday experience through revealing the ways in which it makes possible global politics that turn on the marginalization of particular others, including women and feminized men (Cohn 1987; Tickner 1992; Hooper 2001; Parpart and Zalewski 1997; Basham 2013; Marchbank and Letherby 2013). It is the routine, from manly chats with colleagues around the water cooler in the office to the alcohol infused post-work gathering in the bar on a Friday evening, and from the idle banter on the golf course at the weekend, that helps foster prized masculine social bonds (Enloe 1989). These bonds and the authoritative social norms upon which they depend are explicitly revered by some, or simply unquestioned by others through derivatives of Connell’s (1995) complicit masculinities. Yet, taken together, these webs of masculinized social relations and the logics that shape them inhere with the power to influence access to economic and political resources for subordinate others in the case of women or marginal men. For example, masculine norms at the heart of core militaristic beliefs conceive of the world as a dangerous 71

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place invariably requiring a violent response. Responses of these kinds retain their authority even when they are implicated in future insecurity; the ascendancy of IS in Iraq post the US/UK invasion and occupation is a case in point. Explicitly violent (and therefore, apparently resolute approaches) are contrasted with feminized qualities of indecision argued to signal weakness and irrationality. The compelling belief held by many that human nature is disposed to conflict and that having enemies is a natural state of affairs normalizes the ubiquitous trope of masculinity as protector in ways that position femininity as vulnerable and dependent on the powerful (Stiehm 1982; Enloe 2002). Infused with ideas of masculinity, these beliefs speak to gendered structures of feeling, seeing, and thinking that have demonstrable influence on the international. Consider recent military interventions through masculinized narratives that rendered invasion, occupation, and reconstruction thinkable in the case of those states deemed to have failed – Afghanistan in 2001 (Manchanda 2015) and Libya in 2011 (St John 2011). Many years after these interventions, these states remain deeply insecure and the violence endured by citizens within them continues unabated. The image of the drowned Syrian refugee child floating face down in the Mediterranean Sea underscores the wider impact of ongoing conflict on some of the most vulnerable citizens in areas of conflict. The forefronting of masculinity and the continued presence of insecurity together is not a coincidence – it is representative of the gendered nexus between masculinity, violence, and insecurity. Whether facilitated by patriarchal (Brownmiller 1975) or fratriarchal structures (Mechling 2008), gender orders shaped by masculinity remain largely impervious to change, and the power structures that make them possible are largely immutable. While masculinities can vary over time and space, and their hold on popular or even strategic culture tighten and relax, those are differences of type and degree rather than differences of structure and kind. For example, the hegemonic warrior model around which military culture revolves demonstrates surprising tenacity even when a greater proportion of females constitute the overall personnel strength of these institutions. From its normalized role in systems of oppression where it has lain undisturbed in ‘plain view’ as Aaron Belkin (2012) puts it in regard to the US military, masculinity’s heteronormativity has been sustained through the enduring view that gender roles are natural(ized) expressions of soldierly identity nested in maleness. Further examples of hegemonic masculinity fuelling insecurity include the highly visible, mediarevered masculinity in positions of authority in the business world (Connell and Wood 2005), or others in a broader sense who benefit from the patriarchal dividend that signals the myriad resources (cultural, economic, political) that accrue to men through the subordination of women. This dividend can help explain the performance of certain kinds of exploitative masculinity in contexts such as the academy, where we might hope to find greater awareness and more effective challenges to the gender/power nexus. Yet (even) here, masculinized sexual harassment, discrimination, and prejudice preserve the gendered status quo, where feminized scholars might be denied access to positions of authority and, in turn, the potential to contribute to wider institutional transformation.

Masculinities and complexity Feminist scholars have taught us a good deal about complexity in masculinity, not least that sensitivity to plurality in identity requires us to consider masculinities that, in turn, has consequences for making sense of diverse configurations of (in)security and masculinity (Pease and Pringle 2001). Many men actively fight for peace, while others are conscious of their privileged status and act accordingly in positive ways to mitigate insecurities or the use 72

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of militarized violence – the activities of the group Iraqi Veterans against the War (IVAW) are a case in point (Tidy 2015). Challenging masculine norms for those who self-identify as male can sometimes attract violent forms of gendered opprobrium, since masculinity is a somewhat precarious achievement requiring frequent reiteration and affirmation such that threats to it are invariably heightened. As Lois Bibbings (2009) has argued, First World War conscientious objectors (CO) should not be seen as cowards, since the pacifist inclinations of these men was met with brutal state violence through torture and imprisonment. And yet discourses of unmanly cowardice dominated even that torture and imprisonment. Enduring this brutality required great physical and mental fortitude, a high degree of self-belief and self-discipline – attributes that signal not weakness, but are rather, exemplary military masculine attributes. Enthusiastically supported by a number of pro-war women, the White Feather Campaign (where white feathers were handed to COs during the First and Second World Wars), can be seen as a direct attack on masculinity in the case of those soldiers who were unwilling to fulfil a key civic duty as soldier and protector of the nation (Hart 2010). Still in the 21st century, the ‘peaceful’ work of Amnesty International – an organization that is headed by a man – or the appointment of Linda Hudson in 2013 to the role of CEO at the defence/arms company BAE systems, underlines complexity in gender identity. In these illustrative examples, biological sex is explicitly decoupled from gender (or at least gendered perception), or in more ‘progressive’ companies, feminized qualities are recast as advantageous to businesses of traditional masculine kinds (Lyddon 2016). In other contexts, the decoupling of sex and gender seems inconceivable to practitioners of security policy. For example, policies intended for those who have suffered sexual violence in war are often inconsistently applied. Victims of conflict sexual violence might be marginalized in these kinds of intervention (Grey and Shepherd 2012), and prosecuting female perpetrators has met with a number of obstacles (Sjoberg 2016). Kimberly Hutchings (2008) has argued that the links between masculinity and war are often framed in contradictory ways and, as such, invoke incommensurability in soldierly gender identity. Thus, rather than being seen as a ‘macho’ institution, the military could be conceived of as a highly feminized place of mutual care and domestic activity, where dense social bonds between soldiers foster compassion and love for one another (Titunik 2008), or where high levels of professionalism blur traditional gender divides (King 2013). The sociologist David Morgan notes with some poignancy the ways in which British male soldiers wept – an emotion typically associated with the feminine – as they buried their dead during the Falkland/Malvinas campaign in 1982. The much demonized and highly evocative grinning figure of Lynndie England holding a naked Iraqi man on a leash represents the thoroughgoing subversion (for some) of femininity (Ehrenreich 2007), and as Tickner and Sjoberg (2011: 2) astutely assert “gender is mapped in global politics in complicated, surprising and multi-layered ways” demanding theoretical sophistication and specificity from the analyst. Broadening understanding to engage race, class, age, and sexual identity reveals further complexity in the ways that power is reflected and refracted through the prism of identity, of which masculinity is but one element of a wider constellation of social relations (Hopkins and Noble 2009; McCall 2005).

Masculinity and insecurity: some explanations Framed in ideal-typical terms, the point of departure for liberal feminists who aim to challenge insecurity through specific policy approaches is the argument that women have been 73

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spuriously accorded a subordinate intellectual and physical status in a broader gender order where masculinity is privileged (Connell and Messerschmidt 2005). This power disparity continues to be institutionalized in structures that render women peripheral to the central levers of power in the corporate world, the military, the political sphere, and in many other areas of public and private life. In response, liberal feminists argue that rather than attempting to effect change from the margins for those institutions responsible for generating and reproducing insecurities through gender hierarchies, they need to be ‘on the inside’ in order to transform regressive structures. Underscored in the gender mainstreaming and critical mass agendas (Grey 2006), liberal feminist policies can also be seen to include aspects of essentialist feminism and poststructural feminism. Essentialist feminist perspectives tend to accord biological difference and/or processes of gender socialization greater influence in shaping gender identity (Steans 2013). Men are believed to be disposed to creating insecurity, whereas women are framed as altogether more peaceful, epitomized in Jean Elshtain’s notion of a ‘beautiful soul’ where women are conceived of as ‘life-givers’ rather than ‘life-takers’ (Elshtain 1987). In this understanding, the (over-determined) links between insecurity and gender are explained by the inherent biological qualities of testosterone and masculine physicality; these dimensions are rarely far from the explanatory surface in commonsense understanding (Cohn 2000). Others suggest that expectations associated with gender and communicated to people understood to be of one sex or another put social pressure on those who are seen as, or see themselves as, men. For example, Joshua Goldstein (2001) noted that men were susceptible to pressure to fight in wars from women who questioned their masculinity. Scholars have demonstrated how ads for military recruitment (Brown 2012), routines of military training (Belkin 2012), demands for bravery (Belkin 2012), and calls for cold killing (Cohn 1987) all often rely on challenging the masculinity of the actor when s/he might fall short of the expected behaviour. Still other scholars have argued that it is difficult to disentangle assemblages of masculinity, virility, and violence (Puar 2017; Baaz and Stern 2009) both for observers of gendered security policy and for actors inside of it.

Beasts and heroes: binary pictures of masculinities At the time of writing, the British news media has focused on analysing the actions and masculinities of two groups of men: those who fight for IS, and those who travel to fight against it. While both subjects of news coverage are understood to be biologically male, written as men, and understood through lenses of masculinities, that is where the similarities of coverage of those two groups of men ended. The coverage of the men who fought for IS as men characterized their masculinity as a primitive, beastly, unevolved, or uncivilized masculinity, while the coverage of those who travelled to fight against IS as men characterized their masculinity as a rational, calculative, brave, benevolent, and modern masculinity.

Beasts of men At the time of writing, approximately 800 individuals had travelled to Syria and Iraq from the UK in order to support the IS Caliphate (BBC 2016) from a total of around 30,000 from over 100 countries (Tuck, Silverman and Smalley 2016). Contrary to the superficial representation of these men in the media and more widely, those migrating to fight and support IS are a heterogeneous group. For example, an influential report written in 2008 by MI5’s Behavioural Science Unit argues that individuals who turn to violent extremism in the case of the so-called radicalized do not have a typical profile; rather they reflect the diverse 74

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communities from which they originate. Many have children, do not fit the loner stereotype, and the limited role of extremist preachers in their lives underscores their status as religious novices. Indeed, the report argues that counter to common sense understandings, religious identity can actually protect against radicalization. That many are married also complicates the myth that these men are driven by sexual frustration (Travis 2008). However, there is also evidence that a number of traditional Muslim men do accord heterosexual activity a degree of importance in relation to the promise of so-called ‘Jihadi brides’ as spoils of war (Aly 2015). In research that asked men to reflect on their (later renounced) experience of Jihad, one male argued that “girls will look at me, I’m a Mujahid now”. He went on to refer to his gun as a ‘penis extension’ (Khan 2015) and alluded to opportunities to express a masculine, heterosexual prowess since his behaviour was no longer governed by religious strictures. Exacerbated by poverty and a sense of emasculation, radicalization has also been explained by attempts to ‘restore honour’ through the use of violence as a key element of a wider narrative of compensatory masculinity (Aslam 2012). It is notable that those without violent pasts have enacted the most brutal acts – the case of so-called Jihadi John’s public beheading of James Foley is a grim case in point. And, in keeping with these masculine themes is the use of anabolic steroids in the Australian context by those deemed to have been radicalized, together with previous employment in occupations and leisure activities closely associated with violence, including night club door bouncers and gang membership (Plummer 2014). While those labelled as radicalized largely belie the stereotypical pathologies of ‘evil’ that have typically come to define them, they are nonetheless framed in sensational terms in relation to their aberrant masculinities. At their migratory peak, for example, a number of IS fighters were referred to as Gangster Jihadis (Faiola and Mekhennet 2015), a label that both exceptionalized and normalized them as men of dangerous, yet familiar kinds. While this construction may glamorize them in the eyes of particular audiences, in delving a little deeper, the analyst Shiraz Maher elicits a narrative from one of the so-called Pompey Jihadis from Portsmouth in the UK that reveals the gendered insecurity behind such bravado. Shiraz’s subject says, “Will you write a book about me? Send me a copy please . . . address it to the big tent in the Syrian desert” (Maher 2014). Maher notes that this was during the time of the so-called 5-Star Jihad, when many IS fighters in Syria would post photos and tweets of the luxurious, ‘gangster’ lifestyle they were leading, though, the incongruous juxtaposition of the ascetic Jihadi with Western-style decadence invoking contrasting masculinities was contentious and questionable for some (Batchelor 2015). Finally, IS have been particularly sensitive to the power of brotherhood in their recruitment practices. For example, their online magazine Dabiq frequently features photos of men smiling and hugging, or rejoicing in a group. Prospective members of IS are told that their ‘brothers’ will be a great resource to them, and they will spend all their time together. Unlike what we find with many groups that use violence, IS’s approach is shaped by increasingly degrading innovation within the context of unaccountable and autonomous masculinized and fratriarchal sub-cultures (Higate 2012). These sub-cultures help make possible violence of both extreme and performative kinds (Spens 2014), the latter of which has proved effective at drawing in anti-IS fighters as well as eliciting broader militarized responses from the US and the UK governments, among others.

Rational, bourgeois soldiers: anti-IS fighters A small, but significant number of men with military backgrounds, a number from biker gangs, and others with no formal affiliation have travelled to fight against IS in recent years. 75

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While research on these groups is scant, the work of Tuck et al. (2016) throws light on the former soldier element of the group through a study that was comprised of 300 anti-IS fighters with an average age of 32. They originated principally from Western states. Around half of the overall sample was fighting for either the Syria-Kurdish YPG (People’s Protection Movements) or Iraqi-Kurdish Peshmerga. The tragic exploits of the former-soldier cohort has attracted the most attention from British and international media. Unlike financial motivations driving the archetypal mercenary figure, a key reason for relinquishing a materially comfortable life and travelling to fight IS in Iraq and Syria in austere conditions has been the motivation to quell the evil of the enemy. Many of these soldiers who have travelled to fight IS describe their motivation as horror at the most brutal public acts of IS. Exemplary of this powerful catalyst to take up arms, is the former soldier Jim, a British citizen who is both appalled and disgusted at seeing an IS fighter holding to camera the severed head of a woman. Ubiquitous descriptions of IS as depraved, and as an ‘evil death cult’ by the former British Prime Minister David Cameron, provide the discursive conditions of possibility for legitimizing all but the use of militarized violence in reducing the Caliphate’s territory. As one English fighter with the YPG argued: It’s time to get dirty 100% pure violence is needed stop this, stop tip toeing round and start kicking in doors. Kidnap these f*ckers of [sic] the street, water board every potential terrorist lock up and kill every one of them if you the government can’t or won’t then let those who are willing. Tuck et al. 2016: 21 Before his death at the hand of IS, the former Canadian soldier John Gallagher explicitly derided pacifists, appeasement, and tolerance. His belief was that the destruction of IS ‘without mercy’ remained the only option. Drawing on his autobiographical documentary Point and Shoot (SamsonAwesome Documentaries 2015), Matthew VanDyke frames his role in helping to overthrow Libya’s Muamma Gadaffi as part of a wider gendered rite-de-passage. He identifies Lawrence of Arabia as his favourite film, and considered that helping the anti-government rebels was a ‘thrill’. The film presents his audience with man of action imagery, within the wider context of the Arab Spring. The US citizen VanDyke invokes the failure of the international system to take action “and to combat those forces that seek to harm and oppress” local people (Tuck et al. 2016: 24). Former US Marine Patrick Maxwell makes explicit adventure-seeking in what he describes as a “black and white conflict against marauders [IS]” as key motivators to travel and fight. Invoking a historically influential gendered and national trope, he also refers to his desire to “have a Teddy Roosevelt style adventure . . . to get a cool story out of it” (Bofetta and Brennan 2015). Others framed the possibility that they might die on the battlefield as a form of sacrifice.

Beyond the binary: masculinity, violence and insecurity Both those who fight for IS and those who travel to fight against it are framed in the above media coverage, and often in their own words, as men rather than as gender-neutral people, and their stories are told in terms of characteristics associated with masculinities. Yet the characteristics associated with masculinities are so divergent – the IS fighters’ masculinities are described in terms of barbarism, uncivilization, sexuality, and uncontrollability – primitive masculinity gone wrong. Those who fight against IS are framed (and frame themselves) as 76

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brave men stepping up to tasks that even their governments might be too unmanly to accomplish – where masculinity is associated with bravery, honour, duty, rationality, and even the responsibility to combat the primitive masculinity associated with the ‘other’. Discussions of fighters for IS are dominated by narratives of an uncivilized masculinity, while discussions of fighters against IS are dominated by narratives of a civilized masculinity, where those understood as uncivilized are characterized as doing barbaric violence, while those understood as civilized are characterized as using force. The ways in which these differences are presented assumes numerous forms, with the kinds of violence they are understood to use functioning as shorthand for the nature of the actors being discussed. Yet, the dichotomized construction of evil versus good central to the preferred meanings sketched here obscures masculinity’s role in the genesis and sustaining of wider insecurity to which both groups contribute. Below, I will discuss several aspects of this masculinity–insecurity nexus both generally and with reference to the examples detailed above.

Violence and radicalization First, many masculinities are characterized in terms of, and framed in ways that engage in the encouragement of, various forms of militarized violence. In the example above, IS fighters talk about the expectations of masculinities being fulfilled by defending the Caliphate – masculine righteousness, while their opponents talk about defending the innocent Yazidi people – masculine chivalry. Second, these characterizations are not just external to the fighters and recruiters in news stories – they are used by the fighters and recruiters. Those interested in engaging people in fighting appeal to the senses of masculinities of potential fighters, and those fighting affirm narratives of their masculinity in descriptions of their conduct. This has been seen in cases as disparate as US military recruitment (Enloe 2015), Indian military training (Banerjee 2012), and IS online recruitment tactics (Atran 2015). It is not just that masculinities and manhood are mentioned by recruiters and fighters, whether in IS or in other conflicts. It is actually that ways to achieve, and prove, manhood have been central to narratives of war and conflict for a long time. Scholars have suggested that full citizenship in political entities has long been linked to the masculine ability to fight to protect those political entities (Elshtain 1987). While some men remain potential fighters and others are actual fighters, the linking of masculine protection to citizenship is age-old. In these discourses, real men can (and do) fight for the integrity and principles of their political, social, and even religious organizations. One comes into manhood by participating in that protective/fighting behaviour. Those who refuse to engage in the fighting, then, are characterized as less manly, or as engaging in a less ideal form of masculinity, where masculinity is deployed “as a rhetorical device to problematize the identities” of those on either side (Kimmel 2003: 605). We see this even more in forms of extremist violence. As David Plummer argues “it is difficult not to conclude that masculinity is a key force that underwrites and sustains extremism” (Plummer 2014) and that, in the case of so-called extremists, masculinity is used as a form of social and ideological capital to further their cause (Ferber and Kimmel 2008; Sirin 2015). When masculinity is either called upon or challenged, extreme behaviour can result. For example, a number of those men fighting against IS discussed their potential death in combat in similar terms to those fighting for IS, where dying is what ‘he has to do’ to accomplish a goal and fulfil his masculine destiny. This sentiment is integral to a historical masculine trope where life is relinquished to a greater cause (Cobb 2012). 77

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The gendered state and insecurity Gendered discourses of masculinity do not only directly influence calls to militarized violence in state and non-state military groups. They are also, as discussed above, integral to citizenship discourses, tropes of national identity, interstate relations, and historical narratives. Often in global politics, the gender or perceived gender of the state is also engaged in terms that speak directly to questions of security. Often, states or non-state actors that refuse to do violence or are inefficient in their use of violence are characterized as cowardly, weak, or hypomasculine – “helpless or effete” (Kimmel 2003: 608), while states that are seen as overusing violence or engaging in brutality are characterized as barbaric or hyper-masculine. Gendered discourses are also implicated in the search for and conquering of territory. In the case of IS, the Caliphate is undergirded by the ideology of expansion where, quite literally, occupying greater space remains a common feature of masculinity from the everyday, embodied-assertive actions of individuals in public spaces, through to the abstract structure of the state that seeks to colonize space (Bourdieu 2001). Many who travel to fight against IS engage a narrative that resonates with the obligations of Empire referred to in Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘The White Man’s Burden’, and in a broader sense US ‘manifest destiny’ that is compelled to civilize the barbaric other through the use of gendered violence. Counterintuitively perhaps, the shared logics of religious obligation and state expansion framed in civilizational terms apply to masculine narratives on both sides of the IS conflict. They cohere around a violent hypermasculinity where “an emphasis on physical power and supremacy . . . is achieved . . . by the emasculation of others . . . through [state] expansion and intervention” (Coe et al. 2007: 35). In other words, it is not just a direct call to militarized violence that links masculinities and insecurities in global politics. It is also that the relationship between masculinities and calls to violence is mediated by the fact that being a real man is tied in political, social, and cultural discourses to particular forms of militarized citizenship. Those links themselves produce insecurity (and anxiety) in men looking to perform those masculinities, and the behaviours that they call for and reify distribute insecurity in a wide variety of ways.

Concluding thoughts In this chapter I have argued that, among others, IS fighters and those opposing them share a commitment to militarized violence as the sole means by which to achieve their competing aims of either building or challenging the Caliphate. I have suggested that these and other calls to militarized violence frame the legitimation of a wide range of social, cultural, political, and economic violence in terms of masculine privilege and male obligation. Crucially, violence has been shown to be a naturalized expression of masculinity that, while promising resolution to conflict, invariably inheres with a logic of escalation that helps normalize insecurity. Conceived of in these terms, masculinity is deeply implicated in causes of violence and, as such, is also important in helping us to think through alternative responses that eschew its use. However, attempts to strip the use of violence with the authority it currently commands from contexts that link the everyday with the international face considerable challenges. For example, at the time of writing and in the few weeks leading up to the British 2017 general election, the leader of the opposition Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn, has been parodied in a photo mock-up as a ‘classic hippy’ in one of the UK’s best-selling tabloid newspapers, The Sun (Newton Dunn 2017). His less than strident support of the British nuclear deterrent Trident and the military alliance NATO, together with a thoughtful perspective on recent 78

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failed military interventions in Iraq and Syria among others, is signified in the form of a stereotypical peacenik. The long-haired Corbyn is presented in ‘ethnic clothing’ consisting of a bandanna and waistcoat, adorned with five necklaces symbolizing peace. The backdrop to this imagery are hundreds of signs more often seen on street demonstrations, that include reference to climate change as part of a wider matrix of meaning linked to his vapid stance on numerous other political issues. He is holding two fingers up in a sign of peace with the preferred meanings framing this representation aimed at eliciting deep scepticism of a feckless and wholly ineffective masculinity at best, and at worst a sense that the country’s national security would be gravely jeopardized if he were to become prime minister. The latter masculinity speaks of danger. He is neither protector nor leader, but rather ditherer inflected with a cerebral masculinity that particular strands of British culture continue to regard warily in ways that speak to the binaries of decision/indecision, action/inaction, violence/peace, and in explicitly gendered terms, soft versus hard masculinity. It is these dynamics that underpin global insecurity, to which positive change must work toward imbuing more ‘peaceful’ masculinities with an authority that they have hitherto been denied. This is a task that begins with (sometimes difficult) conversations over the dinner table, and ends with the usurping of belligerence in the realm of the international where masculinities demeaned as conciliatory are recast as robust in their moment of humility.

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Introduction Figurations are distillations of shared meanings in words or images (Haraway 1997) that reply upon multiple, contested, and often contradictory understandings of what get called sexes, genders, and sexualities to make sense of and secure the world. As we outline in this chapter, gendered and sexualized figurations are implicitly and explicitly drawn upon in security theory and practice. Because gendered and sexualized figurations of security participate in the organization, regulation, and conduct of international security, security scholars and practitioners need clear theoretical and methodological frameworks to help them identify and analyse gendered and sexualized figurations. In this chapter, we first introduce one such theoretical and methodological framework to identify and analyse gendered and sexualized figurations. This framework draws heavily on Donna Haraway’s conceptionalization of figuration in the context of Feminist Technoscience Studies and its employment by Cynthia Weber (2016) in the context of Queer International Relations. In the second section, we put this framework to work in relation to three empirical examples of gendered and sexualized figurations. These empirical examples illustrate: (1) how figurations of security are gendered as masculine and feminine and are embodied in the imagined figures of men and women; (2) how figurations of security are sexualized as heterosexual or homosexual1 and attached to a range of sexualized understandings of perverse and normal figurations; and (3) how figurations of security are geomorphized as inanimate, non-human, geological or environmental sexed, gendered, and sexualized figurations of security.

Figuration as a theoretical and methodological approach to gendered and sexualized Security Studies Donna Haraway’s understanding of figuration as the distillation of shared meanings in forms or images is used by a wide range of feminist and queer studies scholars as a critical conceptual device (Kuntsman 2009: 29). In this section, we explain Haraway’s notion of figuration. In the next section, we will apply her ideas to sexed, gendered, and sexualized figurations of security. 83

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Haraway explains figuration as the employment of semiotic tropes that combine knowledges, practices, and power to (in)form how we map our worlds and understand the actual things in those worlds (1997).2 Unpacking Haraway’s description, we are left with four key elements through which figurations take specific forms: tropes, temporalities, performativities, and worldings (1997: 11). Tropes are material and semiotic expressions of actual things that express how we understand those actual things. Whether they take linguistic, artistic, or visual form, for example, tropes are akin to figures of speech that are not “literal or self-identical” to what they describe (Haraway 1997: 11). Figures of speech enable us to express what something or someone is like while (potentially) at the same time grasping that the figuration is not identical to the figure of speech we have employed. This is what allows figuration to be something that both makes representation appear to be possible and interrupts representation in any literal sense. For no matter how much textual, visual, or artistic languages might strive to literally represent something, they always involve “at least some kind of displacement that can trouble identifications and certainties” (Haraway 1997: 11) between a figuration and an actual thing. Haraway’s second element of figuration is temporalities. Temporality expresses a relationship to time. Haraway notes that figurations are historically rooted in progressive, eschatological temporality because they are embedded within “the semiotics of Western Christian realism”. Because Western Christian figurations hold the promise of salvation in the afterlife, they embody this progressive temporality (Haraway 1997: 9). This medieval notion of developmental temporality persists as a vital aspect of (some) contemporary figurations, even when contemporary figurations take secular forms (e.g., when it is science, not God, that promises to deliver us from evil through technological innovation (Haraway 1997: 10) and when they employ developmental time in a variety of ways). Expanding Haraway’s use of temporalities in relation to figurations, Weber (2016) and our analysis below show that temporalities can take far more forms in relation to figurations, with Haraway’s understanding of Western Christian developmental temporalities being just one illustration. Haraway’s third element of figuration is performativities. Coined by Judith Butler to explain how sexes, genders, and sexualities appear to be normal, natural, and true, the term performativity expresses how repeated iterations of acts constitute the subjects who are said to be performing them (Butler 1999: xv). Applying Nietzsche’s idea that there is no doer behind the deed and that the deed is everything (1999: 33) to an analysis of sexes, genders, and sexualities, Butler argues that enactments of gender make it appear as if sex – which Butler understands as a social construct – is natural and normal, and as if particular sexed bodies map ‘naturally’ onto particular genders. It is through the everyday inhabiting of these various sexes, genders, and sexualities by everyday ‘doers’ who performatively enact them, that the subjectivities of these doers of sex, gender, and sexuality appear to come into being. As we will suggest in the next section, these ‘doers’ or subjectivities are understood in a multitude of ways. They may be animate (humans) subjectivities, inanimate (non-human) subjectivities, or even a mix of animate and inanimate subjectivities. Once enacted, performativities do not freeze sexed, gendered, and sexualized subjectivities and what Foucault (1978) describes as the networks of power and pleasure which are productive of subjectivities. Rather, because each enactment is itself particular, it holds the possibility of reworking, rewiring, and resisting both ‘frozen’ notions of sex, gender, and sexuality and their institutionalized organizations of power. Following Butler, Haraway argues that “[f]igurations are performative images that can be inhabited” (Haraway 1997: 11). These figurations are never stable. For every performance of a figuration depends upon innumerable particularities, including: historical circumstances, 84

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geopolitical context, spatial location, social/psychic/affective/political dispositions as well as perceived/attributed traits (racial, sexual, classed, gendered, [dis]abled) of individuals in relation to the figurations they are presumed to inhabit, an individual’s success, failure or jamming of their assigned/assumed figuration as they performatively enact it, and how these performativities are received and read by others. Because no two performative enactments are ever identical (Butler 1999), every repetition and inhabitation introduces some, even tiny, amount of difference. What this means is that figurations are never completely frozen, for they are always only distilled forms or images that change – even in small ways – through their every iteration and inhabitation. Therefore, institutional arrangements of, for example, sexed, gendered, and sexualized securities are likewise less stable than they appear to be. All of these aspects of performativity – in combination with how tropes and temporalities are deployed – combine to produce the final element of figuration – worlding (in International Relations, see Agathangelou and Ling 2004). Worlding refers to the ways we imagine and try to represent the world through the figurations we have conjured up. As noted earlier, figurations are not representations. They do not represent the world because there is never an identical fit between a figuration and an actual thing, much less a fit with the whole world itself. What this means for Haraway, then, is that worlding practices are as contestable as the figurations that produce them and are productive of them (1997: 11). In their attempts to “map universes of knowledge, practice, and power” (Haraway 1997: 11), then, worlding practices produce what Haraway calls “contestable maps” (1997: 11) that – like figurations in general – betray how power is mobilized to impose a particular mapping of the world that will never quite correspond to the world itself. It is in these lacks of fit – of figurations to actual doers and of worldings to actual worlds – where resistances to figurations and their worlding practices are often located.

Empirical applications of figuration In this section, we apply Haraway’s notion of figuration to sexed, gendered, and sexualized figurations of security. First, we consider how figurations of security are gendered as masculine and feminine and are embodied in the imagined figures of men and women. Second, we describe how figurations of security are sexualized as heterosexual or homosexual and attached to a range of sexualized understandings of perverse and normal figurations. Third, we explore how figurations of security are geomorphized as inanimate, non-human, geological or environmental sexed, gendered, and sexualized figurations of security. In each case, we show how these figurations take the form of tropes, temporalities, performativities, and worldings, as well as outline what investigating gendered, sexed, and sexualized figurations of security reveals about security more broadly.

Masculinity and femininity, men and women Militaries are key sites of figurations of security. The dominant set of gendered tropes at work in the military are of aggressive men protecting peaceful women and of aggressive masculinity deployed to protect peaceful femininity. The Western soldier, for example, is regularly figured as a man embodying hegemonic military masculinity (Connell and Messerschmidt 2005; Duncanson 2013). This means he is a strong, aggressive, and tough protector of the sovereign nation-state or homefront/homeland against security threats. While this figuration of hegemonic military masculinity is grounded in an imaginary of a particular kind of male 85

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soldier, it also circulates beyond the human body: national identity and security policies themselves are regularly imagined as hegemonically masculine (e.g., Cohn 1987). In contrast to aggressive male hegemonically masculine protectors, women are regularly figured as “beautiful souls”, located in the homeland (Elshtain 1995). Beautiful souls are those feminine figurations who – because they are imagined as inherently peaceful and nurturing – are figured as in need of protection by men. These women in need of security might be the wives, mothers, or daughters of the hegemonically masculine man (or even ‘the motherland’). Women who do engage in conflict are therefore often figured as deviant and/ or irrational (Gentry and Sjoberg 2015: 20). These gendered security tropes are racialized. As the Western solider appears in most Western hegemonic discourses, for example, he is understood as white. This white man is also often imagined as heterosexual and not disabled. This white, heterosexual and nondisabled man must protect white women from racially darkened men and women who are figured as security threats. Similarly, the peaceful, nurturing, feminine woman is often figured as white. Again, she is figured as heterosexual as well as not disabled. For white women who engage in conflict, their deviance is seen as exceptional (Gentry and Sjoberg 2015). For racially darkened women, however, violence is often seen as inevitable and as a threat to security in itself. Progressive developmental temporalities are central to these figurations. While rational white men are imagined as more developed than irrational peaceful or violent white women, white and non-disabled men and women together are figured as more ‘civilized’ and ‘developed’ than black and/or disabled figurations. All these figurations are then deployed in the service of white security practices that ‘civilize’ and ‘develop’ the ‘uncivilized’ and ‘undeveloped’ racially darkened other – or protect the ‘civilization’ of white society from ‘uncivilized’ and ‘undeveloped’ racially darkened security threats. For example, Indigenous societies where women take on more leadership roles are perceived as undeveloped and in need of development, or as threatening the security of settler societies (Allen 1998; St. Denis 2007). Similarly, ‘oppressed’ Muslim women are seen as in need of rescuing from ‘unenlightened’ Muslim men (Spivak 1990). This becomes entangled in Western rationales for and practices of war in the Middle East, as well as policing of Muslims and other racially darkened populations in Europe and North America. Once again, however, tracing figurations reveals contingencies and diversity: some figurations are unable to develop and are permanently located ‘in the past’ within this developmental temporality. The disabled and insane cannot, for example, be civilized. Nor can they be hegemonically masculine military protectors of the nation. Similarly, Indigenous people and genders are figured as either temporally fixed or, when not fixed, as inauthentically Indigenous. In Indigenous land and self-government claims, for example, Indigenous claimants must demonstrate a relationship with the past, and may not use resources for ‘new’ purposes, if their claims to those resources are to be judged legitimately ‘Indigenous’ (Coulthard 2014; Povinelli 2015; Leigh 2014). The temporalities that underpin these gendered figurations of security not only demonstrate the entanglement of security, gender, and sex; they also demonstrate the contingency of figuration. For example, the military masculinities emerging around development, peace, and counter-insurgency operations are all arguably different to more conventional military masculinities oriented to combat and conquest (Duncanson 2013; Cornish 2015). As figurations of security change, so does the figuration of gender and sexuality. These tropes and temporalities construct the figuration of the protector of security (the soldier) as a figuration who is most easily (and most often) performatively inhabitable by white, Western, non-disabled men. In the cases of military involvement in sexual exploitation, 86

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unchecked aggression against civilians, and extreme torturous violence against ‘opponents’, we might say that militaries not only embrace hegemonic masculinity but take it to extremes. When women specifically engage in this violence, we might say that women as well as men embrace hegemonic masculinity, refusing the trope of the woman as a beautiful soul (e.g., in Abu Graib). At the same time, however, hegemonic masculinity can only be inhabited by women to a certain degree and in certain ways: women who engage in violence and combat are also seen as perverse and are denigrated through the tropes of “mothers, monsters and whores” (Sjoberg and Gentry 2007). Alternatively, in anti-militarist groups such as Mothers for Peace in the US or in activism by mothers of veteran and serving soldiers, we can see women embracing the ‘beautiful soul’ and mother tropes. In doing so, these women reaffirm the very tropes that often denigrate them – but do so in ways that arguably subvert the tropes to feminist political ends. These gendered and sexed figurations of security – in the forms of tropes, temporalities, and performativities – combine to produce forms of worlding. This worlding, we have shown, is grounded in and underpins racialized, colonizing, and patriarchal power relations. In the name of security, this worlding legitimizes and often enacts settler and neo-colonialisms. This is visible when Indigenous women lead Indigenous people in defence of Indigenous lands and state violence against Indigenous people and land is then justified not only in the name of the security of the society, state, or economy, but specifically against an underdeveloped threatening and barbaric Indigenous culture in which women are violent and/or leaders (e.g., in the 1999 stand-off between Mohawk and police at Oka, or the 2016 protests against Enbridge Inc.’s Northern Gateway oil pipeline – both in Canada). This worlding also legitimizes and enacts ongoing Western military action in the Middle East. For example, ‘improper’ gendering and relationships between men and women (‘women’s rights’) were repeatedly evoked to justify the UK invasion of Iraq. This colonial and racist worlding is, we have shown, made visible through an analysis of gendered and sexed figurations of security and is inseparable from those figurations. Overall, looking at gendered figurations of security in these ways reveals how integral security practices are to constituting gender relations and how central gender relations are to constituting security practices. It reveals the multiple forms of power at play in security – from the national and international to the intimate and everyday. Finally, the varied gendered figurations of security described here also demonstrate that gender and security do not map onto each other uniformly. Instead, relationships between gender and security are as diverse as the racialized, non-disabled and otherwise intersectional figurations that are used to legitimize them.

Heterosexuality and homosexuality, perverse and normal Gender is inseparable from sexuality. The dominant set of tropes described above – the figurations of aggressive white men protecting peaceful white women and of aggressive masculinity deployed to protect peaceful femininity – are not only understood as gendered but also as sexualized. The security apparatus and nations are imagined as a heterosexual, nuclear family: the father protects wives, mothers, and daughters at war; the wives and mothers provide support from home as well as producing and nurturing more soldiers (Peterson 1999, 2013; Yuval-Davis 1997). These figurations of heterosexual husband soldiers protecting their heterosexual wives are grounded as much in understandings of protecting the homeland/ homefront as they are in protecting the heterosexual home, which traditional security narratives figure as the building block of the family, the home, the society, the nation, and the civilization (Peterson 1999). 87

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In this dominant security narrative, not only does there seem be little room for homosexuals or homosexuality, but security is actively defined in opposition to what get figured as potentially perverse (homo)sexualities. This is particularly the case when sexualities are attached to racially darkened, non-disabled or non(re)productive figurations. So, for example, the trope of the white Western heterosexual solider must, in the name of security, protect the white Western woman and homeland against perverse racially darkened sexualities, as he does in narratives that justify settler-colonialism, war, and anti-migration practices (Weber 2016). Similarly, the white Western heterosexual father must protect the (re)productive potential of the woman, wife, mother, and/or motherland. Developmental temporalities are central to these figurations. The perverse sexualized ‘others’ who must be saved or protected against by the West in the name of security, are imagined as ‘undeveloped’ and in need of ‘development’. Even the growing recognition of LGBT rights in the West is perceived as evidence of the West’s developed and progressive nature in contrast to the underdevelopment of racially darkened populations. This is the case, for example, when international aid is linked to recognition of aid recipients’ legal recognition of LGBT rights, or “gay conditionality” (Rao 2012). Once again, however, multiple temporalities are at work here and these point to the contingencies of sexualized figurations of security. This is particularly true in the case of the figuration of the racially darkened and disabled terrorist who is figured as undeveloped and undevelopable, stuck forever in time and incapable of progress. This temporal figuration of the terrorist justifies violence against so-called terrorists in the name of security that would not be justifiable if development were possible. Turning to performativities, we can see these sexualized figurations of security taken up and inhabited in at least three ways. First, many Western homosexuals have taken up the narrative of progress and development in an effort to access Western society – including, centrally, participation in Western militaries and state-recognized family life, via “homonationalism” (Puar 2007), “homonormativity” (Duggan 2003), and other diverse forms of LGBT or queer representation in contemporary militaries (Bulmer 2013; Richter-Montpetit 2015; Agathangelou, Bassichis and Spira 2008). These figurations of sexuality with security in the military also shape sexual and gender identities, practices, and normativities (Crane-Seeber 2016; Howell 2014; Wool 2015). At the same time, other contemporary ‘homosexuals’ find the narrative of progress oppressive or constraining. Those who reject this figuration object to institutions, structures of understanding, and practical orientations that value only hetero/homonormative ways of being ‘homosexual’ (in marriage, the military, and consumption – see Duggan 2003). Objections to narratives of homosexual inclusion in Western society as progress also centre on the way this narrative enacts sexualized and racialized forms of worlding. For example, by excluding racially darkened people from homosexuality which is imagined as ‘progressive’, ‘normal’, white, or by justifying violence against ‘non-progressive’, ‘perverse’ racialized others. Conversely, some security practices are justified on the basis of a homosexualized other, as in US military interventions in various Caribbean states (Weber 1999). A third and related performative orientation to sexualized figurations of security involves exceeding the binaries assumed by those figurations. As in the men/women and masculinity/ femininity examples above, homosexual/heterosexual and normal/perverse are often figured in binary (‘either/or’) opposition. Yet by paying attention to the specificity and contingency of figurations, we can see that this is not always the case. As Weber (2016) and Altman and Symons (2016) show through an analysis of the Eurovision Song Contest winner Conchita 88

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Wurst, some subjects performatively inhabit both male and/or female, both normal and/or perverse, and both racially darkened and/or white European. Each of these sexualized tropes, temporalities, and performativities of security combine to produce sexualized forms of worlding. In addition to creating racist, colonial, and patriarchal power relations in general (as described above), this worlding includes a sexualized global order in which ‘good’ and ‘bad’ states are mapped onto ‘good’ and ‘bad’ homosexuals. International relations, power and violence are then justified through sexualized figurations of security. Overall, then, examining sexualized and gendered figurations of security and not only the ways that sexuality is inextricably entwined with gender and security as well as race, it also shows the sexualized and gendered binaries at the heart of security logics. Further, this analysis troubles the stability of those binaries and shows how they might be or are exceeded.

Animate and inanimate, human and non-human Turning to gendered, sexed, and sexualized figurations of security as non-human or inanimate, we might ask who or what counts as gendered, sexed, and sexualized in the first place. For example, might figurations of the material environment, such as South Asian and South American jungle or the Middle Eastern desert, be understood as security threats? For each material environment is figured in gendered, sexualized, and racialized ways to authorize a particular type of warfare against particular kinds of enemies such as the guerrilla or terrorist (Povinelli 2015). Similarly, the ‘empty’ melting Arctic has generated renewed security concerns around Arctic sovereignty. Historically, Arctic nations rushed to ‘fill’ the ‘empty’ Arctic with citizens to assert state sovereignty (Tester and Kulchyski 1994). In Canada, making Indigenous people citizens – and thus securing Arctic sovereignty – meant attempting to assimilate them into Euro-Canadian gender, sexual, and familial norms (Leigh 2009). This further figured the perceived material environment with gender, sexuality, and security as well as race and Indigeneity. One of the most provocative examples of the material environment as a figuration comes from Elizabeth Povinelli’s analysis of how a creek in northern Australia, whose Indigenous name is Tjipel, has become a contested figuration of security among Indigenous people, the Australian government and the mining industry (Povinelli 2015; see also Povinelli 2016). According to some of the Indigenous women who live near this creek, the creek used to be a girl, who turned into a boy, who turned into a creek. This means, Povinelli suggests, that some people might call Tjipel “transgender” or “butch”, particularly in the “contemporary fields into which her legs extend” (Povinelli 2015: 177).3 The creek’s gender is part of the version of the creek that these Indigenous women want to preserve. But Indigenous people must be careful about telling public stories about sexuality or gender because Indigenous people are themselves figured as racially darkened, undeveloped, perverse security threats by the Australian liberal state (Povinelli 2015: 176). That means that Indigenous figurations of this creek might be used by the state to justify state claims to the creek. What each of these examples demonstrates is that the security of the material environment can be gendered, sexed, and sexualized. Below, we elaborate the example of the transgender creek to demonstrate how tropes, temporalities, performativities, and worlding function in such figurations. Povinelli’s description of the Australian transgender creek illustrates how non-human and geological figurations of security function through tropes, temporalities, performativities, and worldings. The lives of the Indigenous women in Povinelli’s research are, in their 89

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account, inseparable from Tjipel and her gendered story because Tjipel determines much of what is possible for them. This includes in terms of fishing, foraging, and connecting them with their mothers as well as other Indigenous communities via oral history. This makes it difficult to see where Tjipel’s life ends and the lives of these Indigenous women begin. These women want to keep living with Tjipel in her current form. At the same time, some politicians, mining companies, and Indigenous representatives want to extract natural resources from Tjipel. Or they want to extract natural resources elsewhere in ways that would damage her or alter her current form. Multiple tropes circulate and are visible in Povinelli’s description of the contestation over Tjipel. In the eyes of the Australian state, a trope of the authentic, traditional Indigenous person is a prerequisite for Indigenous legal rights to land. This is in tension with another trope – the welfare-claiming, money-hungry, lazy Indigenous person who would be too modern to have rights to land. At the same time, as we describe below, implicit in the traditional Indigenous trope is a fear for the security of the nation in the face of perverse Indigenous sexuality. Tjipel herself embodies further tropes. For mining companies and the Australian government, the creek is an inanimate property-like resource. For the Indigenous women in Povinelli’s research, however, Tjipel is an animate gendered figure. Temporalities are central to these tropes. In the dominant Australian state narrative, the authentic and traditional Indigenous person endures from the past but is also fixed in time. Proof of temporal continuity is, in fact, a legal requirement for Indigenous claims to land on the basis of Indigeneity. The inauthentic Indigenous person has, however, progressed so far into modernity that they are no longer perceived as legitimately Indigenous. At the same time, the ‘development’ of Tjipel is seen as a civilized and civilizing move, in contrast to efforts to sustain the creek in her current form. The mining companies and the Australian government are also seen as civilized and civilizing in progressive time, while Tjipel’s Indigenous advocates are seen as temporally regressive. Performativities are key to understanding the contestation over Tjipel as well as the creek herself. The Indigenous women who seek to maintain Tjipel in her current form must strike a careful performative balance. As Povinelli describes, if Indigenous communities are not perceived to have properly ‘developed’ – including in their gendered, sexual, and familial arrangements – then the Australian state might claim authority over those communities or even attempt to destroy them in the name of ‘development’, as settler-states including Australia have long done and continue to do (Wolfe 2006). Thus being perceived to be perverse is a risk that the Indigenous women who seek to maintain Tjipel in her current form must avoid – and so, in Povinelli’s account, they avoid telling Tjipel’s full story. Yet if Indigenous people are perceived to have ‘developed’ too much – to be inauthentic and nontraditional – then the Australian state might not recognize Indigenous rights or claims to land. In Povinelli’s account, this means that the Indigenous women who seek to maintain Tjipel in her current form must also performatively demonstrate their authenticity and tradition in order to stake a claim to Tjipel. Through these tropes, temporalities, and performativities, Tjipel becomes a site of multiple and contested worldings. Povinelli shows how the mining industry figures Tjipel – and land more generally – as an inanimate geological resource with potential market value. The Indigenous women who live with her figure her as part of a broader reciprocal relationship between humans and non-humans. In these ways, the struggle over Tjipel is a struggle over worlding: in Povinelli’s account ‘developing’ Tjipel means extinguishing the world in which Indigenous people live in reciprocity with her, in favour of a world where industrializing capitalist humans relate to land as inanimate property. These worldings enact but also contest ongoing settler-colonialism in Australia. 90

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Reading gendered, sexed, and sexualized figurations of security as inanimate and/or nonhuman raises further questions for thinking about security more broadly. We might ask whether a geological formation can even be considered as a gendered figuration – not just metaphorically but actually. Povinelli suggests that it is precisely by designating Tjipel as ‘geological’ that the security of the liberal state and Australian nation is protected against the threat of alternate Indigenous forms of worlding. We might also ask, following Povinelli, how who, or what, counts as a gendered and sexualized figuration more generally assumes a line between the ‘biological’ and the ‘geological’. For example, how does that line designate proper objects and agents of security, and what worlds does it enable or work to extinguish? Finally, Povinelli’s analysis raises the difficult question of who or what does not count as a gendered and sexualized figuration of security. The Australian state does not recognize Tjipel as a gendered and sexualized figuration and this functions to protect the state’s security and the interests of extractive capital along with the tropes and worldings in which they are entangled. What else is not considered to be a gendered and sexualized figuration in the service of ‘security’? What other gendered, sexualized, and geological figurations need not be made ‘secure’?

Conclusion Investigating sexed, gendered, and sexualized figurations of security by paying attention to tropes, temporalities, performativities, and worldings offers four key insights about security. First, it demonstrates how sex, gender, and sexuality are integrated into security concerns, while at the same time exposing the contingency, variability, and complexity of those integrations. Second, it underscores the centrality of not just either/or but also and/or logics in theories and policies of sexed, gendered, and sexualized security. Third, it expands the range of figurations that we might understand to be sexed, gendered, and sexualized in relation to security, from the human or animate to the non-human or inanimate. Further, it exposes how particularly state and corporate actors attempt to narrow this range of legitimate figurations, in the very name of security. Finally, all of these moves separately and together illustrate how sexed, gendered, and sexualized figurations of security are always intersectionally produced and disputed, and how these disputes can be central to contemporary formulations of power.

Notes 1 Heterosexual and homosexual do not exhaust the wide range of existing potential expressions of sexuality, just as male and female or masculine and feminine do not exhaust the range of sexes or genders. We examine these expressions of sexes, genders, and sexualities in our analysis because these are the dominant expressions used at the moment in figurations of security. 2 Our explanation of Haraway condenses and paraphrases longer discussions by Cynthia Weber (2016). 3 The Indigenous women Povinelli describes do not (in her story) call the creek transgender or butch. While we often use the term ‘gendered’ in this chapter, we have chosen not to use the term ‘transgendered’ in this instance to reflect both Povinelli’s careful situation of the term in those ‘contemporary fields’ and the rejection of the word ‘transgendered’ by contemporary transgender activists.

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Gendered and sexualized figurations Weber, C. 1999. Faking It: U.S. Hegemony in a ‘Post-Phallic’ Era. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Weber, C. 2016. Queer International Relations: Sovereignty, Sexuality and the Will to Knowledge (Oxford Studies in Gender and International Relations). New York: Oxford University Press. Wolfe, P. 2006. ‘Settler colonialism and the elimination of the native’. Journal of Genocide Research 8(4): 387–409. Wool, Z.H. 2015. ‘Critical military studies, queer theory, and the possibilities of critique: The case of suicide and family caregiving in the US military’. Critical Military Studies 1(1): 23–37. doi:10.1080 /23337486.2014.964600 Yuval-Davis, N. 1997. Gender & Nation (Politics and Culture series). London & Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.



Before feminist scholarship, work on security in disciplinary International Relations (IR) focused – myopically, some would soon say – on the sovereign state as the key actor, and the key object, of thinking about what it means to be secure. Among other contributions, feminist scholars were among the first to suggest that it is important to make visible in research those whose insecurity is often invisible to traditional, state-centric understandings of security (see discussion in Sjoberg 2009). Building on this call for visibility, feminist scholars of human security1 examined gendered dimensions of what it means to be secure (and insecure, a language rarely used in traditional work on security) for people rather than states. In this chapter, I draw from the human security framework as a way to enter the dialogue over human security in queer terms at a time when sexual and gender minorities face increasing violence and repression globally. Can understandings of human security through gender lenses be re-thought and re-read through queer lenses to afford meaningful protection to gender or sexual minorities as queer? Taking queerness as a substantive, critical lens, this chapter examines how the sex and sexuality of gender and sexual minorities is constituted as proscribed, producing insecurity for/in those marginalized because their conduct is what in the West has been called queer, by its defenders and detractors. To ‘queer’ (in verb form) human security, I argue, requires a political formulation that is oppositional and emancipatory, with an eye toward the constitution of political risk. With this focus, I argue, there is space (and indeed necessity) to question the framing of the state (individually and collectively) as an ally or even advocate for rights and to examine where state security conflicts with the security of sexual and gender minorities. Rather than mainstreaming an LGBT rights paradigm, queering security draws attention to the complex lived experiences and (in)securities of sexual and gender minorities. Being neither a straightforward supporter of LGBT human security or a straightforward opponent, a queer analysis examines the “ambivalence, pretension, and ‘drag’” Sjoberg finds in queering IR (2014: 611), as the state is at once conjured in human security as good for sexual and gender minorities and a threat to being queer. The assessment of vulnerabilities that security is called to address, as feminist theory points out, is a complex conversation that implies universal social categories – such as woman – that are tied inextricably to localized processes of identification and assessments of vulnerability. For feminists, these are embedded in well-known and recognizable gender hierarchies that allocate security and insecurity for 94

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women (Sjoberg 2016) – in ways that might ignore gender or sexual identity outside a binary. Though the experiences of woman vary, as do the historical factors that produce the category of woman within a gender binary and the kinds of vulnerabilities some women face, woman itself is a universal and paradigmatic social form, while gender and sexual identity are conceptually fluid, contextual, and situational as lived, so difficult for a universal binary to capture. This chapter discusses the positionality of sexual minorities in security landscapes as foundational to an argument about the importance of queering vulnerabilities. It moves on to discuss how this intervention alters visions of the relationships between security, sovereignty, and the state. The chapter concludes with a discussion about how queering security resituates people’s security.

Sexual minorities in/of international security Sexual and gender minorities often live in processes of articulation subject to globalizing discourses that are not yet paradigmatic locally, as these processes generate novel socio-sexual identity categories in contexts where they are not yet well-known and recognizable. Indeed, security and insecurity actually are dependent on evolving social ostracism tied to the introduction of a sexual binary that positions a homosexual subject as hostile to a heterosexual one. These novel forms override a gender continuum or other social and historical forms through which same-sex loving and gender identity had previously been constituted (Murray and Roscoe 1998; Epprecht 2008; Herdt 1997), so that the historical and the novel categories are not themselves related and neither might at any given time or place be conclusive. In South Korea, for example, contract marriages enable sexual minorities to fulfil their heterosexual social obligations, and thus avoid ostracism and isolation while enabling some embrace of LGBT identity and culture (Cho 2009), while marriage in Uganda for some same-sex couples or between gay men and transwomen exists as an important social ritual, though with significant risk and also devoid, like most heterosexual marriages, of any legal status or claim to one. More often than not, novel notions of a sexual binary that distinguishes between heterosexual and homosexual as sexual identities, though well-known in the West, are today carried elsewhere through the policies and rhetorics of state actors, allies, and proxies – almost always as state homophobia (Bosia and Weiss 2013) deploying a ‘gay peril’ in order to articulate a social danger against which state security and autonomy can be organized. In a first wave in the 1990s, embattled leaders used criminal sodomy charges to delegitimize their opponents and conjure a ‘gay peril’ as subversive danger that required state intervention: when Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe faced a declining economy, rising discontent, and pressures from international actors, he had charges brought against the incumbent president, who was convicted and fled to South Africa; during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammed subjected his own deputy to a trial after they disagreed publically about reforms demanded by global financial interests; Egypt’s security apparatus seized and prosecuted 52 men on charges of debauchery in a trial broadcast nationally, just as the Muslim Brotherhood was gaining power in civil society (Bosia 2013). After a period of denialism and repression, during which autocrats like Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni claimed that homosexuality did not exist in their countries and the populist leaders in Poland and Moscow called out the police to suppress small pro-LGBT demonstrations as part of their nationalist agenda, state actors and allies facing rising opposition and international pressure turned decidedly to enhanced criminal penalties for homosexuality, including laws proposed in Uganda and Nigeria and adopted in Russia that ban any positive discussion of homosexuality. At each 95

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moment, state actors, allies, and proxies promulgate a relatively consistent extrapolation of homosexuality that instructs about a sexual binary at the same time as it ostracizes outsiders and enemies as a sexual danger to a secure state. Even where state action has not been instigated but rhetoric is inflamed, either police violence, harassment, and extortion entrap gender and sexual minorities, or gangs target them for beatings and torture, both often with impunity. Where once sexual and gender minorities might have lived discrete lives in communities where they fulfilled their social obligations, the onslaught of state homophobia has redefined gender and sexuality to render their lives vulnerable and in peril. During the 1950s’ Lavender Scare in the US, it might have been police raids on clandestine bars that created insecurity for LGBT people (Johnson 2004); today, it is online social networks where men, for example, arrange either individual meetings or social gatherings that often provide opportunities for police entrapment and extortion (Bosia 2015). In Egypt, the social atmosphere is so poisoned against sexual and gender minorities that, once arrested, they have no recourse to attorneys, human rights organizations, or family support, and disappear into the prison system (Long 2016). In Chechnya, state proxies have used counterinsurgency strategies to unlock networks of gay men one-by-one, kidnap and torture them, and encourage their families to execute them. In Uganda, where global NGOs have funded one of the most extensive arrays of services for HIV prevention, treatment, and care, gay men and transwomen were largely denied access to services until new regulations for US funding ended patterns of exclusion. Still, they are subject to entrapment by police, the publication of their names whether or not they pay extortion, and subsequent social isolation and death threats, and their advocacy groups are denied the licences needed to operate. As a result, claims to security for sexual and gender minorities are measured against state actors, allies, and proxies as they invoke social paranoia (Bosia 2014), suggesting that such states, as the source of the evolution of vulnerabilities against which queered security should be deployed, would be hostile to the provision of security for sexual and gender minorities. Indeed, sexual and gender minorities find few durable allies among states, because state security interests can trump human security needs even among erstwhile allies (Bosia 2015), but also because the invocation of a ‘gay peril’ by homophobic state actors can so cloud the political climate that even regime opponents dare not advocate for sexual security needs, even while women might organize within or against a regime (or both). In essence, sexual security is in broad and ongoing conflict with the security needs of homophobic states and sovereignty itself. Closely analysing the status of the social outsider, the dissident, or the outlaw recalls analysis of the hybrid, ambivalent, and even drag (as reproduction, pretence, and subversion) Sjoberg points out (2014), and the clandestine networks through which such myriad forms operate, much like notions of Indigeneity suggest forms of sociability and governance outside the state (see Picq (2015) on the connections between sexuality and Indigeneity). To claim security is to normalize and denude queerness, making sexual hierarchies an object of state action (not to Indigenize them) within a sovereign apparatus that is constitutionally indifferent to the security of sexual and gender minorities. As Weber suggests (2014), however, queering ideas of security destabilizes the very notion of security in its measurement against insecurity as disorder, bringing our attention to queer in celebrating the incoherent in theoretical terms (Weber 2016) and the in between of lived sexual experience, as, for example, the outsider already implies an inside to be outside of. In essence, I argue that queer entails some of the very risks targeted by security, so that only through risk can we get beyond the trouble with security. 96

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Queering vulnerabilities As situational, the landscape for gender and sexual minorities in security is ever-changing, and the early new millennium is no exception. Waves of a new, disconnected and modular form of state homophobia, and the work of global LGBT rights advocates and agencies in reaction to it, combine with broad access to the internet to provide both the homophobic push against which sexual and gender minorities organize locally as LGBT, and the homophilic pull of LGBT identities to access global networks and empowered allies. This is not to say that LGBT identities are everywhere identical or everywhere meaningful. Instead, even the adaptation of a global model of political organizing allows significant local variation in understandings and identification, with the meanings and structures in situ shaping new forms grafted through them.2 At the same time, the nearly universal discourse of LGBT rights (as human rights) has structured the struggle against very real bodily insecurities in terms of the restrictions on the state or invocations of state action embedded in the notion of rights. Broadly speaking, the provision of security for sexual minorities is, nearly everywhere, argued in human rights terms. However, human rights discourses used by LGBT advocates and allied states have been sparingly adjusted for the contexts and debates in which they get deployed, creating attitudes that pose communal, familial, or national rights against the notions of the individual that serve as the foundation for human rights. Scholars have offered strong critiques of the rights agenda because of this kind of incommensurability (Thoreson 2017), because rights get tied to a Western or imperial agenda (Puar 2007; Massad 2007), or because debates over rights and cultural self-determination overwhelm the needs of sexual and gender minorities (Rahman 2014). As security moves from the defence of the individual to addressing community needs and conditions, it does so in part to address these critiques as it claims to at least complement rights campaigns (if not supplant them), as security aims to overcome structural patterns of exclusion or insecurity on a collective and not individual basis (Tripp, Ferree and Ewig 2013). Other human rights scholarship has turned to the concept of vulnerability as the organizing principle through which rights and the claim to security they encapsulate are conceptualized (Turner 2006; Bergoffen 2011). Like studies of insecurity, this approach identifies rights at the intersection of social processes and bodily integrity, pointing out how violence, torture, genocide, rape, and deprivation target human dignity by assaulting the integrity of the body. In effect, these scholars avoid accusations of Western underpinnings by arguing that the vulnerability paradigm improves on notions of rights as it seeks to justify the social bonds that provide security (Turner 2006) and organize our relationships to each other (Fineman 2010). Differently, I contend that today’s configurations of LGBT insecurity-vulnerability are situated within contexts where LGBT rights arise at best alongside the elaboration of a gay menace, with state and social action doubling-down in novel patterns that exhibit a range of differences despite their similar policies and rhetorics. Indeed, whether it is through state action (Bosia 2014) or the work of international advocates (Massad 2007), state homophobia and global homopositivity have redefined the nature of same-sex loving to reveal the once discrete or clandestine same-gender relationships that existed prior to these new impositions. ‘LGBT’ bodies are thus rendered newly visible and so vulnerable in new ways, and their vulnerability is constituted as modular through remarkably similar forms of homophobic policy and rhetoric deployed situationally – for different reasons, in different contexts (Bosia and Weiss 2013). In Egypt, for example, transwomen, and men who have sexual relationships with men, are being swept up in a police dragnet, taken into custody, subjected to forced anal exams, 97

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and then disappeared within the prison system, without access to familial, legal, or social resources for their defence (Long 2016). At the same time, authorities in Egypt and Uganda will cooperate with media to display queer bodies – forcing transwomen to strip before cameras, making arrests in the company of so-called journalists, publishing the names and photos of those accused of promoting LGBT rights (Long 2016; Bosia 2014). These processes are imbedded in the actions of state actors, allies, and proxies – both homophobic and homopositive – that enable non-state actors to enforce violence against sexually deviant bodies in Russia, or that render lesbian and gay (LG) bodies less than full citizens in France when they were deprived of the legal right to reproduction that is central to the civic marriage to which they now have access (Bosia 2014). As a result, queering vulnerabilities or insecurities requires a continued differentiation of bodies in an evolving process absent an unmistakable evolutionary trajectory (Broqua 2013), not through durable local structures of meaning contained in either LGBT rights or a ‘gay peril’, but the impromptu organizing of novel vulnerabilities that vary across class, ethnic, religious, and regional differences. In some contexts, for example, the relatively weak introduction of either homophobia or LGBT networks still might subsume emerging sexualities within the structures of gender, age, and class that shape bodily vulnerability (Broqua 2013). In these contexts, effeminate men might face greater peril, social ostracism, or policing, especially where recourse to sex work situates them alongside other gendered criminals, or as in Egypt, when masculinity is affirmed against a variety of gendered and sexed vulnerabilities shaped by the security apparatus. Elsewhere, the introduction of a ‘gay peril’ is transforming sexuality by defining LGBT people in relation to, but separate from, gender, so that women’s rights might be recognized in Uganda while policy and rhetoric renders LGBT bodies more vulnerable, and in Egypt, the use of forced anal exams parallels the use of rape against both men and women dissident detainees. Where policy is increasingly LGBT-friendly, sexuality might be normalized as wholly apart from gender but sexual identity is durably contentious – sometimes violently so – and non-normative sexuality can face new forms of criminality and bodily vulnerability. In both France and the US, the legal availability of marriage was accompanied by a rising wave of anti-LGBT violence spurred by political rhetoric, as well as urban securitization regimes that fenced off, paved over, and policed public space where queer men had found companionship, often across a variety of differences, for decades before. At the same time, local variation in processes of what Roscoe (1997) called ‘homosexualization’ provides that accusations attached to homosexuality might seem remarkably similar, and might be dehumanizing, but the structured effects of these accusations vary. As insecurity appeals to the collective application of human security to vulnerable bodies, these variations in the ostracism of same-gender loving and gender diversity, or their protection, demonstrate that collectivities defending sexual and gender minorities might currently be weakly constituted, ad hoc, or non-existent. Queering human security must then take account of not just variation, but disaggregation, lack of consolidation, and even definitional absence. Indeed, queer bodies can be isolated, targeted by authorities or mobs, prior to opportunities for collective flight or fight, but also, where they are conjured as conspiracies, they can be collectively vilified and officially ostracized. While to be queer is, by definition, ambiguously oppositional drag, and same-gender loving has been everywhere sociable though not durably collective, security points us to the necessity of empowering collectivities that might not yet exist in an articulated, structured, and mutually defensive fashion. Indeed, variations in the landscape of homosexualizations mean that no universal category applies in cities and villages, in the north and the south, among men, women, or gender minorities, or, for example, from Uganda and Kenya to Tanzania and 98

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Rwanda. But granting security to sexual or gender minorities because of the new vulnerabilities they face forces a social reconsideration of sexuality, so that even when not purposefully LGBT, organizations need to be available for sexual and gender minorities to petition if they live in rural Thailand or urban South Africa, advocates must know whose vulnerabilities qualify across a range of possible sexual and gender expressions, and claimants must articulate their selves so that they know protections apply to them. Such identity articulations risk the inevitability of a certain LGBT sexual and gender construction, however variable, especially as advocates seek security through the application of power from the state. The state, as sovereign, has the legal authority to offer protection and discipline violence; against the homophobic state, it is the state itself that must change through the recognition that sexual minorities exist and deserve protection, because of their structured position, from the vulnerable circumstances that the state subjects them to. But both state intervention and consolidation of identity are in opposition to queer, which celebrates the expressions of human diversity and the possibilities of bodily relationships, so that security closes down the very possibility of queer solidarities that are outside the state. So how can we queer security when security requires the recognition of a consolidated structured identity and some intervention for the state? This tension between the LGBT and the queer in the notion of security, as the former calls forth the state and the latter operates as oppositional, requires greater attention to the conceptualization of the state as ally.

Security, sovereignty, and the state The provision of human security to those who are vulnerable because of their sexual expression or gender representation requires empowered actors who can provide the material support and structural conditions that make security possible in the world as it is right now. That means turning to states or a specific state as benefactor and ally, so that it is the state straddling global and local organizations and the assortment of quasi-state actors who fill the security void. However, the state, by historical construction, is not well suited to serve as the ally of human security for sexual and gender minorities always, everywhere, and when necessary. The sovereign state is neither ally nor enemy of sexual and gender minorities; by looking at queer visions of security, we can see the state’s indifference to the vulnerabilities of gender and sexual minorities (Bosia 2015) and the necessity of a queer alternative. Historically, the rise of the sovereign European state – and its extension globally – is a process of social, cultural, and political construction, over time establishing the contours of state power at the same time the state elaborates mechanisms necessary for state actors, allies, and proxies to render human society and the natural environment understandable in ways that facilitate the extraction of resources necessary for security in terms of bodies and material (Scott 1998). As Scott demonstrates, the sovereign state by right and force radically transforms a multiplicity of forms and practices into precise and ordered structures. Language, urban planning, agricultural practices, weights and measures, for example, attend the needs of the state through the standardization of social life necessary for the extraction of bodies and material no matter how state institutions were characterized, the sociocultural context of state action, or regime ideologies. Tilly (1985) argues that these expropriations are nothing but extortion, as the state defines the dangers society faces and then imposes processes and structures that support the development of resources the state can extract in order to secure against those very dangers, while Peterson (2013) includes gender, sexuality, reproduction, and labour among those resources necessarily elaborated by the state. Human security, then, is the flip side of the state security coin, as it requires submission to state processes and participation in the expulsion of some who are rendered exceptional 99

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so that others can be secure; those defined as outside of human security’s protections are necessary as their exclusion cements uncontested sovereign rule and security within (Agamben 2005). Here we begin to see why I call the state a psychopath, indifferent to loving or loathing (Bosia 2015):3 from the clinical definition (Cleckley 1988), the state has only its own interests; it is incapable of empathy and indifferent to truth, but also attractive and charming, and dynamic. Despite this confidence, the state is subject to suicidal ideation as it invokes existential threats, warning of insecurity and demise even as it imposes security and order. This psychopathic state, then, also is the source of sexual and gender identities transformed in the service of re/productive social relations defined and understood by the state, where homosexuality is exposed in public as the target of statecraft, revealing foreign or domestic dangers as seditious conspiracy requiring a vigilant security apparatus to diagnose and cure,4 or generating sympathetic rights that embrace certain sexual and gender minorities on the definitional terms established by the state. This understanding of the state compels suspicion of even allegedly pro-LGBT policies, including processes of homonormativity where queer alternatives to acceptable LGBT identities remain at the margins as homosexuality is mainstreamed in marital, heterosexual terms (Duggan 2002), or homonationalism (Puar 2007) and homocolonialism (Rahman 2014) where state ambitions draw legitimacy by supporting LGBT rights against enemies seen as backward and retrograde. Both the homophobic and homophilic state have interests and strategies, but not true affinities. If statecraft is the consolidation of rule, possibly through the organization of constituencies, the state is by nature largely indifferent to ultimate questions of rights and inclusion. If sexuality is something the sovereign state considers to be in its jurisprudence (and as we might consider that such systems of classification and identification are part and parcel of statecraft), then interference in the state’s ability to regulate sexuality is an affront to sovereignty. Indeed, as homosexualization rides on waves of state homophobia, the link between the constitution of sexual and gender minorities as a ‘gay peril’ and advocacy on behalf of their emancipation in response serves to legitimate the state’s sovereign right to construct sexuality, as ostracism and LGBT rights both make claims on a state to act (even in the invocation of the UN). At the same time, the defence of emerging LGBT collectivities becomes deeply threatening to the homophobic state, carried by outside forces, transnational actors, state competitors or frenemies, and global institutions; it redoubles sovereignty as a defensive turn. We can see this clearly in response to claims of LGBT advocates against states, when state actors, allies, and proxies mark LGBT advocacy as an affront to the dignity of their people and anathema to their collective values. Moreover, human rights as international discourse, though once imbedded in US Cold War strategic interests (Moyne 2010), was most recently fostered as a ‘cascade’ of transitional justice strategies that penalized authoritarian state practice, first in Argentina in 1984 (Lutz and Sikkink 2001). South Africa’s transition from the apartheid regime moved from a discourse of national liberation to one of human rights, legitimizing the new multiracial democracy through individual and participatory guarantees characterized through the African concept of interconnection called Ubuntu that defined both transitional justice (Wilson 2001) and the incorporation of LGBT rights among those rights articulated in the constitution (Palmberg 1999). With these tools, South African AIDS activists confronted the Thabo Mbeki government over its indifference to treatment access as a violation of human rights (Zivi 2011). The connection between democratic transition and LGBT rights brings us back to Argentina, where a renewed emphasis on accountability, human rights, and national identity spurred the adoption of LG marriage and laws providing greater security to gender minorities (Pousadela 2013). 100

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This interrelationship of human rights, LGBT rights, and transitional justice situates protections of any sort for sexual and gender minorities – promoted by other sovereign powers, imposed as limits on the sovereign state, or tied to the removal of sovereign state actors – as an affront to sovereign authorities who assert their power against the very notion of LGBT inclusion, define their rule through the exception characterized as a ‘gay peril’, and more broadly claim the sovereign right to rule a collectivity specifically against the individual rights associated with the defence of those rendered vulnerable through strategies of the very same state. While some situate this dilemma in different sovereignties, be they individual or collective (see, for example, Turner 2006), my argument is that LGBT claims have come to define sexual minorities as constitutively in opposition to state sovereignty for non-democratic regimes, and only to be situationally embraced by open democratic ones. When state homophobia is a tool of authoritarian and illiberal governance to assert state sovereignty, it makes LGBT advocacy a fifth column constituted against the sovereign state even if it seeks inclusion within. In such contexts, homophobia, even as social stigma, is nothing more than the work of state allies and proxies as part of the clientelistic networks that enforce sovereignty. Global advocacy only serves to amplify the challenge to sovereignty in its pursuit of limits on the authoritarian state, even more so when allies include powerful Western states. But it is also the ‘rights cascade’ that accompanies democratic transitions that makes state sovereignty the intractable enemy of LGBT collectivities. The extension of security to sexual and gender minorities can occur only through the kinds of institutions that authoritarians lack. Autonomous courts provide security against exclusion, access to services requires a rationalized and professional bureaucracy, financial transparency provides a check on the political manipulation of state institutions as well as international aid, well-paid professional policing reduces incentives for the extortion to which sexual and gender minorities are particularly vulnerable, and programmatic parties link the inclusion of sexual and gender minorities to broader social currents. Clearly, these are all manifestations of democratic transition, as it remains empirically and theoretically impossible to queer authoritarian states in any way that would provide for the substantive security of sexual and gender minorities without substantive institutional reform and development. Even in Uganda, where advocates have won legal victories, these victories are in the context of external pressures on the regime or internal contestation over spoils and not because of juridical autonomy; elsewhere, when democratic rights are newly restricted, as in Hungary, Poland, or Egypt – or in Putin’s consolidation of power – a ‘gay peril’ serves to legitimate authoritarian aspirations just as newly empowered actors weaken institutions of accountability.5

Troubling and resituating security Queer visions troubling security also serve as a bridge between the empirical and the theoretical, since queer thinking challenges both notions of security and understandings of what sexual and gender minorities are and what they experience. Drawing on the lessons Warner (1993: xi) first proposed as he suggested the conceptual value-added of queerness and the possible queering of the planet, “there remains a question whether or in what context queers have political interests, as queers, that connect them to broader demands for justice and freedom”. One thing that a queer vision of security shows is that people can at once seek justice and freedom through institutions and be positioned in a way that is oppositional to, or critical of, a range of social institutions. Queer visions of security implicate sexuality in a variety of formal and informal stigmatizing structures in the everyday, which is at the same time 101

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translocal, global, and local. However, talking queer today must be sensitive to the ways that sexuality and gender might be lived within and not outside normative systems, so that samegender sexuality has not always been coming to terms with its oppositional stance. Historical analysis, for example, includes Goldberg’s contribution to Fear that intends to articulate the colonial discourses of sodomy that sought to destabilize extant Indigenous sexualities (1993), and Rao (2015) who seeks to understand how the sexual demands one 19th-century Baganda king placed on young men in his court are now politicized in Uganda; both narratives suggest contexts where same-gender sexuality existed within dominant normative structures. Similarly, Broqua’s account of sexual and gender minorities in Bamako, Mali (2013), refutes the political and theoretical claim that translocal same-gender sociability results in ever more globally similar identifications, instead pointing to how sexuality and gender might be lived simultaneously within dominant norms and transformed, so that the nature of visibility and invisibility is troubled. Finally, LGBT politics in the West has decidedly turned away from queer, offering instead a ‘normal’ now linked to hegemonic forms in terms of reproduction and empire (Duggan 2002; Puar 2007). In these and other ways, queer itself is a product of, and in reaction to, macropolitical and/ or widespread transformations of sexuality and gender, where gender and sexual minorities have been and are redefined as a degeneracy or ‘gay peril’. In today’s contexts, the oppositional and critical status linked to sexuality often is socially new, and the disclosure of same-gender sexuality and its articulation as homosexuality represents a transformation that is situationally different. Like other forms of late development, modular homophobia or compulsory heterosexuality today can skip historical steps Western societies experienced, moving from unrecognized or unremarkable same-gender sexual expression to stigmatized homosexuality in rapid succession, and just as rapidly offer sexual and gender minorities transnational support and organizing in the form of fully articulated LGBT identities as a response to the new risks they face. Certainly, historical moments of queer sociability occurred without outside support, in discrete and clandestine form, ever watchful of authorities, where today’s LGBT politics is compelled to speak publically by both advocates and enemies. Often, then, the queer moment when Western states imposed compulsory heterosexuality and the concomitant ostracism of same-gender sexuality simply does not exist today, or does so in a significantly different framework. In the past, drag, ambivalence, and pretence could be used as a form of critical engagement with structures of oppression where no other possibilities of resistance existed, and a discrete system of meaning was elaborated to enable sociability and cruising in public because no other opportunities for intimacy were available. Such forms entailed great risk, from entrapment and imprisonment to forced conversion therapies, with few if any allies available for support. The security landscape confronted by sexual and gender minorities is very different today in many (though by no means all) parts of the world, where models of dealing with the sexual and gender diversity range from this sort of rejection to a liberal inclusive approach to normalizing homosexuality. In this new, varied, complex world, oppositional and critical approaches to the vision of queering security have, in my view, two main insights to offer the theory and practice of human security. First, security must be delinked from the state as the state is the normalizing force where homoprotectionism is manifest as an aspect of internal ordering or external ambitions. A queer approach to the state would challenge the sovereign structures that normalize some as citizens against others who are excepted in moments of manufactured crisis. To do so suggests an approach that enables a broader deliberation outside the compulsory forces of homophobia and homophilia, without relying on aspects of the state and without recourse to international institutions linked to the state, so that liberation and not homoconsolidation is 102

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the priority. Fundamentally, protection of and support for sexual and gender minorities require the elaboration of a broad agenda promoting sexual and gender minority rights as democratic rights, as democratic rights impose some limits on sovereign power, and theorizing global and local networks of shared sovereignty and emancipation that Indigenize and supplant the sovereign ambitions of the state. These networks should be the first recourse for securitizing sexual and gender minorities through tangible social support; legal training, internet security, extortion money, medical care, economic support, and arrangements for exile are all strategies of queer material support that can operate critical of, or even outside, the purview of the state. Second, for people’s security, queer opposition to homonationalism or homonormativity is risky business. Defending the oppressed is in tension with dismantling the social systems that except them from protection. In one moment, we appeal to the stigmatizing hostile institutions in order to secure the vulnerable against an immediate danger; in another we accept that the work of life-building that the vulnerable are doing places them at risk, and that risk is a necessary and immediate component of what it means to be queer. As individual and collective, these risks invoke our intercession without regard to shared identification and recognition, acting broadly in defence of the emancipatory rights and bodily integrity necessary for collective deliberation among all sexual and gender minorities. This is particularly important where prior forms of same-sex sociability once normalized as discrete are suddenly impossible as the state outs those entrapped in its homophobic clutches, so that the work of security is not to define a newly vulnerable person as LGBT in order to legitimate their security, but instead to provide the means necessary for self-definition and an understanding of risk in a newly hostile environment. To demand security from an authoritarian state, in fact, does nothing but legitimate the state as a source of security, invoking unholy bonds between authoritarians and sexual minorities, much like those between the extremist National Front in France and the gay men whose support is won by promising to secure them against a variety of imagined dangers. Oppositionality, then, is not just in queer visions of what security is; it is also present in practices that attempt to bring queer visions of security to security practice. The queer in security is at once always present and impossible; security as it embraces the power of the state regulates sexual and gender behaviour, and therefore at the same time cannot be queer. So human security of sexual and gender minorities is at once wrapped up in and threatened by state notions of security. Ambivalently fluid, queer visions of human security, then, necessarily take into account both/and: in state discourses of human security, and in opposition to the normative constitution of sexualities and gender identities by/in statecraft.

Notes 1 E.g., Heidi Hudson (2005); Natalie Hudson (2009); Hoogenson and Stuvøy (2006); Tripp, Ferree and Ewig (2013); Hoogensen and Rottem (2004). 2 See Broqua (2013), for example, on adaptations to French notions of sexual identity within the shaping influence of Malian forms and structures. 3 This section draws on work I previously published in Bosia (2015). 4 See, for example, Johnson (2004) on the Lavender Scare, or Amar (2014) on protections for women and sexual minorities. 5 This is not to say that democracies are always better for sexual and gender minorities; only that the varieties of organizing possible in democracies, the complexity of state actors and contenders always in conflict, and the set of rights available in open democracies makes resistance to homophobia possible. Still, to do so has, historically, forced a conceptualization of sexual and gender minorities in group terms, and fostered a discourse about rights, privacy, and speech.


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References Agamben, G. 2005. State of Exception. Trans. Kevin Attell. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Amar, P. 2014. The Security Archipelago: Human Security States, Sexuality Politics, and the End of Neoliberalism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Bergoffen, D. 2011. ‘The trauma of vulnerability: Human rights and the real’. Somatechnics 1(2): 298–314. Bosia, M.J. 2013. ‘Why states act.’ In Meredith Weiss and Michael J. Bosia (eds) Global Homophobia: States, Movements, and the Politics of Oppression (pp. 30–54). Urbana-Champaign: University of Illinois Press. Bosia, M.J. 2014. ‘Strange fruit: Homophobia, the state, and the politics of LGBT rights and capabilities.’ Journal of Human Rights 13(3): 256–273. Bosia, M.J. 2015. ‘To love or to loathe: Modernity, homophobia, and LGBT rights’. In Manuela Picq and Markus Thiel (eds) Sexualities in World Politics: How LGBTQ Claims Shape International Relations (pp. 38–53). New York: Routledge. Bosia, M.J. and M. Weiss. 2013. ‘Political homophobia in comparative perspective’. In Meredith Weiss and Michael J. Bosia (eds) Global Homophobia: States, Movements, and the Politics of Oppression (pp. 1–29). Urbana-Champaign: University of Illinois Press. Broqua, C. 2013. ‘Male homosexuality in Bamako: A cross-cultural and cross-historical comparative perspective’. In M. Epprecht and S.N. Nyeck (eds) Sexual Diversity in Africa: Politics, Theory, Citizenship (pp. 208–224). Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press. Cho, John (Sang Pae). 2009. ‘The wedding banquet revisited: “Contract marriages” between Korean gays and lesbians’. Anthropological Quarterly 82(2): 401–422. Cleckley, H. 1988. ‘Synopsis and orientation’. In The Mask of Sanity: An Attempt to Clarify Some Issues about the So-called Psychopathic Personality (5th edn: pp. 338–339). Augusta, GA: Emily S. Cleckley. Duggan, L. 2002. ‘The new homonormativity: The sexual politics of neoliberalism’. In R. Castronovo and D. Nelson (eds) Materializing Democracy: Toward a Revitalized Cultural Politics (pp. 175–194). Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Epprecht, M. 2008. Heterosexual Africa? The History of an Idea from the Age of Exploration to the Age of AIDS. Athens and Scottsville: University of Ohio Press and University of KwaZulu-Natal Press. Fineman, M. 2010. ‘The vulnerable subject and the responsive state’. Emory Law Journal 60(2): 251–275. Goldberg, J. 1993. ‘Sodomy in the New World: Anthologies old and new’. In M. Warner (ed.) Fear of a Queer Planet (pp. 3–19). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Herdt, G. 1997. Same Sex, Different Cultures: Gays and Lesbians across Cultures. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. Hoogensen, G. and S.V. Rottem. 2004. ‘Gender identity and the subject of security’. Security Dialogue 35(2): 155–171. Hoogensen, G. and K. Stuvøy. (2006). ‘Gender, resistance and human security’. Security Dialogue 37(2): 207–228. Hudson, H. 2005. ‘“Doing” security as though humans matter: A feminist perspective on gender and the politics of human security’. Security Dialogue 36(2): 155–174. Hudson, N.F. 2009. Gender, Human Security and the United Nations: Security Language as a Political Framework for Women. London: Routledge. Johnson, D.K. 2004. The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Long, S. 2016. ‘Cairo, and our comprador gay movements: A talk’. A Paper Bird: Sex, Rights, and the World. Available at (accessed 10 December 2017). Lutz, E. and K. Sikkink. 2001. ‘The justice cascade: The evolution and impact of foreign human rights trials in Latin America’. Chicago Journal of International Law 2(1): 1–33. Massad, J. 2007. Desiring Arabs. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Moyne, S. 2010. The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Murray, S.O. and W. Roscoe. 1998. Boy Wives and Female-Husbands: Studies in African Homosexualities. New York: St. Martin’s Press.


Do queer visions trouble human security? Palmberg, M. 1999. ‘Emerging visibility of gays and lesbians in southern Africa: Contrasting contexts’. In B. Adam, J.W. Duyvendak and A. Krouwel (eds) The Global Emergence of Gay and Lesbian Politics: National Imprints of a Worldwide Movement (pp. 266–292). Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Peterson, V.S. 2013. ‘The intended and unintended queering of states/nations’. Studies in Ethnicities and Nationalism 13(1): 57–68. Picq, M.L. 2015. ‘Peripheral prides: Amazon perspectives on LGBT politics’. In M. Picq and M. Thiel (eds) Sexualities in World Politics: How LGBTQ Claims Shape International Relations (pp. 108–123). New York: Routledge. Pousadela, I.N. 2013. ‘From embarrassing objects to subjects of rights: The Argentine LGBT Movement and the Equal Marriage and Gender Identity laws’. Development in Practice 23(5/6): 701–720. Puar, J. 2007. Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Rahman, M. 2014. Homosexualities, Muslim Cultures and Modernity. New York: Palgrave MacMillan. Rao, R. 2015. ‘Re-membering Mwanga: Same-sex intimacy, memory and belonging in postcolonial Uganda’. Journal of Eastern African Studies 9(1): 1–19. Roscoe, W. 1997. ‘Pre-cursors of Islamic male homosexualities’. In S.O. Murray and W. Roscoe (eds) Islamic Homosexualities: Culture, History, Literature (pp. 55–86). New York: New York University Press. Scott, J. 1998. Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Sjoberg, L. 2009. ‘Security Studies: feminist contributions’. Security Studies 18(2): 183–213. Sjoberg, L. 2014. ‘Queering the “territorial peace”? Queer theory conversing with mainstream international relations’. International Studies Review 16(4): 608–612. Sjoberg, L. 2016. ‘Centering security studies around felt, gendered insecurities’. Journal of Global Security Studies 1(1): 1–13. Thoreson, R. 2017. ‘LGBT human rights in the age of human rights’. S & F Online Special Issue on Thinking Queer Activism Transnationally 14:2. Bernard Center for Research on Women. Available at (accessed 29 April 2018). Tilly, C. 1985. ‘War making and state making as organised crime’. In P.B. Evans, D. Rueschemeyer and T. Skocpol (eds) Bringing the State Back In (pp. 169–191). New York: Cambridge University Press. Tripp, A. M., M. M. Ferree and C. Ewig (eds). 2013. Gender, Violence, and Human Security: Critical Feminist Perspectives. New York: New York University Press. Turner, B.S. 2006. Vulnerability and Human Rights: Essays on Human Rights. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press. Warner, M. 1993. ‘Introduction’. In M. Warner (ed.) Fear of a Queer Planet (pp. vii–xxxi). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Weber, C. 2016. Queer International Relations: Sovereignty, Sexuality and the Will to Knowledge. New York: Oxford University Press. Wilson, R.A. 2001. The Politics of Truth and Reconciliation in South Africa: Legitimizing the Post-Apartheid State. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Zivi, K. 2011. Making Rights Claims: A Practice of Democratic Citizenship. Oxford: Oxford University Press.



Introduction As feminist scholars we acknowledge the violent force of feminism as something required in order to challenge hegemonic knowledges and practices. For many this appears as a provocative statement, yet as we have argued, “feminism, in all its multiplicity, is part progenitor and product of modernity; but also antithetical to modernity. Shattering myths, blurring and betraying boundaries, obliterating social/sexual contracts – feminism has vigorously deployed and celebrated these kinds of violence” (Zalewski and Runyan 2013: 298). Feminism most surely has a long history of, and association with, violent militancy both epistemic and activist, and to forget this effectively places feminism in the realm of (feminized) innocent knowledge-making. It also potentially divests feminism of the power and agency to expose the violences it is against, especially the epistemologies, ethics, and ideologies of misogyny, patriarchy, and heterosexism and the structural and discursive violence they have, in combination, wrought around the globe. However, feminism’s presence in the landscape of international security is marked by stark contradictions in the context of violence. For many, feminism’s agency to achieve change has been obstructed through its co-optation by neoliberal agendas (McRobbie 2009; Fraser 2007; Halley 2006). At the same time, feminism is charged with being securitized and, as such, functioning as a handmaiden servicing the needs of US/UK-led counterterrorist strategies and rhetorics (Zalewski and Runyan 2013, 2015). On these readings, feminism as a project within security governance emerges as paradoxically both deadened and deadly. Deadly as ‘muscled up’ security feminism (Nesiah 2012), acting to shore up, provide cover for, and/or incite hegemonic economic and political violence – as such enacting deadly violence on behalf of hegemonic others. Simultaneously, feminism emerges as deadened or ‘undone’ (McRobbie 2009), with its militant challenges to the status quo eviscerated. This is an important set of contradictions for contemporary analyses of the relationship between feminism, gender, and international security. In this contribution, we introduce and reflect on these multiple faces of feminist violence specifically in the context of the international security machine, observing the contradictions and ironies of these various characterizations to encourage more understanding about the violences of feminism and the ensuing tense relationship with in/security, gender, women, and power. To do this we first trace some of the linkages between feminism and violence 106

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in both theory and action. Then we move to offer empirical examples and comment on some of the reverberations of resistances in the women, peace, and security project to the work of violence within feminist theory, most notably in relation to the securing of women and feminism. In our concluding comments we return to the provocation of feminist violence and issues arising from it.

Feminist violence There is a mixed theoretical and practical history in regard to the violence of feminism. We are not suggesting there is an ‘authentic’ feminism with violence at its core, though we can point to significant examples of violence motivated by feminist ideas, such as some of the tactics of suffragists and radical feminists in Western settings and armed revolutionary feminists in non-Western settings. Moreover, historically, feminists have worked hard to strategize around their explicit use of violence, regularly making decisions about when violence is an appropriate tactic or strategy to resist and overturn patriarchal violence (Frazer and Hutchings 2014). Perhaps predictably, most often the attachment to violence that has traditionally caused the most concern is that which is conventionally visible, concrete, and practical, usually physical violence or damage to property. A crucial part of this decision-making has revolved around the likely ineffectiveness of non-violent tactics and the likely negative effect of the use of violent tactics. So, for example, the silent performances of Women in Black1 might be seen as non-violent action, whereas the fire-bombing of a lap dancing club can be construed as clearly violent (especially given the potential for fatalities). A sense of incremental variations or a continuum of (feminist) violence in reaction to (patriarchal) violence might feasibly be constructed with ‘peaceful/silent’ performance, or non-threatening ‘questioning’ at one end, with ‘actual’ violence to people and/or property at the other. The question of ‘effectiveness’ aside, the banality of this idea is swiftly illustrated given a putatively peaceful act can very easily be felt, interpreted or understood as violent – a word, a touch, or a painting, for example, especially that which is feminist inspired.2 Or as Žižek (2008: 180) puts it, “sometimes a polite smile can be more violent than a brutal outburst”. Violence in this sense is elusive, slippery and not easily captured within a definition. Perhaps more obvious is the violent epistemological work of feminism, even if the word violence is not typically attached to resistant knowledge-making practices. Feminist theorists have undoubtedly had the intention of overturning conventional knowledge bases in regard to gender/sex, including the bases of professionalized knowledge (such as the law, science, medicine, and education) and historical and theoretical knowledge (including philosophy, political theory, and history) as well as that powerful knowledge source – ‘common sense’. It is thus surprising at one level that feminism is so clearly much more associated with peace (Sylvester 2013), as a goal and as a mode of non-violent activism. And within the contemporary women, peace, and security machinery, there appears to be more interest in reform rather than revolution. Indeed feminism has commonly been perceived as more of a moral force (with its feminized associations) as opposed to a political one (with its masculinized associations). In the face of this paradox, it is important to present the violent force of feminism to think front and centre about the huge amount of work being done to keep feminism ‘innocent’, and the powerful resulting discomfort, not least from feminists, when explicitly speaking to the work of feminist violence. It is also important to illustrate the serious practical and empirically trackable consequences of ignoring feminism’s violent face as documented in international security practices that we address in our next section. 107

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Some traces of the importance of maintaining connections between feminism and violence are found in the work of Valerie Solanas and Jack Halberstam. The work of Solanas is always a dangerous choice given the title of her infamous book SCUM Manifesto (1968) is widely understood to be an acronym for ‘The Society for Cutting Up Men’. A violent suggestion to be sure and not one to be taken literally (although Solanas did shoot Andy Warhol). Her work has consistently been decried by feminists and non-feminists alike (for perhaps obvious reasons), one effect of which has been to submerge the philosophical and epistemological originality and power of her work, notwithstanding its violent vocabulary. This theoretical power has more recently been resuscitated through the writings of Halberstam (2011, 2013).3 Halberstam’s book Gaga Feminism (2013) might similarly be placed at the unacceptable edge of intellectual and academic reason and acceptability given its use of the idea of ‘gaga’ both in theory and in the form of ‘pop icon’ Lady Gaga. Yet in Gaga Feminism Halberstam tracks a “different terrain of feminism”, one in which he finds a series of actors who partake in “loudly refusing the categories assigned to them” (2013: xiv). This is crucial in the context of understanding feminist violence. This type of refusal (most often through the bodies/ voices of women) is an undeniable facet of feminist work which is not innocent or nonviolent, yet the place for it in public politics is consistently curtailed and subject to sanctions. We can see this very clearly in the context of international security where assigned roles for women are centrally in the realms of either innocence (women in need of protection) and/ or empowerment (via masculinized others). This is something we go on to explicate in more detail in the next section. It is helpful to briefly contemplate this kind of loud (even if ‘only’ epistemological) feminist refusal to illustrate the work of feminist violence. To do this we need to look more closely at the ways in which this kind of work becomes ‘placed’, or pushed to be mis-placed (or rejected) given its reception as a kind of ‘toxic femininity’. Feminized toxicity has a much more squeezed place than ‘toxic masculinities’ (boys behaving badly). This way we can bring into clearer focus the boundaries around gender – this is important as it is around and at boundaries that violence (as well as resistance and policing) so often occurs. As such, pushing at the boundaries of sense-making and at ostensible ‘dividing lines’ (for example, between peace and war, or between hetero- and homo-sex) keeps the work of politics and power more ‘visible’. It also alerts us more sharply and insistently to the ways in which gendered subjects, especially feminized subjects, are made ‘secure’ and simultaneously made insecure when they are perceived to take difficult or radical positions: “casting [women] feminists beyond difference can cast them out of security” (Sylvester 2013: 612). There are clear parallels here between the representations of woman and of feminism which are both coded as potentially uncontrollable (Elshtain 1987; Zalewski and Runyan 2013), inciting a variety of possibilities for control within hegemonic institutions. So in part we are tracing and keeping visible the ‘loud refusal’ to better illustrate the Janus-faced character – or the simultaneous weak and strong visage – of governance feminism, most especially in its ‘security’ frame. Its show of strength is found in the growing focus on the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda at the highest levels. It has been enshrined in UN efforts at security sector reform under former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, championed by the likes of former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, promoted as the basis of a feminist foreign policy by Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom, and endorsed by celebrity A-lister Angelina Jolie. Its weakness lies in the illusory and sequestered nature of this strength. To explicate, we now move to discuss some of the ways that feminist violating principles emerge and disappear in the arena of security/ governance feminism. 108

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Securing women/making feminism safe Feminist scholars and activists undoubtedly anticipated that the centring of gender would significantly disrupt the harmful gendered conceptions, discourses, and practices of international security. Instead, the central site through which feminism has made a mark on international security is the figure of the ‘secured woman’ – or woman in need of being secured. She is very much a focus of international governance attention. This taps very well into chivalric fantasies and paternalistic imperatives given it rests on traditional notions of perennially weak and non-violent women in need of protection. By association, feminism also appears to have secured a special place on the global security agenda, primarily in its capacity to offer theoretical support for the feminized specialness of the category of woman. This suggests that feminism has also been made ‘safe’ for international governance. Stripped of its intentions to assault masculinist, capitalist, Western, and state privilege as well as its understanding of ‘woman’ as an unstable category, feminism becomes ironically corseted into the project of securing ‘women’, or indeed the ‘properly feminine’, in its security governance formation. These are some of the ways this transpires. The first site we turn to here to illustrate relates to the ‘women and peace’ thesis. As noted earlier, women have traditionally been perpetually connected to peace. This association remains strong despite clear evidence to the contrary. Yet in the context of international security, a significant amount of work has been carried out which appears to persuasively demonstrate that the insecurity of states rests more on the insecurity of women than on the lack of democratic systems or the presence of economic and racial disparities (see Hudson et al. 2008/9). This work strongly implies that the ‘securing’ of women is necessary if there is to be any peace – an argument that has a hefty measure of political currency in international governance spheres, perhaps especially in the context of licensing interventionist actions. Sjoberg and Peet’s statistical analysis of civilian victimization in wars over time demonstrates that women’s insecurities arising from gender inequality and violence “are not just a predictor of states’ likelihoods to make war” but are the central dynamic of war understood as a “protection racket” (2011: 176). Under the auspices of ‘masculinist protection’ (Young 2003), “wars are fought for ‘our’ women or ‘innocent’ women and fought on the bodies of ‘their’ women” (Sjoberg and Peet 2011: 176). Jean Bethke Elshtain’s (1987) classic formulation of women constructed as ‘Beautiful Souls’ and the ‘Pacifist Many’ and in overwhelmingly persistent need of protection emerges very clearly as the epistemological linchpin of this arrangement. It also quite starkly shows how strong traditional gender binaries are in governance thinking and policy given the arguments about men and peace have little or no currency in this. Is any society secure unless men are secure? The strangeness of this question underscores our earlier point about gendered boundaries as complexly hierarchical and consistently re-secured. What of women’s violence? As indicated, Elshtain (1987) is an important theorist in this discussion as in her classic book, Women and War, she writes of the ‘Ferocious Few’, which she equates with bellicose women. These intruders interrupt the masculinist protection racket of war by either becoming protectors themselves, or refuting the assumption of women as innocent and non-violent, thus robbing the protection racket of its grounding. The significant contemporary focus on women’s violence in Feminist Security Studies or FSS (see, for example, Sjoberg and Gentry 2007, 2011) has, in part, challenged the myth of the ‘Beautiful Soul’. This myth not only sets up women as the embodiment of the nation, but also summons the idea of the masculinized ‘Just Warrior’ (Elshtain 1987) to protect ‘his’ homeland women, while inviting the targeting of the women of the enemy as a way to most undermine the 109

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nation they embody. If women were no longer denied political agency and the capacity for political violence, thus seen not as the ‘Ferocious Few’ but as warriors of many stripes, this might expose this house of gendered cards on which the war system rests. Moreover, the propensities for sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) this protection racket also sets up, not only abroad but also at home when the ‘protected’ (and even feminine ‘protectors’) do not properly conform to Beautiful Souls, are also exposed. Of course, feminists have long been frontline Just Warriors in the struggle to liberate women from SGBV, taking both non-violent and violent action for this cause. We might recall the 1983 feminist cult classic, ‘Born in Flames’, in which a socialist revolution has occurred in the US, yet sexual and racial violence continue. Revolutionary women of colour form renegade brigades to confront rapists and batterers, ultimately escalating their struggle to armed rebellion and acts of terror (oddly presciently, blowing up the World Trade Center). Compare this with the more secured and safe feminism of contemporary security feminism. Massaged through what Janet Halley (2006) refers to as ‘the halls of power’, it has led at best to reformist international institutional responses, such as the toothless call for a moratorium on SGBV in war in UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 (Cohn 2013). At worst, it has been associated with abetting imperialist violence in the name of ‘securing women’, as in the oft-cited case of the Feminist Majority support for the US invasion of Afghanistan to oust the Taliban (Russo 2006). Both of these anti-state and pro-state violence responses can be seen as leaving the protection racket in place in part because they both reproduce the ‘womenandsecurity’ nexus that continues to imagine femininity as pacific, passive, and in need of masculinized protection. Centring women’s violence, particularly as combatants, terrorists, and torturers, counters imaginaries of women as essentially non-violent and as subjects to be secured. Not surprisingly, though, there is still a much larger body of research on women’s peace activism over time and globally (see, for example, Cockburn 2007) than on women’s martial violence. While such activism has included much civil disobedience and defiance of authority,4 a more sanitized ‘womenandpeace’ nexus undergirds the uptake by security governance that women should be included in, and even central to institutional peacemaking and peacebuilding projects, albeit with minimal effect thus far (Cohn 2013), relying heavily on Elshtain’s ‘Pacifist Many’, and thus ‘Beautiful Soul’, story. But even as a focus on women’s violence insecures the essentialist figure of the Beautiful Soul and ‘her’ availability as the goad for war, ultimately the securing of women lies at the heart of both feminist security and peace studies projects as both hold that women’s security is foundational to international security and peace. Ultimately, too, they have both been morphed into similar anemic responses as ‘a gender perspective’ has been acknowledged by and institutionalized in the security sector through the packaging of women’s security “as a cohesive thing that fits neatly into the traditional security paradigms” (Meger 2016: 150). Critiques of the securitization of gender (read women), however, go further. The singling out of SGBV in war for approbation and ‘zero tolerance’, while ignoring widespread gender violence perpetrated in ‘peacetime’ or by non-combatants as well as the violence of war itself, is described as a dangerous ‘fetishization’ (Meger 2016). Moreover, this fetish built into UNSCR 1325 is seen as constituting a violent reinscription of racial and sexual boundaries and a thoroughly imperialist project, in that combating SGBV in war becomes a pretext for the racialized and Islamophobic ‘war on terror’ (Pratt 2013). We, too, have noted that the spectacularization of SGBV in the global mediascape has not only produced whitewashed and neocolonial images of sexual violence, but also has ‘cauterized’ critical thinking about how the will to act on sexual violence perpetrated against only certain bodies produces its own violences (Zalewski and Runyan 2015). Thus, the securitization of 110

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gender not only fails to secure women (and a whole host of ‘others’), but also rejuvenates the war system and particularly legitimizes the war on terror. Interestingly, then, ‘security feminism’, a subset of governance feminism, appears simultaneously and contradictorily as hopelessly ineffectual and as virulently potent. Immanent in such critiques is that feminism had once been a non-violent force for transformational change, but now has been either so co-opted by institutional forces as to drained it of its capacity for change, or so perverted to serve the forces of violence as to be unrecognizable as feminism. But what of this assumption that feminism was once non-violent and it is in its co-optation and perversion that it has become violent? Does this imply that feminism, like women, needs to be (re)secured away from violence? As we have previously argued (Zalewski and Runyan 2013), the suturing of feminism to the temporally figured female body, creates a kind of solipsism that invites metaphoric descriptions of feminism as once robust but now weak, decaying, and decadent, seemingly overcome or seduced by superior institutional forces that outpace it and corner it at every turn. It also invites insistent questions as to whether women are non-violent or violent and thus whether the proper stance of feminism is pacifism or militancy. But both stances carry violence. With respect to a pacifist feminist position, “in identifying the non-violent feminist action in pursuit of peace as exemplary . . . the violence of enacting ‘feminine’ values as a way of overturning the gender order” is revealed (Frazer and Hutchings 2014: 150). With respect to a militant feminist position, the advocacy of violent feminist action can be seen as “troublingly close to the very [patriarchal] violence” it rejects (Frazer and Hutchings 2014: 150). Thus feminism has an inescapable relationship to violence, whether conceived as pacifist or militant. In part, this arises from the continuing binary between peace and war. Peace, as Elshtain has observed, is “an ontologically suspicious concept” as it is inconceivable without war, and binary understandings of war and peace often rely on degraded notions of the feminine and deny the disharmony and disorder of political and social life. Blanchard 2003: 1299 But it also arises from moves to secure both women and their presumed extension, feminism, as a subject. In order for a subject to be secured, it must be represented as a knowable, coherent, stable, and bounded identity/entity (Stern 2006: 193). Yet, “any given (and thereby securable representation) of the subject . . . will be haunted by supplementary or excluded voices, subject positions – ‘What about “me”?’ – that will inevitably clamour for attention in even the most careful attempts at representation” (Stern 2006: 201). This exposes, then, the illusion, and indeed, impossibility of security and the secured subject. This understanding of the illusory nature of “the dominant logic of (in)security” (Stern 2006: 200) and the violence it takes to fix subjects in ways that make them appear securable gives considerable pause when it comes to the goal of securing of women. While we share the desire and support the need to unrelentingly counter gender inequality and violence rampant across the globe, and particularly visited on racialized and classed ciswomen and sexual and gender minorities in the global South and North, we also recognize the unrelenting problematique of the violence that securing the subject poses. But we are far more concerned about attempts to secure feminism, not just in the form of security feminism but also with respect to any stripping it of, inoculating it against, saving it from, or otherwise securing it away from violence as if it had some originary innocence. Attributing a Beautiful Soul to feminism is perhaps more problematic than attributing it to women because it denies the 111

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epistemic disharmony and disordering to which most of its political theory over time has been dedicated. Fixing feminism as a pure and purely non-violent force flies in the face of contemporary understandings that all theory construction and concept-making is necessarily violent through the process of foregrounding some ideas at the expense of others. But given feminism’s particularly marginalized theory status by its association with unimportant, weak, and even crazy female bodies and minds, especially in the realm of Security (and Peace) Studies, it is all the more important to consider how feminism has been, and can continue to be, ferocious in its challenges to epistemic privileges of all sorts. To us, to insecure feminism is to in effect release it/non-police it to perform more of this violence. This call to violence, not ‘peace and security’, in feminist thought might seem heretical, but “censorship . . . of what might be unfamiliar, provocative” (Parashar 2013: 442) is the result of a ‘secured’ and ‘peaceful’ feminism. In a world in which those who identify as feminists (or just ‘women’) continue to be trivialized, vilified, deprived, assaulted, tortured, imprisoned, and killed, there is in some sense no safe feminism, nor can we can afford to settle for one. Insecured feminisms voice loud refusals of the soft violences of neoliberal and securitizing incorporations as well as the hard violences of persistently virulent and lethal patriarchies. In our concluding section, we revisit the provocation for violence and the challenges of recognizing multiple and contradictory feminist violences in theory, practice, and the global scene of violence to resist the securing of feminism.

Conclusion: insecuring feminism We recognize that the idea of feminist violence sits uneasily in a world awash in so much egregious violence and so much of it directed at feminized (and feminist) subjects. But forms of violence have been, and are, a necessary part of a range of feminist histories and actions; ‘being improper’, to be ‘unbecoming’, refusing the normative and material pleasures of collaboration have been significant theoretical and political activities within feminism (Zalewski 2013: 4). And with Jack Halberstam, we, “have no truck with clichéd accounts of women striking out for independence and becoming powerful in the process” (Halberstam 2013: xiv). We encourage recollection of the uncompromising anarcha-feminist spirit of Solanas and a recognition of loud and even violent refusals of women who have fought for justice and even ‘peace’. We do this to unsettle what have become the international icons of the Janus-faced ‘womenandpeace’ and ‘womenandsecurity’ tropes interwoven in the WPS agenda in which women are to be (safely) non-violent, secured from (some forms of) violence and (safely) empowered for the purposes of the illusory project of security. Pakistani Malala Yousafzai, the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate, known worldwide by her first name (as the result of her 2013 autobiography, I am Malala), while courageous herself to speak out against her attackers5 and for the education of girls, has come to symbolize the imperative to secure women and especially girls. Her story has become particularly attractive to Western audiences, as it slides so easily into the groove that Gayatri Spivak (1988) so powerfully and succinctly articulated – “saving brown women from brown men”. At the same time that her story stokes the imperialist and masculinist politics of protection, it also has been given the air of a neoliberal feminist success story – an individualist female triumph over the dark forces of gender traditionalism (marked as a distinctly non-Western characteristic). For those millions like her, but not sharing her story of empowerment, security feminism steps in, whether in the ‘soft’ (and glamorous) guise of Angelina Jolie, hypervisibly attending to female victims of violence, or the ‘hard’ guise of the Hillary Clintonesque fusion of women’s rights with 112

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counterterrorism and (inter)national security. These tropes of the secured woman and security feminism, we argue, carry much unwanted violence and it is feminist violence to these that we advocate. But we also are urging that feminist thought, particularly in the field of international peace and security, maintains a relationship to violence. The tight association of women with peace lingers, despite mounting empirical evidence of women’s political (and interpersonal) violence. But we also know that women’s ‘peace’ politics against patriarchal violence has involved strategic debates about the use of non-violence and violence, with tactics falling along this continuum across time and place. But what has gained significant traction in policy circles, not surprisingly, is the image of the chaste woman in need of protection from violation and a chastened feminism, made safe for incorporation into conventional security thinking and practice. The cost of this is a preservation of the gender order that feminists have typically rebelled against, and a lack of the disruptions of the security complex that feminists thought a gender critique would usher in. To be secured, feminism has to disavow any connection to violence, including its own rowdy and unruly history of thought and action. There are of course dangers in ‘insecuring’ feminism. The everyday and spectacular violence visited on women and so many ‘others’ around the globe has driven feminist insistences for security apparatuses to address these widespread insecurities arising out of the very protection rackets (designed to sustain masculinist, Western, state, and capitalist privilege) they have set up. The modicum of inroads these insistences have yielded, from UNSCR 1325 and including women in disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) programmes to (non-militarized) humanitarian aid, have arguably made a difference in the lives of some women in conflict zones. But this should not silence feminist critiques of the massive violence left in place or the whole project of security, which in its illusory attempts to secure the subject, (re)creates that violence. The idea that women/feminists have to be ‘palatable’, appealing, and non-confrontational to be heard, taken seriously, and not targeted for (more) violence, requires a disavowal of feminine/feminist violence. There are compelling justifications for feminist work to advance things that have been associated with being better for women, and particularly women in the global South, and seem preferable to unreconstructed and unrestrained militarized state security, such as the ‘development-security’ project. But being ‘better for women’ is not the same as gender/ social justice. To what degree are ‘we’ (feminists) resigned to this gaping gap? Does this tell us something about a retreat from the violence of feminism the more we seek ‘change’? To theoretically and politically ‘accept’ these conditions (what else can we do?) suggests to us that we might not be pushing our thinking hard enough about feminism as an ‘antagonistic force’. We recognize that speaking about feminist violence can also evoke fearful and hostile responses from feminists committed to opposing all violence and staying within the comfort zone of women’s peacefulness. But surely feminism is at some of its best when acting as a kind of ‘interruptive agency’ (Berlant 2011) or when likened to ‘guerilla warfare’ against patriarchy (Runyan and Peterson 1991). We see such insights as political-epistemological incitements for embracing a connection between feminism and violence as a disruption of hegemonic orders. Shifting from a focus on the violations of women to a violating feminism ‘hurts’ because it shakes the peaceful women-non-violent feminism nexus that has gained traction morally and rhetorically if not ultimately substantially. Crucially, feminist violence must continuously be directed to the gendered binaries and boundaries contained within and around the tropes of the Beautiful Soul and Just 113

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Warrior – namely peace/war, non-violence/violence, insecure/secure. For example, how might queering the Just Warrior be a way of both representing feminist epistemic violence and doing it? How might this help, at least epistemologically, to address the paradox of, and unacceptable choices between, a deadened and deadly feminism? We leave this to future work, but we see something in a queered feminism that rails against ‘taming’ and acknowledges its intentional violating force.

Notes 1 Self-described as a worldwide network of feminist-informed women taking non-violent actions, such as silent vigils and sit-downs in public places, to bear witness to and resist acts of war, militarization, and other forms of violence by their countries. See (accessed 28 April 2018). 2 An intriguing recent example is Sarah Levy’s portrait of the then US Presidential candidate Donald Trump. The medium she used was her own menstrual blood. (accessed 28 April 2018). 3 Also by Avita Ronnell in her 2004 introductory chapter to SCUM who makes clear that SCUM is an important work of theory. 4 Consider the women of the Greenham Common peace camp who repeatedly vandalized and breached fences surrounding a nuclear arms base in Britain and blockaded cruise missile convoys destined for it. 5 Taliban adherents who shot her in the head for daring to seek an education.

References Berlant, Lauren. 2011. Cruel Optimism. Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press. Blanchard, Eric M. 2003. ‘Gender, International Relations, and the development of Feminist Security Theory’. Signs 28(4): 1289–1312. ‘Born in Flames.’ 1983. Directed by Lizzie Borden. Cockburn, Cynthia. 2007. From Where We Stand: War, Women’s Activism, and Feminist Analysis. London: Zed Books. Cohn, Carol (ed.). 2013. Women & Wars: Contested Histories. Cambridge: Polity Press. Elshtain, Jean Bethke. 1987. Women and War. New York: Basic Books. Fraser, Nancy. 2007. ‘Feminism, capitalism, and the cunning of history’. New Left Review 56 (March/ April): 97–116. Frazer, Elizabeth and Kimberly Hutchings. 2014. ‘Feminism and the critique of violence: Negotiating feminist political agency’. Journal of Political Ideologies 19(2): 143–163. Halberstam, Jack. 2013. Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal. Boston, MA: Beacon Press. Halberstam, Jack. 2011. The Queer Art of Failure. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Halley, Janet. 2006. Split Decisions: How and Why to Take a Break from Feminism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Hudson, Valerie, Mary Caprioli, Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill, Rose McDermott and Chad F. Emmett. 2008/9. ‘The heart of the matter: The security of women and the security of states’. International Security 33(3): 7–45. McRobbie, Angela. 2009. The Aftermath of Feminism: Gender, Culture, and Social Change. London: Sage. Meger, Sara. 2016. ‘The fetishization of sexual violence in international security’. International Studies Quarterly 60(1): 149–159. Nesiah, Vasuki. 2012. ‘Feminism as counterterrorism?’ Foreign Policy in Focus. Available at http://fpif. org/feminism_as_counterterrorism/ (accessed 4 June 2016). Parashar, Swati. 2013. ‘Feminist (in)securities and camp politics’. International Studies Perspectives 14: 440–443. Pratt, Nicola. 2013. ‘Reconceptualizing gender, reinscribing racial-sexual boundaries in international security: The case of UN Security Council 1325 on “Women, Peace and Security”’. International Studies Quarterly 57(4): 772–783.


Feminist violence and in/security Runyan, Anne Sisson and V. Spike Peterson. 1991. ‘The radical future of realism: Feminist subversions of IR Theory’. Alternatives 16: 67–106. Russo, Ann. 2006. ‘The Feminist Majority Foundation’s campaign to stop gender apartheid: The intersection between feminism and imperialism in the United States’. International Feminist Journal of Politics 8(6): 537–580. Sjoberg, Laura and Caron E. Gentry. 2007. Mothers, Monsters, and Whores: Women’s Violence in Global Politics. London: Zed Books. Sjoberg, Laura and Caron E. Gentry (eds). 2011. Women, Gender, and Terrorism. Athens: University of Georgia Press. Sjoberg, Laura and Jessica Peet. 2011. ‘A(nother) dark side of the protection racket’. International Feminist Journal of Politics 13(2): 163–182. Solanas, Valerie. 1968. SCUM Manifesto. Paris: Olympia Press. Spivak, Gaytri Chakravorty. 1988. ‘Can the subaltern speak?’ In Carey Nelson and Lawrence Grossberg (eds) Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture (pp. 271–313). Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press. Stern, Maria. 2006. ‘“We” the subject: The power and failure of (in)security’. Security Dialogue 37(2): 187–205. Sylvester, Christine. 2013. War as Experience. New York: Routledge. Young, Iris Marion. 2003. ‘The logic of masculinist protection: Reflections on the current security state’. Signs 29(1): 1–25. Yousafzai, Malala. 2013. I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for an Education and Was Shot by the Taliban. New York: Little, Brown and Company. Zalewski, Marysia. 2013. Feminist International Relations: Exquisite Corpse. London: Routledge. Zalewski, Marysia. 2015. ‘Feminism and “madness”: In/securing feminist knowledge and boundaries’. Critical Studies on Security 3(2): 226–229. Zalewski, Marysia and Anne Sisson Runyan. 2013. ‘Taking feminist violence seriously in feminist International Relations’. International Feminist Journal of Politics 15(3): 293–313. Zalewski, Marysia and Anne Sisson Runyan. 2015. ‘“Unthinking” sexual violence in a neoliberal era of spectacular terror’. Critical Studies on Terrorism 8(3): 439–455. Žižek, Slavoj. 2008. Violence: Six Sideways Reflections. London: Profile Books.



Introduction Fieldwork and ethnography are increasingly part of the lexicon of methods and methodologies for Security Studies, offering distinct advantages – as well as contradictions – for feminists looking to see gender at work in the world of security. By way of reflecting on the possibility of ‘feminist’ fieldwork, I want to begin by presenting two cases for consideration, two kinds of fieldwork: one ‘on the ground’ and the other seemingly high above it, both figuratively and literally. The first was ethnographic fieldwork in Havana, Cuba, where I interviewed young people who pursued sexual relationships with foreigners. There, the sounds of laughter, thumping bass line of reggaetón music, and the roaring of car engines filled my interview recordings. My voice recorder, for that matter, had a broken battery panel from months of heavy use and abuse. The notebook in which I scrawled my thoughts and interview notes was the only one I’d been able to find in Cuba’s sparsely stocked shops, and its cover was holding on by a mere thread, pages stained with coffee and dog-eared from living at the bottom of my bag. I worked through networks I built myself, snowballing one contact into more and more, hitting the streets to strike up conversations in cafés and bars, on street corners, on the beach, at all hours of the day and night. I learned how to duck the police. I felt (not without qualms, not without irony) like a fieldworker. My interviewees were mostly women and mostly young, glamorous, clad in bright colours and rhinestones, coordinated from head to toe. The conversations often started out stilted and awkward, leaving me with the sense that an insurmountable gulf of understanding stood between us. I remember straining to find common ground . . . complimenting them on their hair, sunglasses, nails . . . feeling like I’d failed them as they reached across the table to inspect my hands, discovered with horror my own nails, unpolished and bitten to the quick . . . being told who to see to get that sorted out, writing the name and phone number down in earnest, knowing that I’d never go. The second was field research in New York City and Washington, DC, where I interviewed United Nations officials, international NGO staff, and government workers working on what is called the Women, Peace and Security agenda about their work. I booked 116

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appointments and showed my identification to countless security guards, clipping glossy visitor nametags to my jacket and waiting in glitzy office foyers, heels clicking on tiled floors. Glass and steel. I recall feeling quite self-conscious yet again – underdressed and unsophisticated. I had spent an hour in the stationery shop selecting just the right notebook from the hundreds available and a shiny, new pen. I spent my mornings compiling a list of names from staff rosters on websites, the pages of published reports, and conference programmes before setting up meetings for the afternoons by email and phone. Always between 9:00 and 6:00, and always beginning and ending precisely on time. This time around, my interviewees were also mostly women – women who, despite their impressive offices and job titles, often seemed to remind me somewhat of myself. Mostly white, very educated, career focused, existing fluently in worlds that centre law, policy, advocacy, negotiation. I remember laughing easily, getting each others’ jokes . . . chatting about jobs they’d held and receiving their career advice . . . getting recommendations for good bars or clothing shops, writing them down in earnest, putting them in my pocket and knowing I could never afford to go. Looking at that crisp, new notebook in my hands, I began to feel like a fraud, or maybe a hypocrite, betraying my ethnographic roots. Where I had once observed mass arrests, argued for my informants in police stations, done interviews after midnight and in secret, and sat on rooftops sipping rum with my contacts, now I was shown to my seat by receptionists. Sitting in those waiting rooms, I asked myself, which is more feminist? To turn up on the doorsteps (metaphorically speaking) of marginalized women, asking to be let in for a peek at their worlds – and bolstering my own career in the process with publications and conference presentations? Or to focus on these privileged women and their corridors of power, the women who work with – and build their careers on – those very marginalized women? Which is the more feminist of the two? And what, for that matter, makes fieldwork feminist – if anything? What follows is not a text on method, but rather a reflection on the utility and challenges of fieldwork and ethnography for the study of gender and security. Within the confines of this volume, we are all asking what this thing called gender really is, and particularly in the context of security. I want to ask, how do we know? Research methods and methodologies are an inherently feminist issue – they help us decide what worthwhile, rigorous, ethical research looks like. Ethnographic fieldwork and International Relations (IR) might be “strange bedfellows”, as Wanda Vrasti has argued (2010: 87), but this arm’s-length history belies a potential for engagement with the micropolitical, the intimate, the relational – a radical move in Security Studies, not to mention within the broader discipline of IR. Given that the intimate sphere is so often seen as feminine and thus apolitical (see Pratt and Rosner 2012: 17), it is also a feminist move, though one that asks us to rely on interpersonal methods and will thus always remain fraught with tensions.

Entering fieldwork spaces Fieldwork is an umbrella that covers a wide variety of research methods: in-depth interviewing and oral history, participant observation, collaborative data analysis, reflective writing or field journaling, among others. In this chapter, I will be recklessly conflating fieldwork with ethnography, as many others do, a methodology drawn from the discipline of anthropology. In that light, fieldwork is prolonged, immersive, and empirical; it means absorbing the field through your pores by whatever means available. Ethnographic fieldwork takes experience as its starting point, contending that immersion in a given setting – a culture (broadly writ), movement, class, profession, or whatever else that might mean – helps the researcher to see 117

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that setting differently (see Clifford and Marcus 2010; Ratelle 2013; Daigle 2015, 2017; Schatz 2009; Vrasti 2010, 2013). Thus, in practice, fieldwork can encompass day-to-day interactions with neighbours and friends, public events such as concerts or rallies, attending or teaching classes, or volunteering – anything that might grant a meaningful insight into lived experience. Field research methods lend themselves to uncovering contingency, fluidity, and relationality in social relationships and processes. Fieldwork is also an attitude to research, an openness that necessitates an engagement with and an embrace of multifaceted, constantly evolving research. Edward Schatz (2009: 5) describes field research as the attempt and desire to get “neck deep” in a given setting. Field methods incite us as researchers to go and find out, through experience and interaction, as much as we can – and what we never knew we did not know. They just might be the epitome of what Luis Lobo-Guerrero (2013: 25) has called “wondering as research attitude”. That comprehensive engagement means that fieldwork is also interdisciplinary by nature, which recommends it for the study of both gender, which is not discretely containable within the confines of any one discipline, and security, which frequently unfolds in volatile settings where the usual or expected paths to properly disciplined knowledge might be unavailable. Writing recently on the topic of researching gender and war, Annick Wibben argued, “feminist inquiries need to remain uncomfortably lodged at the intersection of multiple fields of scholarship” (2016: 2). Fieldwork is one avenue for maintaining a constant interrogation of limits and exposure of assumptions. Methodologically, little could be more ostensibly feminist than exploring conflict and security by asking those most marginalized people who bear its brunt in daily life (women, sexual and gender nonconformists, racialized groups) for their experience. But field research is never so simple: “All social researchers,” argue Caroline Ramazanoğlu and Janet Holland, “can exercise power by turning people’s lives into authoritative texts: by hearing some things and ignoring or excluding others” (2002: 113). Deciding whose story will be told and whose will not, not to mention determining which ones are outliers and which are just inconvenient to the research project, is always and everywhere an exercise of power. Of course, little of this tells you what fieldwork will actually be like, or how it will feel to exist in fieldwork spaces, or to find out what a so-called field might be. Conducting fieldwork requires confidence and a level of social fluency, which does not come easily to everyone, in order to apply for research funding, get interviews, mingle and build networks, and seize whatever ephemeral opportunities might arise in a fast-moving and time-limited scene. Fieldwork is often uncomfortable. In many cases, I found my interviews frustrating. They were often shorter than I had intended them to be, depending on the time that my research subjects had available or cared to contribute, and sometimes they felt directionless or even hostile. In New York and Washington, my interviewees were public figures whom I could check out in advance, reading their published work and preparing questions accordingly, but they were also busy people with little time to spare. In Havana, on the other hand, my interviewees were not officeholders – they had no public profile, no necessary interest in my research, no stake in any broader political project. Fieldwork spaces are also frequently banal. In each of my field trips, I spent hours and even days in my room alone: preparing for interviews, writing up notes, filling out paperwork, trying (and often failing) to arrange interviews via email or phone, or just killing time or figuring out how to make life work in this place. I waited in cafés, waited for emails and calls, waited for travel visas, waited for files to upload . . . . In Cuba, I even waited for permission to leave the country at the end of my stay. What is more, my work has often required me to work through and even to interview a wide cast of characters with whom I 118

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would not normally like to socialize, from the fixers and intermediaries who propositioned me and extorted money from my informants, to the gatekeepers who dismissed me and sometimes shut me out in more institutional spaces. This is what Pamela Fishman (1977) once called “interactional shitwork”: the cost of admission and operation within certain rarefied or discriminating spaces. Fieldwork, in new cities and surrounded by strangers, can be exceptionally lonely.

Being feminist in the field Returning to my question of what makes fieldwork feminist, there are a few key ideas in common between Feminist Security Studies and the ethnographic fieldwork literature, or rather shared bases from which each sets out to understand the world. First, fieldwork necessarily begins from lived experience. Through interviews and observation, among other methods, field researchers centre experience – others’ as well as their own – and defer to the subjects of the research on the matter of their own lives, experiences, relationships, and interactions. Here I will return to Edward Schatz, a political ethnographer who argues, “while one can and should be sceptical about aspects of individual testimony, a general sympathy for interlocutors is nonetheless the hallmark of ethnographic research” (2009: 7). Likewise, the anthropologist Lorraine Nencel describes “radical empathy” as a key feature of ethnographic research (2014: 82). Beginning from women’s concrete experience has always been a key tenet of feminist research of all kinds, or what Patricia Hill Collins has called the “criterion of credibility” for all knowledge about women (quoted in Brooks 2007: 56; see also Reinharz 1992). Thus, if Feminist Security Studies is at least in part about amplifying the voices of the people who security is ‘done to’ – and I believe it should be – then fieldwork is a useful window onto that experience. With this focus on micro-level, lived, and relational experience, field research by nature moves away from state-centric logics that centre lenses of military and governance institutions. In the discipline of IR, security is generally seen to be synonymous with national or state security. Feminists like J. Ann Tickner have long asserted that feminist IR, on the other hand, is about deconstructing this orthodoxy and asking non-state-centric questions (2006: 22–27). If Feminist Security Studies is about challenging this state-centric view of security itself, then fieldwork is a tool for doing just that, even in the study of global processes and forces, because it foregrounds the micro, the individual, the personal, the relational, and interactional in every setting. With its focus on the micro, the interactional, the relational, field research consists of “frustrated and frustrating research relationships, dialogic research relationships, collaborative research relationships, affective relationships, antagonistic research relations, formal research relations, etc. or a little bit of each” (Nencel 2014: 78). Ethnographic fieldwork thus “expands – indeed, it often explodes – how we understand the boundaries of the ‘political’” (Schatz 2009: 10). This has great potential for how we think about security, insecurity, conflict, and risk. Second, and perhaps more importantly, field research offers a critical potential that can be used to disrupt researchers’ own assumptions and orthodoxies – even feminist ones! – as a continuation of the feminist critical political project. James Clifford has argued that, through the prolonged engagement of ethnographic research, the subject of our research is unavoidably revealed as what she is: a “speaking [subject], who sees as well as is seen, who evades, argues, probes back” (2010: 14). To put perhaps too fine a point on it, by going into fieldwork spaces to consult with the people whose lives have been upended by violence, or who have found themselves the object of security structures and discourses, we give ourselves the opportunity to be told we are wrong, that our theories do not fit or our representations of 119

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their identities, relationships, and experiences are misjudged. Fieldwork thus provides the chance to confront and explore difference, and to subject our own suppositions to rigorous reassessment (see Scharff 2010: 90–91). This opportunity for feminist reflexivity gets at a key tension within feminism itself as both a normative and an analytical project. Writing about women living in conservative settings such as orthodox Jewish communities, state-sponsored marriage promotion programmes, and evangelical Christian ‘ex-gay’ ministries, anthropologists Orit Avishai, Lynne Gerber, and Jennifer Randles have dubbed this the “feminist ethnographer’s dilemma”: We had to think past what we came to perceive as a standard feminist response to our cases, resist the temptation of a more standard analysis that we intuited would have garnered praise in our academic communities, and stick with our perceptions and experiences to develop analyses that confounded our expectations. 2012: 406 They write about discovering agency in unexpected places and reassessing their views of purportedly antifeminist spaces and practices. This dilemma is, of course, not unique to particularly conservative research settings (Meadow 2012: 467). That challenge, when principles do not match up with findings, is central to what fieldwork offers feminism: a continual re-evaluation of feminist principles, which will in turn help build a more inclusive and progressive feminism. This challenge echoes that offered time and again, both theoretically and empirically, by queer and women of colour feminists (see, for example, Mohanty 1988; Doezema 2001; Spivak 1981, 1998; Rubin 1993). In this way, field research has brought me into close and prolonged contact with informants who rejected my assessment of violence and struggle in their lives, and it has helped me to see and understand the ‘patriarchal bargains’ that women and gender minorities make to stay safe and build happy lives (Kandiyoti 1988), or the ways that gender can shape practices of security in ways that my feminist principles did not help me to predict. And my research has been the stronger for it.

Producing and embracing messy knowledge To some extent, all scholarship is messy and incomplete, but field research’s character as an immersive and interpersonal methodology foregrounds that mess and makes it unavoidable. It is, as Patai writes, a “messy business” from beginning to end (1991: 139, 150). Modes of research that take lived experience as their starting point and depend on interpersonal methods are, by nature, unpredictable and to some degree uncontrollable. Indeed, Carol Cohn writes pithily, “Here is an understatement: in the course of my research, many things shifted” (2006: 91). Informants contest and subvert the questions they are asked and the research process itself; findings disrupt our hypotheses and research designs; meetings and interviews are abruptly cancelled or unfold in unforeseen ways; some important sources turn out to be unavailable, or even nonexistent, while others appear unexpectedly; chance encounters wind up opening new doors or revealing new information. Particularly in sometimes volatile or unfamiliar places, fieldwork forces us as researchers to embrace openendedness, unpredictability, and indeterminacy – of our research trajectories, but also of our empirical cases and theories, our conclusions, our knowledges. One corollary of this is that field research tends to disrupt neat assumptions and categories – and with them, disciplinary norms. When I was researching young women who dated foreigners for material gain and escapism in Cuba, my interviewees constantly defied all 120

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expectations of them – both mine and others’ around them – and subverted the knowledge that had been created about them as either liberated or repressed, amoral or self-sacrificing, shallow or rigidly calculating. Their stories were a patent challenge to binary thinking about their gender, race, class, sexuality, or even their job histories and education (see Daigle 2015). Moreover, in ethnography, the line between participant and observer, insider and outsider, is often more of a sliding scale, and one’s degree of embeddedness and acceptance in a given setting is frequently decided not by the researcher but by the subjects of research (Buch and Staller 2007: 202–4). In fieldwork, I was confronted with the realization, like Amalia Cabezas, that the “unified object of my research . . . did not exist, was ambiguous, or at the very least was quite an unstable subject” (2009: 8; see also Nencel 2005: 345–361). This kind of research posits a political subjectivity that is “multiple, as unknowable, as shifting” (Pillow 2003: 180). Similarly, Caroline Ramazanoğlu and Janet Holland argue for feminist research that depicts the subject as decentred and multiplied, identities as iterative and performative, and truths as local rather than universal (2002: 90–94; see also Edkins 2013: 285). In gender and security, these points might be particularly apt, as conflict and violence throw into ever-sharper relief dynamics and relationships that exist across the slippery spectrum of gendered violence before, during, and after conflict. Second, messy research shows us that positionality matters, and all the more so for research that takes places across lines of difference and vulnerability. Subjectivities and relationships within any given space are always shaped by intersections of race, gender, sexuality, class, ability, and Indigeneity. Thus, my own race, gender, nationality, education, upbringing, and lived experience – and what I and the people I interviewed took those things to mean – had all marked me and shaped the kind of interactions I would have with these people, the kind of interviews I would and could conduct, and the writing I would eventually produce, as Sharlene Nagy Hesse-Biber also notes (2007: 129). The same project, conducted by another researcher, would unfold very differently – that is, a researcher who was Cuban, male, or much older than I was would have quite distinct experiences and interactions from my own in Havana, while a researcher with more experience or personal connections in policy and advocacy might have greater success in New York. Situational dynamics between the self and the interviewee, especially differences of power and privilege, shape research and go a long way toward destabilizing disciplinary research norms of objectivity and detachment. These ideals are impossible in interpersonal research, but I would also argue that they are detrimental to truly engaged, embedded, and representative research with marginalized subjects across lines of race, gender, class, and culture (see Zalewski 2006: 46). Fieldwork experience makes conclusions such as these not only apparent but inescapable.

Ethics and fieldwork While conducting fieldwork in New York, when I would find myself with extra time between interviews or meetings, I would sit down to write my swirling thoughts in a field journal. It was an effort to capture whatever half-formed thoughts and ephemeral bits of the preceding interview that I could before they evaporated, and looking back at it now, I find that I only occasionally dwelled long on research ethics. Given that my interviewees in New York and Washington were comparatively influential people, I felt that my power to harm them as an inept researcher was minimal. The ethical quandaries would come at the stage of writing, when I would be faced with the challenge of anonymizing quotations and anecdotes, a difficult task in a small field of NGO workers and UN staffers – and a problematic one when policies and events have been shaped by personalities and relationships at every stage. 121

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In Cuba, on the other hand, I knew that the risks my informants faced were not professional scorn; they were physical and sexual violence, detention, or destitution. They would be nearly impossible to identify from what I eventually wrote about them, but participating in my research process as it unfolded meant risking heightened surveillance by police and other actors. In fieldwork, the ethical principle of reflexivity entails “a sense of responsibility against harming the research participants and representing them in a way that respects and highlights their agency” (Nencel 2014: 78). In Security Studies, especially, ethics means safety – avoiding real, visceral danger and mediating vulnerability – but it also means acknowledging and reconciling the dangers of appropriation in how we represent the subjects of research. Stephanie Wahab writes about the dangerous potential for an extractive, “colonial” relationship between a researcher and those whose lives and testimonies provide her with material; a danger that must be carefully navigated and all the more so when the subjects of research already experience marginality and repression (2003: 637; see also Nencel 2005). Anthropology, the discipline with which ethnographic fieldwork is most intimately associated, provides a methodological literature that is also conscientiously caught up in ethical debates, in large part due to well-placed criticism that the practice of ethnography has undergone for its historical ties to colonialism. Indeed, Linda Tuhiwai Smith describes an anthropological tradition that saw white anthropologists build their careers by “taking” knowledge and experience from Indigenous communities. “The word itself, ‘research’, is probably one of the dirtiest words in the indigenous world’s vocabulary”, she writes (2012: 1–4). Edward Bruner argues that the genesis of ethnography stems in part from an “imperialist nostalgia”, which longs for the cultures decimated by the colonial project (Bruner 1989: 439). “Much as we may try to deny or evade it,” Bruner continues, “colonialism, ethnography, and tourism have much in common, as they were born together and are relatives” (1989: 439). Since those early days, anthropology has made a conscious effort to become aware of and distance itself from the Eurocentric assumptions that informed the early days of ethnographic writing. This is why to use ethnography is not just to familiarise oneself with a particular method or genre, it is “to be conscious of the contradictions of such knowing and the history of shame that precedes and marks all of our efforts”. Vrasti 2010: 81, quoting Behar 2003: 16 Diane Bell (2013: 2) writes of an “awkward relationship between anthropology and feminism”, where feminist approaches have not always been welcomed into ethnographic circles. Thus, for decades already, ethnographers have engaged in debates on confronting the problems of colonialist exploitation and sexism. Ethnography’s ongoing reckoning with its legacies has impelled ethnographers to pursue a more inclusive research practice, along the way questioning the primacy and objectivity of the researcher, the one-way flow of information from researched to researcher, and the authority of the researcher to speak for and represent the stories of her informants. Both feminist and ethnographic research are working toward building consultative and collaborative research practices with research subjects wherein knowledge is co-constituted between the researcher and informants. The result is a research practice that engages in ethical reflection and reflexivity, but must do so knowing that the process is never complete. Similarly, theoretical interventions from poststructuralism, postcolonialism, and queer theory allow feminists to see the limitations of feminist thought, but not necessarily to overcome them (Ramazanoğlu and Holland 2002: 102). 122

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Awareness of oppressive frameworks of race, gender, class, and sexuality can help to mediate these problems and create space for respect, trust, and even humour between a researcher and the people she studies, but it cannot “erase the divide” (Nencel 2005: 7; see also Hoefinger 2013). Some, like Patti Lather (2001) and Wanda Pillow (2003) argue that even these efforts simply reproduce existing power imbalances; Daphne Patai calls them “feel-good measure” (1991: 147). There is no way out of these concerns: it is and will remain important to ask ethical questions and work toward answering them in the course of research, even if no satisfactory answer can be found. Finally, ethical research might not always look like you expect it to look. To give just one example, Maria Stern and Lorraine Nencel have each asserted that an ethical process of field research ought to be reciprocal, giving interviewees the opportunity to read and comment on the finished product (Stern 2001: 70; Nencel 2005). While certainly admirable, this kind of reciprocity is not always possible, and particularly not in the context of studying gender and security, where outbreaks of violence and displacement can disrupt even the best-laid research plans. For my own part, I have had many interviewees who, for their own safety, preferred never to see me again. This kind of reciprocal research practice can also place additional demands on the time and energy of informants, to whom the research might mean and offer little – an ethical concern in itself. Truly ethical research, feminist or not, requires constant consultation with the subjects of research themselves, who are the real experts, on what they need to be safe and minimize the harm caused by research. It cannot be captured by a discrete set of ethical principles and it is never totally complete.

Conclusion: what is feminist about fieldwork? Ethnographic field research engenders contradictions. For example, while research ethics remain of paramount importance – particularly for feminist approaches and particularly in the study of security and vulnerability it generates – in the course of my own endeavours to produce feminist fieldwork, I have learned that there is no blueprint. ‘Good’, ethical, rigorous, feminist research will not always look the same, or as I might have expected it to look before I started out. What is more, despite the commitment of Feminist Security Studies to producing groundbreaking research about women and gender in security, being in possession of feminist principles on its own is no insurance against ethical and methodological struggles in fieldwork. Writing about the evolving practice of feminist ethnography, Christa Craven and Dána-Ain Davis write that, “the appearance of greater respect for and equality with research subjects afforded by feminist ethnography can mask the potential for deeper forms of exploitation” (2013: 4). Add to that the fact that positionality matters: individual researchers will experience fieldwork differently and achieve different findings according to their own specific location within matrices of gender and gender presentation, race, social class, ability, and age, among other factors. That said, however, I as the researcher will also be different from one fieldwork context to another. My priorities and modes of working will change in different settings, even for the same project and ostensibly the ‘same’ research subjects. Put differently, who we are matters – but who we are can also change. Vincent Crapanzano writes of the fieldworker as “trickster” (2010), meaning not deception but rather the moulding of the self to the circumstances, research goals, and setting at hand. At its most basic, fieldwork implies going there – in terms of travel, immersion, and committing to research for a protracted period of weeks, months, and even years. It can be argued that this is, in itself, an inherently feminist facet of fieldwork in that it encourages 123

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researchers to consult meaningfully with the subjects of their research and take seriously micropolitical factors – the intimate, the interpersonal, the everyday. The greatest contradiction facing fieldworkers, however, is that the field, where we go, where we study, where we learn, is not a place. As Wanda Vrasti (2010: 5) has written, “the method of separating the world ‘out there’ from theories ‘in here’” is a problematic one that makes a mechanistic research method of what should be a lively, dynamic, and vibrant methodology. Going back to ethnography’s historic links to the imperial project, the division between field and not-field is a complicated one that exoticizes the colonial other and sets out difference for the delectation of the white, wealthy, foreign ethnographer (see Cuomo and Massaro 2016). The division between ‘home’ and ‘field’ will always haunt all field research. What is more, if the field is not a place, then claims to authority, status, or knowledge based on the simple fact of having ‘been there’ will always be empty ones in need of critical assessment. Ultimately, these tensions are productive and interesting ones in themselves, and certainly they are questions we would never have encountered if we did not leave home to go out into the field, whatever and wherever that might be. The key thing is to never turn away from these tensions, to sit with them and see what makes them tick. What fieldwork can do is facilitate a micro-level focus on interaction, subjectivity, and relationality, which is in itself a pointed challenge to approaches that erase experience and marginality in favour of statecentric and militaristic security structures and concerns. By centring the experience of security, ethnographic fieldwork provides an avenue for demonstrating that gender is never, ever a marginal concern.

References Avishai, O., L. Gerber and J. Randles. 2012. ‘The feminist ethnographer’s dilemma: Reconciling progressive research agendas with fieldwork realities’. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 42(4): 394–426. Behar, R. 2003. ‘Ethnography and the book that was lost’. Ethnography 4(1): 15–39. Bell, D. 2013. ‘Introduction 1: The context’. In D. Bell, P. Caplan and W.J. Karim (eds) Gendered Fields: Women, Men and Ethnography (pp. 1–18). New York: Routledge. Brooks, A. 2007. ‘Feminist standpoint epistemology: Building knowledge and empowerment through women’s lived experiences’. In S. Nagy Hesse-Biber and P.L. Leavy (eds) Feminist Research Practice: A Primer (pp. 53–82). London and Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Bruner, E. 1989. ‘Of cannibals, tourists, and ethnographers’. Cultural Anthropology 4(4) (November): 438–445. Buch, E.D. and K.M. Staller. 2007. ‘The Feminist Practice of Ethnography’. In Feminist Research Practice: A Primer, edited by S.N. Hesse-Biber and P.L. Leavy, 187–221. London: Sage, 2007. Cabezas, A.L. 2009. Economies of Desire: Sex and Tourism in Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press. Clifford, J. 2010. ‘Introduction: Partial truths’. In J. Clifford and G.E. Marcus (eds) Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography, 25th anniversary edn (pp. 1–26). Berkeley: University of California Press. Clifford, J. and G.E. Marcus (eds). 2010. Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography, 25th anniversary edn. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Cohn, C. 2006. ‘Motives and methods: Using multi-sited ethnography to study US national security discourses’. In B.A. Ackerly, M. Stern and J. True (eds) Feminist Methodologies for International Relations (pp. 91–107). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Crapanzano, V. 2010. ‘Hermes’ dilemma: The masking of subversion in ethnographic description’. In J. Clifford and G.E. Marcus (eds) Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography, 25th anniversary edn (pp. 51–76). Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Craven, C. and D. Davis. 2013. ‘Introduction: Feminist activist ethnography’. In C. Craven and D. Davis (eds) Feminist Activist Ethnography: Counterpoints to Neoliberalism in North America (pp. 1–20). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.


Fieldwork and ethnography Cuomo, D. and V.A. Massaro. 2016. ‘Boundary-making in feminist research: New methodologies for “intimate insiders”’. Gender, Place & Culture 23(1): 94–106. Daigle, M. 2015. From Cuba with Love: Sex and Money in the Twenty-First Century. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Daigle, M. 2017 ‘Learning from the field’. In X. Guillaume and P. Bilgin (eds) Routledge Handbook of International Political Sociology (pp. 277–285). Abingdon: Routledge. Doezema, J. 2001. ‘Ouch! Western feminists’ “wounded attachment” to the “third world prostitute”’. Feminist Review 67 (Spring): 16–38. Edkins, J. 2013. ‘Novel writing in international relations: Openings for a creative practice’. Security Dialogue 44(4): 281–297. Fishman, P. 1977. ‘Interactional shitwork’. Heresies (May): 99–101. Hesse-Biber, S.N. 2007. ‘The practice of feminist in-depth interviewing’. In S.N. Hesse-Biber and P.L. Leavy (eds) Feminist Research Practice: A Primer (pp. 111–148). London: Sage. Hoefinger, H. 2013. Sex, Love and Money in Cambodia: Professional Girlfriends and Transactional Relationships. New York: Routledge. Kandiyoti, D. 1988. ‘Bargaining with patriarchy’. Gender and Society 2(3): 274–290. Lather, P. 2001. ‘Postbook: Working the Ruins of Feminist Ethnography’. Signs 27(1): 199–227. Lobo-Guerrero, L. 2013. ‘Wondering as research attitude’. In M. Salter and C. Mutlu (eds) Research Methods for Critical Security Studies: An Introduction (pp. 25–28). London: Routledge. Meadow, T. 2012. ‘Studying each other: On agency, constraint, and positionality in the field’. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 42(4): 466–481. Mohanty, C.T. 1988. ‘Under Western eyes: Feminist scholarship and colonial discourse’. Feminist Review 30 (Autumn): 61–88. Nencel, L. 2005. ‘Feeling gender speak: Intersubjectivity and fieldwork practice with women who prostitute in Lima, Peru’. European Journal of Women’s Studies 12(3): 345–361. Nencel, L. 2014. ‘Situating reflexivity: Voices, positionalities and representations in feminist ethnographic texts’. Women’s Studies International Forum 43: 75–83. Patai, D. 1991. ‘U.S. academics and Third World women: Is ethical research possible?’ In S. B. Gluck and D. Patai (eds) Women’s Words: The Feminist Practice of Oral History (pp. 137–153). London: Routledge. Pillow, W. 2003. ‘Confession, catharsis, or cure? Rethinking the uses of reflexivity as methodological power in qualitative research’. Qualitative Studies in Education 16(2): 175–196. Pratt, G. and V. Rosner. 2012. ‘Introduction: The global and the intimate’. In G. Pratt and V. Rosner (eds) The Global and the Intimate: Feminism in Our Time (pp. 1–27). New York: Columbia University Press. Ramazanoğlu, C. and J. Holland. 2002. Feminist Methodology: Challenges and Choices. London: Sage. Ratelle, J.F. 2013. ‘How participant observation contributes to the study of (in)security practices in conflict zones’. In M. Salter and C. Mutlu (eds) Research Methods for Critical Security Studies: An Introduction (pp. 76–79). London: Routledge. Reinharz, S. 1992. Feminist Methods in Social Research. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Rubin, G. 1993. ‘Thinking sex: Notes for a radical theory of the politics of sexuality’. In H. Abelove, M.A. Barale and D.M. Halperin (eds) The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader (pp. 3–44). New York: Routledge. Scharff, C. 2010. ‘Silencing differences: The “unspoken” dimensions of “speaking for others”’. In R. Ryan-Flood and R. Gill (eds) Secrecy and Silence in the Research Process: Feminist Reflections (pp. 83–95). London: Routledge. Schatz, E. 2009. ‘Ethnographic immersion in the study of politics’. In E. Schatz (ed.) Political Ethnography: What Immersion Contributes to the Study of Power (pp. 1–22). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Smith, L.T. 2012. Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples, 2nd edn. London: Zed Books. Spivak, G.C. 1981. ‘French feminism in an international frame’. Yale French Studies 62: 154–184. Spivak, G.C. 1998. ‘Can the subaltern speak?’ In C. Nelson and L. Grossberg (eds) Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture (pp. 271–313). Basingstoke: Macmillan Education. Stern, M. 2001. Naming In/security – Constructing Identity: ‘Mayan-Women’ in Guatemala on the Eve of ‘Peace’. Gothenburg: Department of Peace and Development Research, Gothenburg University.


Megan Daigle Tickner, J.A. 2006. ‘Feminism meets International Relations: Some methodological issues’. In B.A. Ackerly, M. Stern and J. True (eds) Feminist Methodologies for International Relations (pp. 19–41). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Vrasti, W. 2010. ‘Dr Strangelove, or how I learned to stop worrying about methodology and love writing’. Millennium: Journal of International Studies 39(1): 79–88. Vrasti, W. 2013. ‘Travelling with ethnography’. In M. Salter and C. Mutlu (eds) Research Methods for Critical Security Studies: An Introduction (pp. 59–62). London: Routledge. Wahab, S. 2003. ‘Creating knowledge collaboratively with female sex workers: Insights from a qualitative, feminist, and participatory study’. Qualitative Inquiry 9(4): 625–642. Wibben, A.T.R. 2016. ‘Introduction: Feminists study war’. In A.T.R. Wibben (ed.) Researching War: Feminist Methods, Ethics and Politics (pp. 1–16). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. Zalewski, M. 2006. ‘Distracted reflections on the production, narration, and refusal of feminist knowledge in International Relations’. In B.A. Ackerly, M. Stern and J. True (eds) Feminist Methodologies for International Relations (pp. 42–61). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.



Gendered insecurities

11 GENDER AND WAR Julia Welland

Introduction: war, International Relations and feminism War continues to fascinate, trouble, and preoccupy the minds of academics, politicians, philosophers, writers, and artists. As a phenomenon it has been extensively analysed; attempted to be captured by stories, images, and poetry; and provides the backdrop to countless books, films and artworks. As I write, a tentative ceasefire has begun in Syria in a civil war that has now been raging for over five years; François Hollande, the French premier, has declared his country is ‘at war’ with the terrorist organization variously referred to as ‘Isis’ or ‘Daesh’; and in the UK, where I live and work, First World War commemorative activities are ongoing during its centenary years. War, in short, surrounds us. As the feminist Christine Sylvester has written (2013: 100): [I]n a globalized era war touches everyone, even those whose bodies are not in any direct line of fire: people feel the war touch directly, through news reports, aid and relief campaigns, books, films, visual art, discussions in schools and universities, through philosophical inquiry, or by knowing someone who is or has been involved in war. Emerging in the years following the First World War, International Relations (IR) is a discipline borne out of war. ‘The Great War’ saw 8.5 million soldiers killed, 21 million injured, and 7.7 million as prisoners of war or simply ‘missing’. Widely perceived as a war that nobody wanted and which appeared to be a product of misunderstanding, lack of accountability, and uncontrollable and irrational processes, the First World War impelled the argument for the systematic study of international politics with the explicit purpose of controlling and reforming its conduct. While the discipline embraced liberal idea(l)s during the inter-war years, after the failure of the League of Nations and the amplification of the horrors of the First World War during the Second World War, IR – and its sub-discipline, Security Studies – came to be dominated by the theoretical insights of realism and its philosophical forebears. Influenced by the writings of the Prussian General and military strategist, Carl von Clausewitz (1780–1831), for many realists understandings of war begin and end with the state. Drawing on Clausewitz’s famous maxim, “War is a mere continuation of policy by other means” (2004: 14), war is understood as a rational foreign policy decision taken by state actors in the name of national self-interest. 129

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In light of this dominance by realism, when in the late 1980s/early 1990s feminists and other gender-aware scholars and practitioners began to enter into the academic and policy worlds of international politics and security, there was some scepticism as to what an analysis of gender could contribute to understandings of war (see Tickner (1997) for an overview of how and why this scepticism arose). However, while realist or similarly Clausewitz-inspired engagements might offer insights into the strategies of state armies, the weaponry used, and when and why peace accords were signed, they fail to take account of how war is a profoundly gendered activity. In comparison, feminists recognize that gender is integral to the ways that war is imagined, produced, and enacted, and that depending on the gender of your body and whether an individual identifies/or is identified as a man or woman, they will experience war’s conduct, impact, and aftermath differently. Feminist research on and about war is therefore vital in uncovering these experiences. This chapter is going to address three interlinked areas of feminist research on gender and war: the gendered imaginings of war; the gendered effects of war; and the gendered erasures from war.

Gendered imaginings of war Gender is crucial to our imagining of war. A picture of war is a picture of gendered bodies, and the familiar gendered picture or imaginary of war is a masculine one: wars are understood to be declared by male heads of states, planned by male military generals, and fought by male soldiers. Women, meanwhile, are relegated to the home front and to the margins of war scholarship. Such a picture takes for granted that these bodies are cis-gendered1 and regulated by a normative heterosexuality, whereby the masculine bodies of soldiers fight for the feminine bodies of their wives and girlfriends far away from the battlefield. In 1987, Jean Bethke Elshtain, one of the first and most prominent feminists in IR, published her now seminal text Women and War. In this text, Elshtain surveys a range of war narratives and demonstrates the significance of gender to the distinction between the ‘protector’ and the ‘protected’. Elshtain argues that in the West there is a tradition that “assumes an affinity between women and peace, between men and war”, transmitted through culturally constructed myths and memories. This tradition means that in times of war “real men and women” take on the personas of “Just Warriors” (courageous men) and “Beautiful Souls” (vulnerable women). Elshtain is explicit that “these tropes . . . do not denote what men and women really are in time[s] of war”, rather, “they function to re-create and secure women’s location as noncombatants and men’s as warriors” (Elshtain 1995: 4, original emphasis). This gendered imaginary of war can be traced across historical periods, geographies, and cultures. For example, in a widely circulated recruitment poster in Britain during the early stages of the First World War, two women and a small child are depicted watching a group of military men depart for war, under the words “Women of Britain say ‘GO!’”.2 The message is clear: British women were expected to encourage their male relatives to enlist, while remaining at home themselves; British men were expected to volunteer to fight, and feel ashamed (and emasculated) should they stay or refuse to fight. More recently, this gendered imagery and imaginary – with a distinctly racialized and orientalized3 inflection – could be traced in the debates and rhetoric surrounding the 2001 US-led invasion into Afghanistan (see Cloud 2004). While the military intervention was explained, in part, through a traditional Security Studies discourse of ‘national security’,4 wider support for the intervention was gained through an appeal to ‘save’ the women of Afghanistan, who, under the Taliban, lived in highly oppressive conditions. In the run-up to, and the opening months of, the invasion, US media was flooded with stories about how 130

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Afghan women were not allowed to leave their homes without a male chaperone, were forbidden to wear nail varnish or high heels, and were prevented from talking loudly or laughing out loud, as well as how it was the United States’ responsibility to alleviate their suffering and secure their human rights. The then First Lady, Laura Bush, made an impassioned radio address in which she drew explicit connections “between the plight of women of Afghanistan, the Taliban and the terrorists responsible for 9/11” (Russo 2006: 561): The brutal repression of women is a central goal of the terrorists . . . Only the terrorists and the Taliban threaten to pull out women’s fingernails for wearing nail polish . . . The fight against terrorism is also a fight for the rights and dignity of women. Bush 2001 In this imaginary of war, the women of Afghanistan are vulnerable, infantilized and agentless (Shepherd 2006: 20) ‘Beautiful Souls’, awaiting rescue and liberation by the brave and righteous ‘Just Warriors’ of the United States’ (masculine) armed forces. However, just as Elshtain makes clear, this discursive construction of vulnerable Afghan women and brave US men does not denote what men and women really were during the war, or, at least, it does not denote what men and women only or always were. Laura Bush’s description of Afghan women, for example, failed to take account of Afghan women who were members of the Revolutionary Association of Women in Afghanistan and who had been fighting for political and social rights in their country since the 1970s (see www.rawa. org/index.php). Rather, Afghan women were ‘written’ in such a way that justified a particular militarized response to their suffering (Hunt 2002). The gendered imagining of Afghan women as passive victims in need of protection was central to making possible and garnering support for the war-making of the US state. Cynthia Enloe, another key feminist thinker within IR, has also paid attention to the ways in which both war and militaries rely upon a gender order in which there is a clear division of labour between men and women. In her vast body of scholarship (for example, see: 1983, 1993, 2007), Enloe makes use of the concept ‘militarized masculinity’ to denote the particular ‘type’ of masculinity produced within militaries. At its most basic level, militarized or military masculinity can be understood as “the assertion that traits stereotypically associated with masculinity can be acquired and proven through military service or action, and combat in particular”, and that this gender identity is central to the perpetuation of violence in international affairs (Eichler 2014: 81; see also Hutchings 2008). There is a rich feminist literature that makes use of this concept and explores the production, operation, and effects of military and militarized masculinities across the globe (for example, Eichler 2011; Belkin 2012; Duncanson 2013). Much of this work draws on Raewyn Connell’s understanding of hegemonic masculinity as “one form of masculinity rather than others that is culturally exalted” (Connell 2005: 77). In the military, hegemonic masculinity tends to be associated with strength, dominance, violence, and courage, and most closely aligned with the combat arms of the military – for example, special forces, ground combat teams, marines, and fighter pilots. However, while feminists and gender-aware scholars have drawn on hegemonic masculinity in their analysis of militarized and military masculinities, they have also pointed to ways in which ideas of hegemonic masculinity have been challenged through military service. Claire Duncanson, for example, uses soldier memoirs of British service personnel who deployed to Afghanistan (2001–2014) and/or Iraq (2003–2011) to demonstrate that while there is plenty of evidence to support arguments 131

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about the presence of hegemonic or ‘war-fighting’ military masculinities during these two deployments, there is also evidence to suggest there were instances of a ‘peacebuilding masculinity’ simultaneously present. Duncanson argues that this ‘peacebuilding masculinity’ was constructed through “relations of equality, empathy, care, [and] respect” with local Afghans and Iraqis (Duncanson 2013: 148). For Duncanson, this peacebuilding masculinity is significant because it suggests that military personnel might be able to contribute not just toward violence and war-making, but the achievement of peace and security (p. 149). ‘Properly’ gendered bodies are therefore crucial to our imagining and doing of war. Cis-men are expected to take on the ‘masculine’ virtues of strength, valour, and dominance, achieved through military service and war-fighting. Cis-women, meanwhile, are those who are fought for, embodying the ‘feminine’ virtues of passivity, vulnerability, and innocence. While these gendered imaginings are integral to securing men as combatants and women as non-combatants (think, for example, to the only very recent decision to lift the bans on women serving on the frontline in the British and US armed forces), they also mean that men and women will experience the effects of war differently.

Gendered effects of war While war has never been an exclusively masculine zone, with militaries having always been reliant on women’s work for their function (Enloe 1983), the gendered imaginary of war in which women are non-combatants and relegated to the home front has meant that women have become symbols for the social and cultural values of the warring sides (Yuval-Davis 1997). As such, women’s bodies have often become the surface upon which war is waged. While examples of this can be traced in calls by French colonialists in the 1950s for Algerian women to be ‘de-veiled’ during the Algerian War of Independence, or in how both Palestinian and Israeli women are encouraged to have children in support of their respective nations, one area that has received sustained feminist engagement has been in relation to the use of sexual violence against women during armed conflict. Rape and sexual violence have long been features of war and armed conflict. A report published in 2007 documents instances of conflict-related sexual violence in 51 countries across Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, over a 20-year period between 1987 and 2007 (Bastick, Grimm and Kunz 2007). Despite war and sexual violence’s close relationship, however, it has only been in recent years that it has attracted scholarly and media attention. Previously, sexual violence during war (when acknowledged) was viewed as an inevitable, albeit unfortunate, feature of armed conflict. Maria Eriksson Baaz and Maria Stern note how rape has historically connoted revenge and triumph for the winning side, with the women of the defeated side the “war booty” for the victorious (male) soldiers. Implicit in these accounts is the understanding that it is men’s (hetero)sexuality that is the driving force of this sexual violence, and when this sexuality is untethered from ‘normal’ societal controls, such as during the throes of war, it easily results in rape (Baaz and Stern 2009: 498). Rather than explanations that unproblematically link sexual violence to supposedly biologically male and (hetero)sexual desires and needs, feminists have sought to explore alternative understandings. For example, and drawing on understandings of the gendered imaginary of war discussed above, “[i]f symbolically protecting ‘their’ women is crucial to men fighting wars, then attacking the ‘enemy’s’ women serves simultaneously to emasculate the ‘enemy’ and take away his reason for fighting” (Sjoberg 2016: 185). Thus, while the act of rape sends a symbolic message of dominance to all women (Card 1996), for the perpetrators it also serves to feminize the enemy through their failure to protect ‘their’ women. 132

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Given the physical and symbolic damage that is achieved through rape and sexual violence to both the (mostly) women who experience it and to the social and cultural fabric of their society, it is perhaps unsurprising it has featured in so many armed conflicts. During the 1990s there were two particular instances when rape was so widespread and used in such a way to be classified as a tool of genocide. In both the Bosnian conflict (1992–1994) and the Rwandan genocide (1994), rape was understood not ‘just’ as a crime against its victim and women more generally, but as a weapon against an ethnic or national group (Sjoberg and Peet 2011). Used primarily, but not exclusively, by Serbian forces against Bosnian women during the Bosnian war, and against Tutsi women by Hutu militias in Rwanda, in both cases women were targeted precisely because of their ethnicity and the rapes committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or part, the ethnic group. In light of the evidence of the prevalence of gender-based sexualized violence, it was also around this time that researchers, policymakers, and media commentators began to use the phrase ‘rape as a weapon of war’, as well as it being classed as a war crime in international law. The increased attention revealed sexual violence’s presence across multiple conflict zones, as well as ensuring its appearance on the agenda of the United Nations, numerous human rights and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the much-publicized 2014 Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London, co-chaired by the then British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, and the Special Envoy of the UN High Commissioner on Refugees and film star, Angelina Jolie. The labelling of rape as a ‘weapon of war’, its discussion at the highest levels of international security, and a global initiative aimed at eradicating it and other forms of sexual violence during armed conflict, all signal that this particular feminist concern about war has moved from the margins to the centre. However, while acknowledging the feminist success of politicizing this issue, feminists have also questioned what this increased attention has excluded in discussions of war and/or sexual violence. For example, attention has been drawn to the ways in which the ‘rape as a weapon of war’ narrative might over-simplify the specificities and complexities of wartime sexual violence (Baaz and Stern 2013); how stereotypical assumptions about women, their victimhood, and their sexual and reproductive identities risk being reproduced (Gardam and Jarvis 2001); and how a preoccupation with sexual violence during war often results in sexual violence outside war or perpetrated by ‘peacekeepers’ being ignored (Whitworth 2004), as well as other forms of physical and structural violence women might experience during armed conflict (for example, that women are more likely than men to experience poverty, become a refugee, and lack access to healthcare and education) (Gardam and Jarvis 2001). The majority of feminist work on wars’ effects has focused on the experiences of women. This is because there has been a historical tendency within IR and studies of war to focus on men and their experiences. There are, however, scholars who argue that it is not women’s experiences of war that have been ignored, but men’s. Adam Jones has written extensively (see his 2009 text for an overview) on men, violence, and feminist IR, paying particular attention to the gendered effects of genocide in war. One of Jones’ key contentions is the gender-selective – what he refers to as ‘gendercidal’ – killing of men during armed conflict; particularly men of perceived ‘battle age’ (approximately between 15 and 55). Jones argues “that gendercide – at least when it targets males – has attracted virtually no attention at the level of scholarship or public policy” (Jones 2000: 186). For Jones, the male victims of war and men’s gendered experiences of war have been ignored in scholarship, and by feminists in particular. 133

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Men, of course, do experience war and its effects differently. Feminists, however, have not ignored their experiences. Concerned with asking questions about gender, and not (exclusively) about women and/or femininity, there is a rich feminist literature that engages with the experiences of men and masculinity in war and global politics more broadly (see the discussion of military and militarized masculinities above). As Laura Sjoberg writes in a review of one of Jones’ texts: feminism provides the tools for “identifying and understanding [the] complex, interdependent webs of gender hierarchy in global politics” and is therefore “an essential component” to Jones’ work on “men’s victimization” (2012: 308). While Jones’ critique of feminism might be misplaced, just as a preoccupation with wartime sexual violence against women obscures a host of other violences they might experience, it is worth considering how certain assumptions about gender and gendered bodies excludes and silences certain stories and voices from understandings of war.

Gendered erasures of war Feminist research on war has done much to interrogate and deconstruct the powerful and enduring gendered imaginings of war, as well as bringing attention to and politicizing the gender-specific experiences these imaginings, in part, make possible. It has also been central in drawing attention to less familiar stories and those that challenge gendered expectations about what men and women do in war, and what war does to men and women. In this final section, some of these lesser-known stories are going to be told. Three in particular will be focused on: women as combatants and perpetrators of violence; men who are opposed to war; and male victims of sexual violence.

Women as combatants and perpetrators In contradistinction to popular conceptualizations of women as victims and peacemakers, women have often been active participants of war. Women have taken up arms in guerrilla movements in South and Central America; fought in nationalist movements across Africa and the Middle East; and have perpetrated sexualized violence in Rwanda, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Iraq. While such women have often been written out of historical accounts of wars, when they have been taken account of they have often been fetishized or had their motives reduced to a one-dimensional or stereotypical (gendered) narrative. Caron Gentry and Laura Sjoberg (Sjoberg and Gentry 2007; Gentry and Sjoberg 2015) have examined representations of women who have committed proscribed political violence in Chechnya, Palestine, Rwanda, and the US military women who engaged in sexual torture at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Sjoberg and Gentry argue that these women are not portrayed as regular criminals, soldiers, or terrorists, rather, “they are captured in storeyed fantasies which deny women’s agency and reify gender stereotypes and subordination” (Sjoberg and Gentry 2007: 5). In particular, their violence is presented through a series of gendered narratives: the mother narrative, monster narrative, and whore narrative. While the mother narrative explains women’s violence as a need to nurture and a way of being loyal to men; the monster narrative scripts the women as insane, thus eliminating rational behaviour, ideology, or culpability from them; and the whore narrative explains the violence as a product of the evils of women’s sexuality. Such narratives work to fully other violent women, portraying them not as ‘true’ women, but “singular mistakes and freak accidents” (Sjoberg and Gentry 2007: 13), denying them both womanhood and political agency. As such, the 134

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gendered imaginary of women as peaceful remains intact and violent women are not held to account in the same way as men. Swati Parashar has also sought to complicate the stories that are told (or not told) about women and war. Parashar is critical of those who fail to recognize the political or religious reasons why women might choose to fight: [T]o always question their [women militants’] motives is an inherent gender biased position . . . After all we never ask why a man took up arms or his motivations for committing suicide bombing – whether he was raped, humiliated, a social pariah or was thinking about the grandeur of an afterlife. We assume he had political issues to settle. Parashar 2014: 52 In her in-depth analysis of women’s participation in militancy in Kashmir and as part of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka, Parashar unpacks the intricacies of women’s motivations for choosing to fight – often inspired by the same nationalistic or militaristic zeal as men – and the complexities of their wartime experiences. Parashar also documents how despite playing central roles in the respective nationalist and religious movements, militant women both in Kashmir and the LTTE have been excluded and silenced from the political discourses surrounding the wars and from national narratives.

Men, masculinity, and opposition to war The peace movement has, unsurprisingly, been traditionally associated with women. From the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp in the 1980s in the UK, to women’s peace activism in Liberia in the early 2000s, and to the numerous examples of women instrumentalizing their femininity or identity as ‘mother’ in the name of peace,5 opposition to war has been understood as a distinctly feminized activity. However, just as there are numerous stories of women joining militaries, perpetrating violence, and rejecting or subverting assumptions about their peaceful nature, so too are there examples of men who actively oppose war, are conscientious objectors, or at the forefront of peace campaigns (see Rowe 2013). Given femininity’s long association with peace and masculinity with war, feminist engagements with peaceful men often explore the ways in which ideas about masculinity are reproduced and/or challenged in narratives surrounding peaceful men and their actions in international affairs. Daniel Conway (2012), for example, details the use of masculinity, and militarized masculinity in particular, in war resistance during apartheid in South Africa. Through detailed interviews with individual objectors and an analysis of statements made by the ‘End Conscription Campaign’ during apartheid, Conway explores how narratives of self-empowerment and autonomy offered access to a transgressive masculine identity not offered by the state. Conway goes on to question the extent to which objection was a radical act given that the alternative performance of masculinity offered actually embodied and symbolized many of the same images serving soldiers were assumed to have a monopoly in. As such, the construction of a masculinity of objection took place within, and did not challenge, the boundaries that exalted militarization. Joanna Tidy (2015) has also explored the ways in which militarized masculinity has operated within military peace movements. Analysing a 2007 documentary film, Body of War, which portrays the anti-war activism of Tomas Young, a paralysed Iraq veteran, Tidy pays 135

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attention to how masculine privilege operates within the US movement, producing hierarchies of experience, which leave in place the foundations of militarism and warmaking. Tidy demonstrates how within Body of War, the authority of Young, and the military peace movement as a whole, “rests upon a military masculine authenticity of experience expressed in the trope of the ‘boots on the ground’ perspective” (Tidy 2015: 458). Thus, while Young’s anti-war calls produce dissent, contesting the military and the privileging of its practices, it also relies on and reproduces the authority of militarized masculinity, whereby this particular gendered subject is privileged above all others. Both Conway and Tidy make visible groups of men frequently left out of the ‘war story’ commonly told, as well as the everyday workings of (militarized) masculinity in war resistance movements and how it is contested and reproduced. Their research reminds us of the multifaceted way that gender and war are interlinked, both in its practice and resistance to it.

Men as victims and survivors of sexual violence While conventional analyses of gender and war emphasize the vulnerabilities of women and girls, and their sexual vulnerabilities in particular, sexual violence against men and boys has received far less attention (for exceptions, see Sivakumarian 2007; Lewis 2014; Zalewski et al. 2018). This is despite the fact that, as with sexual violence against women, sexual violence against men has been chronicled for centuries (taking place in Ancient Persia and the Crusades, as well as by Ancient Greek, Egyptian, and Norse armies (Sivakumarian 2007: 257)), and in the decade between 1998 and 2008 was documented in 25 conflict-affected countries, with additional reports emerging from Libya, Syria, the DRC, and the Central African Republic since then (Dolan 2014: 1). While it remains that women and girls are disproportionally affected by sexual violence in conflict, where surveys have been conducted they suggest that levels of sexual violence against men and boys is much higher than is generally assumed or publicly admitted. However, despite evidence suggesting sexual violence against men in conflict is widespread, men and boys are often absent or footnoted in discussions and/or policies surrounding the issue, while in UN documentation and charity and NGO literature there is “frequent use of gendered pronouns to refer to victims and perpetrators” (Lewis 2014: 212). Chloe Lewis has analysed international materials pertaining to conflict-related sexual violence and identified three representations of men and masculinities produced and relied upon within them: the ‘Male Perpetrator’, ‘Strategic Ally’, and elusive ‘Male Victim Subject’. Lewis argues that the strength of the gendered stories of war materializes in these documents in the “dominance of the ‘Male Perpetrator’ and concomitant repress-entation of the ‘Male Victim Subject’” (Lewis 2014: 204, original emphasis). Such language works to (re)produce gendered assumptions and imaginaries of war, whereby women and girls are presumed as potential or actual victims of sexual violence, and men (and to a lesser extent, boys) are the presumed potential or actual perpetrators. As such, legal, conceptual, and programmatic spaces available to men within international sexual violence discourse is limited (Lewis 2014: 203–204), and doctors, counsellors, and humanitarian workers on the ground in conflict zones presume they are not susceptible to sexual violence and fail to pick up on the signs that such violence has occurred (Sivakumarian 2007: 256). Paying attention to wartime sexual violence against men is an important feminist concern, not only because it might “lead to a more nuanced consideration of the roles men and women play in armed conflict . . . dispel[ling] the idea of women solely as victims and men 136

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only as perpetrators” (Sivakumarian 2007: 260), but also because sexual violence, whether directed at men’s or women’s bodies is about power and domination, and establishes a gendered relationship between the victim and perpetrator. Because gender stereotyping tells us that masculinity is strong and powerful and that femininity is weak and helpless, and that these attributes map onto understandings of the perpetrator and victim, respectively, “[r]egardless of the actual gender of the perpetrator or victim, the characteristic of masculinity is attributed to the perpetrator and femininity to the victim” (Sivakumarian 2007: 271). A gendered analysis of wartime sexual violence is therefore integral to understanding why sexual violence takes place and its individual, communal, and societal effects.

Conclusion Gender shapes, directs, and helps make possible war. It constructs how we think about war, how individuals experience it, and how we respond to war’s effects. It renders (hyper)visible certain bodies and experiences, while obscuring or silencing others. To not engage in an analysis of war’s gendered dynamics or to assume it is the purview of ‘gender-neutral’ states is to fail to fully take account of both wars’ and gender’s operations. This chapter has detailed three interrelated ways how being ‘feminist curious’ (Enloe 2004) has uncovered the ways in which war is a profoundly gendered activity. First, gender was shown to be crucial to how we imagine war. While battlefields are populated with the masculine bodies of ‘Just Warriors’, feminine ‘Beautiful Souls’ are relegated to the private sphere and are whom war is fought for. Despite the term imaginary being critical here, such gendered myths are crucial to the workings of militaries and the practice of war. These gendered imaginaries, however, impact not just on the doing of war, but also on how men and women experience war. In the second section the gendered effects of war were considered. While as the (imagined) ‘protector’ men are more likely to fight and be targeted as combatants, women’s position as the ‘protected’ and as the bearers of society’s culture and values, mean their bodies frequently become the territories upon which battles are fought. As such, rape and sexual violence have frequently been directed toward women and girls in times of war because of the devastating and humiliating effects it has on them, the men who are perceived to have failed to protect them, and their wider community. These same imaginaries also work to exclude certain bodies from war narratives. In the final section three such exclusions were considered: violent women, peaceful men, and male victims of sexual violence. While not straightforwardly connected, these three war stories can be joined together by the gendered assumptions that work to obscure and silence the experiences and voices found within them. Despite overwhelming evidence that men and women take part and experience war in multifaceted ways, the men and women documented in the final section do not fit within the dominant war narratives that states rely on to continue to make war. Feminist research seeks to uncover these lesser-told stories, as well as interrogate those that are more familiar. Such research is vital, both in achieving a fuller understanding of war and for strategies that look to resist its continuation.

Notes 1 Cis-gendered individuals refer to those “who have a match between the gender they were assigned at birth, their bodies, and their personal identity” (Schilt and Westbrook 2009: 461). 2 A picture of the photo can be found here: 3 This term is drawn from the work of Edward Said, who in 1978 published his seminal text Orientalism. The text explored the West’s cultural representations of ‘The East’ and its depictions of those who lived there as exotic, sexually deviant, depraved, and barbaric.


Julia Welland 4 The Taliban, the then majority ruling party of Afghanistan, had refused to surrender Osama Bin Laden, the assumed ‘ring leader’ of the 11 September attacks on America, to the American authorities, prompting the American-led military intervention in October 2001. The intervention was to last over 13 years, causing the deaths of thousands of soldiers and Afghan civilians. 5 For example, in Argentina in the 1970s the ‘Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo’, an explicitly ‘womenonly’ movement, protested against the ‘disappearances’ of their sons, while Palestinian and IsraeliJewish women have engaged in joint resistance to political violence through calling for the end of illegal Israeli occupation and building peace initiatives.

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In January 2016, an armed militia group took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, Oregon. The leader was Ammon Bundy, who believed he was ordained by God to end the federal government’s ownership of the mostly rural land in Harney County. He formed the Citizens for Constitutional Freedom, a far-right-wing militia, that cooperated with and was supported by other militias. Even though Bundy and his associates let law enforcement know that they intended to take over the refuge headquarters and did so on 2 January, law enforcement stayed away from the area until the fifth week of the siege. During the siege, other militias set up a defensive perimeter around the headquarters and the police allowed members to leave and enter the refuge at will. It was not until the fourth week of the siege that law enforcement intercepted some of the leaders resulting in a shooting, a car chase, and arrests. Still the siege went on for another two weeks before the remaining members surrendered to the FBI. None of these men were charged with acts of terrorism – even though they: tried to supplant the US government’s federal authority in this area; used the threat of force to achieve their goals; and shot at the police and resisted arrest. Ammon Bundy is a white, middle-class Mormon man who had managed a fleet of cars in Arizona but whose father is a local rancher. Imagine if Bundy was not white, not middle-class, and not a Mormon. What if he was brown and an immigrant, believing that the US federal government had perpetrated harms in other parts of the world? Would law enforcement still have stayed away? Would the charges have included terrorism? I use this example to demonstrate that terrorism is a heavily contested term and, therefore, activity. Most Terrorism Studies scholars would argue that terrorism is a method of violence or the threat of violence that targets non-combatants and is extra-judicial as it operates outside of the confines of war and challenges the state’s monopoly on violence in order to achieve political goals (see Richards 2015). Yet, terrorism is a pejorative label (see Hoffman 2006: 23–24) that is applied unequally to non-state actors as opposed to state actors to denote illegitimacy and immorality (see Gentry 2014). While it might not be immediately apparent, this is evidence of the gendered hierarchical system that intersects with other factors, such as race, class, religion, etc. Therefore, this chapter will look at gender and terrorism by starting at the same place that feminism did in International Relations (IR): with the women as per Cynthia Enloe (1983). 140

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After that it will look at how men, the ‘normal’ terrorists, are gendered. The following section is an intersectional analysis of neo-Orientalism and the War on Terror. The final section looks at the gendered hierarchical international system and how this automatically connotes legitimacy onto states and illegitimacy onto politically violent non-state actors, even if both states and non-states are using the same style of violence. The section concludes with the recent work on queering IR and Terrorism Studies, as sexuality is central to gender hierarchy of the international system and to the study of terrorism.

Where Are the Women? The study of gender and terrorism in many ways began with the study of women and terrorism. The term terrorism originated during the French Revolution and the Rule of Terror (Hoffman 2006: 3–4). While first associated with state terrorism, terrorism became applied and an accepted label for non-state violence in the aftermath of the failed 1848 nationalist movements in Europe (Miller 1995). A detail that is often missed is that women were involved in these groups. For instance, in the Russian populist group, Naradnoya Volya, that operated from 1879 to 1894, women were intimately involved in its activities and ideological development (Carroll 2000; Siljak 2009). Instead, the first time that women’s participation is noted and studied is in the MarxistLeninist movements in the 1960s across the globe. Terrorism Studies only began in earnest in the 1970s mainly among a group of scholars in the West (see Ranstorp 2009). Several Terrorism Studies scholars, including Leonard Weinburg and William Eubank (1987, 1989) and H.H.A. Cooper (1979), looked at women’s participation, but the study of women or of gender by feminists (with the exception of Robin Morgan (1989) and Kathleen Blee (1991) (who wrote on women and the Ku Klux Klan) was relatively ignored until the early 2000s. Thus, this first section starts with the distinctly feminist question, where are the women (Enloe 1983), and it goes further to ask, how are they represented or gendered? The first feminist text to look at women’s participation in terrorism was second wave feminist Robin Morgan’s The Demon Lover: The Roots of Terrorism (1989). Morgan’s book is a reflection on her participation in the United States’ student movement in the 1960s and her brief flirtation with joining the rising Weather Underground. The Weather Underground was a Marxist-Leninist terrorist group that led violent riots in Chicago, robbed post offices along the Eastern seaboard, and bombed banks on Wall Street and even the US Capitol Building and the Pentagon (Gentry 2004). The Weather Underground, like other MarxistLeninist groups worldwide (including the West German Red Army Faction, the Italian Red Brigades, France’s Action Direct, and the Japanese Red Army), had a high number of women members and leaders. When Morgan was a student in New York in the late 1960s, she found the Weather Underground’s politics to be high masculinist (prioritizing the male members and leaders, as well as a violent masculinist ideology) and deeply sexualized, which they were (see Gentry 2004). Thus, her reflections on all terrorist groups and members is seen through her experiences with the Weather Underground. Morgan (1989: 27–28) names the male terrorist, the Demon Lover, as “the ultimate sexual ideal of a male-centred tradition[,] . . . the logical extension of the patriarchal hero”. Morgan surprisingly refers to women as “token” terrorists because women typically exist “outside the body politic, except as victims or tokens”. She denies women the capability to make decisions for themselves. The “token” terrorist “is no more a true representative of women than the airbrushed Playboy centrefold”. A “‘revolutionary’ woman” buys into the “male ‘radical’ line” and “diassociate[s] herself from her womanhood . . . her reality” (Morgan 1989: 141

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59–60). The token terrorist defends her loyalty and her commitment while in denial to her true self. Thus women who participate in the armed struggle have made the wrong choice, forsaking the more humane path of feminism for male-dominated political violence. Morgan’s perspective, while based upon her own experience, unfortunately contributes to some of the gendered stereotypes that existed in Terrorism Studies. For instance, that women became involved in terrorist organizations because of their boyfriends or husbands (Weinburg and Eubank (1987) although later work moves away from this argument (Weinburg and Eubank (2011)) or were hypersexualized (see Anonymous 1976). Thus, Laura Sjoberg and myself (2007) began critiquing the narratives that surrounded women’s participation in extranormal political violence. As Julia Welland discussed in Chapter 11, our work looked at Palestinian women’s participation in suicide martyrdom as well as the Chechen ‘Black Widows’. The main purpose of Mothers, Monsters, Whores, and its subsequent second edition (Gentry and Sjoberg 2015a), was to produce an intervention in the gendered narratives that claimed women participated in terrorism: out of some biologically determined maternal need (the Mother narrative; see also Gentry 2009); because she was insane or irrational (the Monster narrative), or because she was either hypersexualized or ‘deviantly’ sexualized as gay (the Whore narrative; see also Sjoberg and Gentry 2008). These narratives served to disassociate women from the political nature of terrorism (an element intrinsic to the definition of terrorism (see Schmid and Jongman 2006: 5)) and to complicate their agency regarding the choices they made to be violent. Therefore, Swati Parashar’s (2009, 2011, 2014) work on women’s involvement in conservative/religious militant groups in Sri Lanka and Kashmir is incredibly important. Parashar’s work looks at the women who have often been overlooked because the previous assumption was that as conservative groups had strict gender roles this limited women to the private and therefore their engagement with violence. Subsequently, women were not ‘terrorists’ – as they were not the ones pulling the trigger of the gun or planting and setting off a bomb. However, what Parashar found was the unseen labour of women and reached the conclusion that women’s participation in political violence should be conceptualized not as a binary between victim or agent, but as individuals who challenge both feminist and mainstream notions of what it means to participate and support political violence. While it has been accepted that more women participate in Marxist-Leninist groups (because of the equality emphasized in the ideology) or in ethno-nationalist groups (also owed to the slightly different nature of the desired social equality inherent to these primarily anti-colonialist movements), an intersectional approach requires that feminist scholars ask the other questions (Matsuda 1991): if someone sees gender, they should ask where is race; if they see race, they should ask where is religion; etc. An intersectional approach acknowledges that gender, as a structuring force, does not operate independently but often works in tandem and indistinguishably from other forms of oppression, such as race, class, sexuality, religion, geo-political location, etc. (Runyan and Peterson 2013: 35; Davis 2008), and thus intersectional analysis of gender and terrorism requires us to look at what other factors are involved in the telling of women’s participation in terrorism. Intersectional approaches are needed more than ever as there has been increased media coverage of the women who are joining IS in Syria and acting in support of them in the West. Asking the other question has also led me to look at ‘gendered neo-orientalism’ (Gentry 2016a), particularly in the ways that women’s participation in al-Qaeda are understood (Gentry 2016b). Gendered neo-orientalism is both a departure from Edward Said’s (1978) orientalism and from the more recent neo-orientalism. Said’s orientalism looks at the discursive binary from the ‘progressive’ and ‘modern’ West toward the people, places, 142

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and aesthetics associated with Arabia, holding these to be anti-progress and ‘backward’. Where orientalism used to be a way of studying and describing those things associated with the East, Said introduces a postcolonial critique of it. Later work on neo-orientalism took orientalism further, arguing that neo-orientalism is a bias against all of those associated with Islam (even tacit association) (Nayak and Malone 2009) and in the discourse that holds Islam as “atavistic, resistant to progress, brutal, and violent” (Gentry 2016b). This is related to terrorism through the neo-orientalist assumption that Muslims’ allegiance to sharia law means the liberal necessity of a “contract between society and state” cannot be formed (Tuastad 2003: 594–595). Neo-orientalism is deeply gendered. It assumes that rationality is a Western trait (as well as a masculine one as will be discussed further below). Within Terrorism Studies and in the discourse of the War on Terror (see Shepherd 2006; Nayak 2006), Muslim men (again, to be discussed below) were described as hypermasculine by being overly violent. This meant that Muslim women were presented as the victims of Muslim men’s hyper-ness. As described by both Welland in Chapter 11 and Cecilia Åse in Chapter 24, Muslim women were scripted to fit the idealized (brown) woman in need of protection from brown men by the (superior) white forces of the US and/or NATO (which is a very Spivak-ian moment of “white men saving brown women from brown men” (see Spivak 1988)). The ‘oppression’ of Muslim women became the “categorical proof of Islamic terror” upon which the US could project its hypermasculinist protector image against and above the “dehumanized and demonized” Muslim men (Nayak 2006: 49–50). Given this portrayal of women associated with Islam, it is difficult to makes sense of the women who choose to be violent. When women affiliate themselves with al-Qaeda, such as Myrium Degaque, a Belgian woman who self-detonated in Iraq, or Sajida al-Rishawi, a woman whose bomb pack failed to detonate in Amman, Jordan (see Gentry and Sjoberg 2015a: 59), or are affiliated with al-Qaeda, like Aafia Siddiqui, a woman who may or may not have fundraised for al-Qaeda (Gentry 2011; 2016a), some in the media or academics have to make sense of them within the pre-set discursive arrangements in gendered neo-orientalism. Thus, Degaque was described as a Catholic schoolgirl gone wrong who married a Muslim man who converted her to radical Islam; al-Rishawi was described similarly as a dominated wife; and Siddiqui has been described as alternatively crazy or also dominated by her husband (see Gentry and Sjoberg 2015a: 82–83; Gentry 2016a). Furthermore, these problematic gender tropes are showing up in the discussions of the women who join or act for IS. IS differs from al-Qaeda in that it has actively recruited women from the West to join it and come to the territory it controls in Syria. Because IS is interested in state-building, this has meant that women do have a dedicated role within this state – to marry and have children in the support of the nation. This role/cast-typing for women in IS is similar to what has been observed of women’s ideal role in ethnonationalist movements: to be the mother of the nation (see Yuval-Davis 1997). Yet, IS has also left the door open for women’s participation in the armed struggle – if too many men have been killed, women will be allowed to participate in the struggle (Winter 2015). Some of the media and other academics have cast women’s decision to involve themselves in IS as wholly dependent upon these stereotypes. Some depict the young women who have gone to Syria as “girls” who were “lured” across the border (Benhold 2015). These young women have been groomed online and therefore tricked or deceived into the struggle (Ferguson 2015). Others describe them as women who desire material possessions and that the promise of top-of-the-line kitchen appliances and marital bliss is enough to make them leave the West and join their future husbands in Syria (Bloom 2015). Yet, again, these 143

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narratives do not fully explore why women have become involved (Sjoberg and Gentry 2016). Trying to deflect or at least minimize women’s agency and understanding of their choice to engage in political violence is at odds with how men’s involvement and political choices are depicted. Instead, the normal terrorist or the terrorist ‘norm’ is often conflated with men, unless those men happen to ‘deviate’ from the white, Western ideal.

Masculinities and terrorism Since gender is a binary that assumes dichotomous differences between woman/femininity and man/masculinity, this binary also works in how female terrorists are discussed – in opposition to male terrorists. Masculinity is associated with logic, rationality, strength/ aggressiveness. Therefore, men are associated with these traits and from there it is assumed that men are naturally inclined to be involved in the public sphere (Pateman 1980; Elshtain 1981). Women are associated with opposing traits, emotion, irrationality or hysteria, and passivity, which excludes them from the public and shutters them in the private sphere (Pateman 1980; Elshtain 1981). These gendered assumptions about the presumed attributes and behaviours of men or women carry into Terrorism Studies. As mentioned previously, early Terrorism Studies rarely touched upon women’s involvement in terrorism. When they were mentioned, gendered assumptions were often present – that they imitated men, had no understanding of justice or the political rationale behind the violence, or, again, that they were sex crazed (Anonymous 1976; Cooper 1979). Thus, much of the literature on terrorists within Terrorism Studies was implicitly about men or about a gender-neutral actor. This becomes clear when one looks at ‘politicalization/mobilization’ and the rational actor model versus the radicalization and postmodern/new terrorism. When learning about the motivations behind a person’s decision to join terrorism – this has historically been termed ‘mobilization’ or ‘politicalization’ – scholarship often centres on a belief in the political cause of the group as well as a desire to belong to something, often due to friendship and family ties (Peteet 1991; della Porta 1992). Several studies focus on ‘push/pull’ factors, or the factors that exist in mainstream society that push a person toward terrorism, such as lack of education, low socio-economic status, or low job prospects, and the elements that are attractive about the terrorist organization (pull factors), such as money, status, and group acceptance (Taylor and Horgan 2006; see also McCauley and Moskalenko (2008; 2011) for a longer discussion). While push/pull include both masculine (political) and feminine (emotional) reasons for involvement, this rationale begins to break down when an intersectional analysis is conducted on the Terrorism Studies literature on mobilization/ politicalization. For instance, the rational actor model that has been adopted is distinctly masculinist and when politicalization is applied to radical Islamist terrorism the term ‘radicalization’ is used, which relies upon problematic hypermasculinized discourse. Sjoberg and Gentry (2009) used the work on suicide terrorism to argue that ‘genderneutrality’ is never neutral and makes implicit assumptions based upon the masculine ideal (see also Charlesworth 1999: 381). Robert Pape’s (2005) work on suicide terrorism employs a rational actor model and argues that suicide campaigns work because “the terrorists’ political cause made more gains after the resort to suicide operations” (Pape 2005: 22). This makes suicide terrorism a strategic choice made by persons capable of rational decision-making in the interest of political power and control. Furthermore, suicide terrorists are “psychologically normal” (Pape 2005: 23) and “come from a broad array of lifestyles” (Pape 2005: 17). Again, Pape’s work depends upon gender-neutrality but it is couched within distinctly masculine discourse. Thus, Sjoberg and Gentry (2009) critique this study for masculinist bias: strategic 144

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logic prioritizes rationality and calculation (masculine-related values) over emotion and care (feminist-related values). Yet, both of these sets of values are important – no one makes a decision without weighing both (Sjoberg and Gentry 2009; see also Crawford (2000) which is about the role of emotions in the study and practice of IR). The masculinist norm of strategic, logical (suicide) terrorism loses its neutrality when it is intersected with other factors, in particular, gender and the neo-orientalist conflation of religion and race. When Pape (2005: 209) considers women, separating them from the suicide terrorist norm, he hypothesizes that as women age, they receive fewer marriage proposals and “acting as a human bomb . . . is an understood and accepted offering for a woman who will never become a mother” (Pape 2005: 230). Additionally, women become suicide terrorists due to rape, which is “a stigma that destroys their prospects for marriage and rules out procreation as a means of contributing to the community” (Pape 2005: 230; Bloom 2005; Bloom 2011). While this tells the reader more about Pape’s thinking on women, it serves to highlight how he accepts masculine traits as the norm for suicide terrorism. Intersectionality also needs to be applied to the study of religious terrorism. As Terrorism Studies began to address religious terrorism in the 1980s, the work slowly became imbued with gendered neo-orientalism. The Marxist-Leninist groups’ dominance faded in the 1970s and in its place groups with religious ties, such as Hamas in the Palestinian Territories and Hezbollah in Lebanon, grew in prominence. This resulted in a new emphasis on the study of religious terrorism (see Ranstorp 1996). By the 1990s, after the sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system by Aum Shinrikyo, the truck bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City by Timothy McVeigh, a white nationalist with ties to Christian extremist groups, and the first World Trade Center bombing by al-Qaeda in New York, Terrorism Studies experts Walter Laqueur (1996, 2000) and Bruce Hoffman (Lesser et al. 1999) began to herald the rise of what they called ‘postmodern’ or ‘new’ terrorism. The postmodern terrorism thesis warned that in the coming decades terrorist attacks would be on a massive scale with very high number of fatalities and it would be driven by fundamentalist or extremist ideology. This theory only seemed to be borne out with the events of 9/11, 3/11 (the 2004 attack on Spanish trains), 7/7 (the 2005 attack on London’s transit system), and now with the shootings in Paris in 2015 and bombings in Brussels in 2016. Unfortunately, new terrorism also became conflated with neo-orientalism, especially in the War on Terror discourse (see Gentry and Sjoberg 2015b). Dag Tuastad (2003) traces how American politicians and academics adopted an increasingly neo-orientalist stance which gradually emerged in the post-9/11 era. The War on Terror discourse created a Manichean vision of the (Christian, white) West fighting an ages-old battle against the (radical) Islamic forces in the Middle East – a modern day crusade (Jarvis 2009; see also Jackson 2005). More particularly, it created a dynamic where the counter-terrorist (the US and allies in the War on Terror) were rational actors facing “Islamic terrorists” who are “‘crazy madmen’ acting under the influence of mental disorders and deprived of any rational logic related to social, political, or religious conditions” (Hellmich 2008: 113). Men associated with Islam were presented as “Irrational Barbarians” (Shepherd 2006: 25) who threatened, not just submissive Muslim women, but the very civilizational structure of the West as their atavistic violence was pointed at bringing down the US and its allies (see Nayak 2006; Nayak and Malone 2009). This discursive binary that relies upon racialized hypermasculinity becomes clear if one contrasts the treatment of the men involved in the Oregon refuge takeover. By staying away and trying to negotiate with the militia, instead of immediately engaging them as terrorists, Bundy and his supporters were treated as rational actors who could reason and be trusted 145

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not to use force. It would be hard to imagine that the same scenario would occur if the people involved were associated with a group such as IS or al-Qaeda. This demonstrates that there is a hierarchy dependent upon, not just gender, but race and religion. In fact, this hierarchy between white men who used the threat of violence and the fear of Muslims as exhibited in the increasing Islamophobic attacks in the West suggests that there is a larger structural hierarchy at play.

Gender hierarchy and queering terrorism Gender hierarchy is often associated with Raewyn Connell and James Messerschmidt’s work on ‘hegemonic masculinity’, where one form of masculinity dominates other masculinities and all femininities. In IR, the dominant form of masculinity is most often associated with white, upper-class, heterosexual, well-educated masculinities (Runyan and Peterson 2013: 6). While hegemonic masculinity is most often associated with individuals, it is also apparent in how organizations and structures work, which leads to situations such as ‘glass ceilings’, the euphemism for the unseen and unspoken structures that prevent women from advancing in their chosen careers, or ‘pipeline leaks’, when these structures lead women to seek employment outside of what had once been their chosen career (Sjoberg (2008) is a great discussion of how this hierarchy exists in the field of IR). Gender hierarchical structuring is also seen in the ordering of IR as both a field of study and how we study it. In her 2013 book, Gendering Global Conflict, Sjoberg argues that the permissive cause of war is not anarchy, as concluded by neo-Realist Kenneth Waltz (1959, 1979), instead it is gender and the gender hierarchy of the international system. The Westphalian international system, with its focus on rational and sovereign states, is masculinist and prioritizes masculine attributes and behaviour – power politics and assertive/aggression (see also Tickner 1992). Since states are the primary actor, they are also the prioritized actor. They exist in a dichotomous relationship with terrorist organizations, as terrorist organizations are deemed illegitimate for violating the Westphalian norm of states as the only legitimate source of violence (see Sjoberg 2009). Furthermore, Gentry (2014) argues that this binary does not just speak to state versus terrorist legitimacy/illegitimacy, but it also speaks to how morality is parcelled out. States with the monopoly on violence are also seen as the moral actors, making all groups that challenge a state’s sovereignty and monopoly on violence illegitimate. Within Terrorism Studies, it is often acknowledged that terrorism is not just a pejorative label, but one that rests uncomfortably on a slippery slope to demonstrate non-state actors’ illegitimacy. Even when terrorism is defined as a method of violence, if a state uses the same style of violence that state is not often labelled a terrorist state (even though the origins of the term began with state violence) (see Jackson 2005; Blakely 2007, 2009). This can be seen in the conviction of Nelson Mandela for terrorism and his sentencing to Robben Island, a former prison for political prisoners, in South Africa; yet, after he was released he went on to become the President of South Africa and a Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1993. In order to further demonstrate the binary of legitimate/moral/state versus illegitimate/ immoral/terrorist, Christine Sylvester and Swati Parashar (2009) used the Mahabharata, which is an ancient epic Sanskrit tale about the Kurukshetra War between the Kaurava and Pandava princes. Sylvester and Parashar draw parallels between how the two sides represented themselves and their enemies with the War on Terror. The warring princes both claimed righteousness and designated the other side as immoral – both then claiming a masculinist right to use force and violence. Furthermore, in this epic battle represented as good versus 146

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bad, the individuals who were harmed and suffered from the violence were obscured and seen as unimportant. This too is the operation of gender, where the agency and experiences of individuals are erased (see Sylvester 1994). Thus, Sylvester and Parashar use the Mahabharata as an intervening text to reveal the complexity of the gender hierarchy in the War on Terror and the silences it creates. As feminism continues to interrogate the depth of intersectionality, sexuality and queer theory play a larger part in feminist IR. Queer designates “the open mesh of possibilities, gaps, overlaps, dissonances and resonances, lapses and excesses of meaning when the constituent elements of anyone’s gender, of anyone’s sexuality aren’t made (or can’t be made) to signify monolithically” (Sedgewick 1993: 8 as cited in Weber 2014: 596). While Cynthia Weber (2014) argues that queering IR is important for a variety of reasons, including how cis-gender (or how an individual expresses their sexuality corresponds with their birth sex) and heteronormativity work on the lives of queer folk, Weber’s third argument is quite important to the study of gender and terrorism. She argues that queer international theories explicitly engage . . . [IR’s] governing dichotomy – order versus anarchy. Among the ways the “order vs. anarchy” dichotomy functions (and, importantly, fails to function) in international relations is by articulating “order vs. anarchy” as “normal vs. perverse” and, more specifically, as “hetero/ homo-normative vs. queer”. Weber 2014: 597 In this statement, Weber efficiently captures the sentiment of this chapter: that the gendered structuring of Terrorism Studies is used to uphold the ‘order versus anarchy’ dichotomy in which terrorists are gendered actors and terrorist groups and the act of terrorism are gendered as immoral and illegitimate. Thus, queering IR aims to dismantle this hierarchical ordering which rests on more than gender, but also sexuality, religion, race, and other structural forces. Jasbir Puar (2006) has already begun the work of queering Terrorism Studies by looking at the rise of nationalism within the US after the 9/11 attacks. In her article with Amit Rai (2002), they argue that sexuality is central to Terrorism Studies and its construction of the ‘terrorist’, tying the terrorist with the monsters of the 18th and 19th centuries with their pathologized aggression. In post-9/11 America, al-Qaeda and bin Laden were conceived as monsters living within a “shadowy evil” (Puar and Rai 2002: 118), which Puar and Rai (2002: 119) then tie to Michel Foucault’s notion of the monster, which is an animal/thirdgender human. In the post-9/11 discourse, al-Qaeda ‘terrorists’ were often depicted, as mentioned, as hyper-masculine, -sexual, and -aggressive. In contrast, Puar and Rai (2002: 122) point out that American counterterrorism was a form of civilization and rational knowledge. In a rather impressive summation, Puar and Rai (2002: 124) say: Our contention is that today the knowledge and form of power that is mobilized to analyze, taxonomize, psychologize, and defeat terrorism has a genealogical connection to the West’s abnormals, and specifically those premodern monsters that Western civilization had seemed to bury and lay to rest long ago. . . . The undesirable, the vagrant, the Gypsy, the savage, the Hottentot Venus, or the sexual depravity of the Oriental torrid zone shares a basic kinship with the terrorist-monster. Therefore, the Western counterpart is able to maintain its rational, heteronormative, civilizational force, which governs the rest of the world. The process of queering this 147

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dichotomous and hierarchical structuring is to undo this power dynamic and to make clear just how absurd some of these discursive narratives and imaginings are.

Conclusion Gender is threaded throughout the study of terrorism. It is seen in how politically violent individuals are conceptualized and understood. Women are often seen as lacking political rationale, which implicates how their agency is understood. When gender intersects with other factors – of particular importance at this time is the neo-orientalist bias against Islam and all associated with it – women’s involvement and personal understanding of the violence they are committing are further challenged. While the ‘male terrorist’ is presented as the ‘normal terrorist’, this is only true if that male terrorist is white and driven by a secular ideology. Once religion and race become factors, as they do again with neo-orientalism, then the male terrorist is stripped of (masculine) rationality and strategy. This creates a gender hierarchy, where, even in Terrorism Studies, once again white male actors are the ones to have the valued masculine attributes and those that do not possess them are somehow lacking. The gender hierarchy forms and informs the perceived moral legitimacy of states versus non-state terrorist actors, which has only recently begun to be interrogated, with queer theory being the latest inroad.

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13 GENDER AND EVERYDAY VIOLENCE Alexandria J. Innes and Brent J. Steele

Everyday violence, generally, refers to those forms of violence that occur as part of the banal experience of everyday life. By definition, everyday violence does not refer to the high politics of war and conflict, or the exceptional and dramatic violence of terrorism and natural disaster. Everyday violence refers to the recurring violence that happens in quotidian life. While these forms of violence often appear to be far removed from international politics, here we illustrate ways in which they are, in fact, inextricably tied to international politics and international security. We also demonstrate that everyday violence in general is often gendered in nature or is often a consequence of the gendered dynamics of international politics. The neglect of these forms of violence in Security Studies and International Relations (IR) theory further reveals gender bias in the discipline. In this chapter we explore how the conceptualization of everyday violence ties to the established understandings of violence in IR, and how conceptualizations of violence in Security Studies and IR might be adapted to account for everyday violence, making them better able to reflect the experiences of diverse identities. In what follows we will provide a more nuanced definition of everyday violence, before demonstrating where everyday violence is tied particularly to gender. We will move from there to situate the concept of gender violence within work on international security. Finally, we will provide some illustrative empirical examples of forms of gendered everyday violence, suggesting some areas that are ripe for further study.

Defining everyday violence The term everyday violence has been used variously in different disciplines. For example, in psychology everyday violence refers to acts of violence that become a habitual part of the everyday, in the sense that they are accepted and are rarely questioned – things like aggressive driving, bullying, corporal punishment, and violence in forms of entertainment such as movies and videogames (Hollin 2015). Historian Gemma Clark refers to everyday violence in the Irish civil war as acts of force or intimidation that are not part of military strategy but are carried out as violent forms of protest, such as destroying property (Clark 2014; Whelehan 2016). In IR the concept of everyday violence begins with an acknowledgement that violence is not confined to exceptional events. Violence occurs in everyday life and in unexceptional circumstances. It (1) is decentred; (2) includes both agents and structures; and 151

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(3) is unexceptional. The very fact that everyday violence is mundane and pervasive is what causes it to be ignored by those in high politics, even though it is the majority of violence in the world. Everyday violence first and foremost is a decentred concept in the context of Security Studies and IR theory. A focus on everyday violence means a shift away from the unit of the state as actor (although the state can be implicated as an agent of violence) to the individual and the experiential. However, attending to everyday life allows for the decentred individual to be embedded in their circumstances and relationships. Rather than an isolated (neoliberal) individual as is foregrounded by some approaches to violence and security in IR, a focus on the everyday embeds an individual in their experiences, therefore rendering an individual who has familial and community relationships, a complex identity, and a fluid way of being in the world. Consequently, violence is not limited to physical or bodily harm, nor is it always instrumental. Violence can be structural and violence can be done to the person’s way of being in the world as well as to the body. Second, violence includes both structures and agents. A primary rendering of violence that has been utilized in Security Studies and IR that captures everyday forms of violence is structural violence. Structural violence was addressed first in Peace Studies by Galtung (1969), conceptualized as forms of social injustice that must be understood as preventing peace, because true peace cannot be established when social injustice prevails. Structural violence, adopted by feminists in the 1990s, broadens the scope for understanding violence in Security Studies and IR, as violence is not that brought about by a malevolent actor, but is the result of injustice in the world that creates harm (Tickner 1992; Peterson 1992). For example, the structural violence that disrupts family life as a consequence of family visa law in the UK produces insecurity in the everyday, and the separation of families can be understood as violence to a way of being in the world (Innes and Steele 2015). Further, work on social injustice and structural violence typically examines socio-economic injustice but can equally be applied to identity characteristics such as gender, race, religion, age, ethnicity, sexuality, and so on. In fact, attending to social injustice and incorporating activist scholarship in IR in various forms has been a core part of the feminist project, in particular with regard to gender and identity-based injustices (Stern 2005; Eschle and Maiguashca 2007; Ackerly and True 2008; Marshall 2011). Indeed, work that looks at normative whiteness in (Western) society configured around the white, propertied male similarly exposes structural violence as it manifests in everyday life (Hurd 2008). Critiques of structural violence include the notion that it broadens the definition of violence too far so as to render it meaningless (Thomas 2011) and also that it then overlooks or excuses agent-based violence. However, shifting from structural to everyday violence permits a more complex understanding of agency that acknowledges embeddedness in circumstances but does not overlook the role of agency, or, for that matter, structures. For example, in cases of rape, the agent of violence is not just the rapist as an ‘exceptional violence’ reading would suggest. Nor is it just a rape-culture society, as a structural reading would suggest and potentially excuse the rapist as a victim of rape culture. Instead, an everyday focus looks at rape as an act of violence that is perpetrated by a violent agent, but also examines the system and society that blames the victim, the state that systematically fails in prosecution and protection, or the conditions of war and violence that normalize sexual violence committed against a dehumanized ‘enemy’ (Alison 2007; Kirby 2012). The violence of rape is not just a one-off instance of harm, but is a harm that reoccurs over time both as it is relived in prosecution processes and testimony and as it lingers in trauma and memory. Thus, the scope for understanding the conditions that give rise to violence, the form the violence takes, 152

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the author of violence, the subject of violence, and the aftermath of violence is extended significantly by situating violence in the everyday. Third, such violence is unexceptional. By ‘unexceptional’ we do not mean it doesn’t matter – quite the opposite – it matters a lot. Rather, it goes unnoticed. The shift away from violence that is exceptional to understand violence as something that can be habitual and reoccurring is particularly appropriate to provide insight into gendered forms of violence. For example, Paul Kirby discusses rape as a weapon of war as a particular form of gendered violence, citing the debates as to whether rape as a weapon of war is constituted as harm to all women because of how the female body is appropriated as vulnerable and commodified as a spoil of war, or whether rape is a specifically genocidal tool used instrumentally to bring about a political objective. Understanding wartime rape as an everyday violence allows primarily for the former, but also has explanatory power as to why the latter might work effectively by situating the debate in structural gender dynamics (Kirby 2012). This unexceptional, habitual, and everyday violence forms part of international politics and, in particular, part of international security. An impetus to open the concept of security has emerged from critical security scholarship and Feminist Security Studies. Scholars in these areas of Security Studies have argued that security is not simply characterized by states or by the ability of states to protect their populations (McSweeney 1999; Fierke 2007; Shepherd 2008; Wibben 2011). Rather, security and insecurity can be discursive, performative, ontological, and experiential (Campbell 1998; Shepherd 2008; Hansen 2011; Steele 2008; Kinnvall 2006; Wibben 2011). Security is experienced in different ways by different people, groups, and communities at different times. As Annick T.R. Wibben (2010) articulated, the dominant state narrative of security might not reflect the form of security that is of prior importance for particular groups and communities. For example, minority and marginalized women experienced insecurity as a consequence of 9/11 not tied to the threat of ongoing terrorism, but tied more closely to the economic implications of the falling dollar, the retraction of the tourism industry, the potential effects on the labour market, and the immediate concerns to family life (Wibben 2011). These economic insecurities were bound up in the practicalities of everyday life yet were simultaneously connected to the international politics of terrorism. Attending to everyday violence is part of the larger critical and feminist security project. If we accept the premise that violence has relevance in international politics not only when it occurs as an offshoot of war and conflict, but as it is experienced in everyday life, then it is necessary to look more deeply at how to conceptualize everyday violence. Sjoberg, Hudson and Weber, in their 2015 introduction to the conference-inspired special issue of the International Feminist Journal of Politics, offer a consideration of crisis, elaborating that events that are constituted as crisis are subject to power: for a political event to become a crisis it needs to be identified by political actors, by the media, and by the public as such. A focus on the everyday circumvents the power dynamics that underlie exceptionalist politics in the same way these authors seek to circumvent the power in attributing crisis. In the same way that we understand crisis as essentially gendered, a product of a gendered world, then we can also understand the exceptionalist politics of IR as a product of a gendered world. Conceptualizations of violence as one-off or exceptional are a product of a world that assumes violence, particularly among states, in the public sphere represents a topic of concern to international politics while violence that is habitual and takes place in the home or the private sphere is not. Furthermore, as designations of crisis often write out female experiences, so designations of what type of violence is appropriately exceptional to be included in IR also write out female experience, effectively normalizing violence against women. Nevertheless, attending to the embeddedness of individuals in the world to understand the forces of 153

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everyday violence permits, and even requires, contextualizing such violence in a way that reveals how it is produced by, or relies on, phenomena of international politics, as shall be discussed in examples below. Gendered everyday violence shifts what is considered ‘appropriate’ violence for study in IR and the topics that emerge are likely to be topics that have been silenced by the hetero-patriarchal nature of the world and the discipline.

Everyday violence and (gendered) security IR as an academic discipline that emerged in the West is normatively white, propertied, and hetero-masculine. A focus on everyday violence is a decentring tool of IR that looks to individuals embedded in circumstances, identities, and relationships that deviate from the white, propertied, hetero-male and examines how violence manifests in the everyday. The stakes of incorporating everyday violence into IR are particularly relevant for revealing gendered processes and concepts both in practice and theory. The particular contributions can be divided into three different forms. The first is conceptual: looking to everyday violence is a means of conceptualizing violence that does not rely on pre-established ideas as to what is a legitimate concern for IR or what type of violence has an international character. While existing conceptualizations of violence are often the result of detailed and careful theorizing, they are also housed in a field that has, structurally, been subject to the domination of Western masculine ideas. Attending to everyday violence circumvents the conventions of the field and allows for a decentred conceptualization that can contribute to and expand existing conceptualizations without being bound by them. The second, and related, contribution of a focus on everyday violence is that of understanding what form the violence must take in order to be considered worthy of the field. Normally in IR scholarship, violence must have a particular reach or scope, or must have a dimension of international power at stake. Everyday violence might not obviously meet this scope because the scope of the violence in question is obscured by its habitual nature or because it takes place in the private domain and is arguably outside of the purview of the state. Yet, the cumulative effect of everyday violence is significant: it might be produced by dynamics of international politics, or it might shape dynamics of international politics. Examining habitual violence reveals how such violence might be, and indeed is more likely to be, gendered because of how the public and international spheres as fields of study have been consistently dominated by the masculine. Finally, the third contribution of a focus on the everyday is the complexity it adds to be able to understand violence that might be unique to particular intersectional identities. Situating people and events into contextual circumstances and relationships offers insight into how different identities relate to each other, intersect, overlap, and importantly, experience forms of everyday violence. This can contextualize how violence is experienced and how insecurity is constituted more deeply, and offer a complex understanding of identity dynamics in questions of violence and insecurity. Thus, these contributions can be summarized into (1) legitimacy, (2) worthiness and (3) complexity and contextualization. The following section provides some empirical illustrations of how these three contributions of everyday violence further our understanding of gendered insecurities in IR.

Legitimacy The types of violence that produce things that are cast as legitimate insecurities in IR tend to involve war and conflict or, in Critical Security Studies, other things that provoke 154

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widespread threat to states or society – such as environmental disaster and public health. Violence that happens in the private realm and the everyday has been increasingly of interest to feminist scholars who are interested in how politics happen at the margins of society (Sjoberg and Gentry 2015). Domestic violence is an everyday form of violence that produces insecurities. Its relationship to International Relations is not always clear when IR is limited to the public realm, given that the nature of domestic violence is that it happens in private, although feminists have given some attention to the links between domestic violence and IR (Enloe 2000; Pain 2014). There is a point at which private insecurities in the everyday can be understood as public issues. One of these areas is the ongoing debate as to whether a need to escape domestic violence can form the basis for an application for asylum. Much legal work has examined the issue of domestic violence as a form of persecution under the refugee definition (Anker 2000–01; Bookey 2013; Sinha 2001). The 1951 Refugee Convention definition, which forms the basis for most state assessments of asylum applications, says that a person must be outside of the home country, must be fleeing persecution by a body the state is unable or unwilling to control, and that persecution has to be on the basis of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion (UN General Assembly 1967). Arguably, where a government does not provide sufficient protection for victims of domestic violence, it can be understood as violence by a body that the state is unwilling or unable to control. When the violence is aimed systematically at a particular individual it can be understood as targeted persecution. The problem, therefore, is the nexus reason that forms part of the asylum definition. If domestic violence can be understood to be for reasons of ‘race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion’ then it meets the criteria for the asylum definition. The legal question has then tended to be whether gender (notwithstanding the fact that domestic violence can affect both sexes and all gender identities) can constitute a social group – and overwhelmingly thus far, the answer has been no, although there have been some caveats, particularly in the US (Sinha 2001; Bookey 2013). In terms of the meaningfulness of this debate for everyday violence in Security Studies and IR, the question of whether gender can be considered a social group is less important than the attention given to the agent or the perpetrator of violence. Spousal violence is separated from other forms of violence by other actors, as it is constructed as apolitical and confined to domestic space. Feminist work on war and militarization has contested the boundaries between wartime violence and peacetime violence, revealing identical forms of violence that are constituted differently under conditions of war and peace, and this distinction structures and orders everyday life. For example, violence on the frontlines against men is heroic, while violence against women is shameful. Violence in war seeks the public good, violence in the home is clandestine, remains hidden, and is not a public matter (Cooke 2001; Enloe 2000; Sjoberg 2006; Wibben 2011; Zalewski 1996). Failing to recognize either domestic violence or violence against women as legitimate forms of persecution under the refugee definition reproduces and perpetuates gendered violence in the everyday, both in the pragmatic daily lives of affected women and also in the broader constitution of society.

Worthiness Turning to everyday forms of violence allows attention to habitual acts and structural violence as opposed to exceptional events. Everyday violence can reveal forms of violence that would otherwise be obscured. There has been much work on the recognition of rape as a weapon 155

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of war and genocide. Less attention (albeit some, in particular Myriam Denov’s (2006) work) has been directed at the aftermath of sexual violence in post-conflict rebuilding and the impact this might have on the ongoing daily experiences of people who have been victims of sexual violence. Work on rape as a weapon of war and other instances of sexual violence during conflict takes gendered forms of violence and sexual violence and shows how they are present in the high politics of war and conflict. The inverse to that, which everyday violence offers, is to look at how gendered and sexual violence in the everyday is part and parcel of international politics. For example, in Denov’s work on war-affected girls in Sierra Leone she examines the ongoing effects of sexual violence post-conflict, recognizing that sexual violence has an ongoing effect on the mind and the body: the violence does not end with the termination of the act (Denov 2006). Denov finds that women and girls who were victims of sexual violence during the conflict were not given sufficient consideration in the reconciliation and rebuilding processes. For example, sexual violence continued to be a problem in the ‘Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration’ camps, meaning that girls did not feel safe there and often left, preferring to live on the streets. Girls were unwilling to testify at the ‘Truth and Reconciliation’ Commission or the tribunal due to shame attached to their actions during the conflict. The affected girls often found themselves unable to reconnect with their families and support networks, and unable to support themselves, ending up re-victimized. In this way, gendered violence and sexual violence are reproduced through the institutions of international post-conflict management. Here gendered violence – the devaluing of women’s lives based on sexual violence – produces a situation of ongoing violence for women that impacts their everyday experiences. It is bound up in both agents and structures and is experienced in the everyday. This structural violence linked to shame and embedded in the institutional design of post-conflict rebuilding processes is not given the same importance as demobilization and the removal of weapons. Thus, international efforts to rebuild overlook these gendered experiences of violence, foregrounding physical militarized violence and producing conditions in which everyday violence continues to reproduce itself. By obscuring sexual violence and female experiences, this form of everyday violence is cast beyond the remit of IR. Attending to everyday violence opens IR to account for gendered experiences in conflict and to acknowledge the structural violence that is embedded in institutional processes as an important consideration in international politics.

Complexity and contextualization A further contribution of everyday violence is the complexity and contextualization it can add to work on identity and (in)security in IR. Shifting from structural violence, which offers insight into the normative male-propertied-whiteness in society, looking at everyday experiences can then account for experiences of intersectional identities incorporating gender, class, and race that are affected by structural disadvantage because of the inherent bias toward propertied white males at the core of (Western) society. In a neoliberal society that privileges de jure equality over de facto equality, identity impacts how one experiences the world. Because attending to everyday violence looks at how people experience the world particularly, it is a uniquely useful vehicle for revealing violences tied to identity. It is often particularly difficult to pin down the role of violence with regard to intersectional identities, principally in positivist studies that seek to isolate variables to 156

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determine cause and effect. This is something that has been explored in detail in work on the politics of race and ethnicity in particular: for example, both race and social class affect particular outcomes and cannot be easily extricated from each other. Work in everyday violence, then, can offer the experiential insight that can deepen and contextualize such studies and show how they are tied to the normative bias toward the white propertied male in (Western) society. Specifically, forms of everyday violence can be tied to neoliberal governance, through which gendered insecurities emerge. The neoliberal world that allows for the free movement of goods and services often requires the free movement of labour to accompany it. Families cannot earn sufficient income at home and frequently those of working age travel to where work is available. These journeys might involve secure or insecure visa statuses, which are often designed to protect employers by ascertaining a stable workforce rather than protecting workers. They also might involve a lack of visa status, or a visa status that does not reflect the nature of the work undertaken (Crenshaw 1991; Piper 2003). Women are increasingly separated from their children by economic need. Similarly, women are often left in vulnerable positions by the isolation caused by off-shore working, which leads to insecurity in the form of modern day slavery and sex trafficking as well as physical and sexual violence from employers (Gulcur and Ilkkaracan 2002). Race, nationality, and ethnicity are bound up in this politics of migration, whereby particular racial, national, or ethnic groups are associated with sex work or manual labour, treated as second-class citizens often due to lack of visa status or to limitations placed upon their visa status, and discriminated against more broadly in society, producing conditions for everyday violence. Experiential work that illustrates how women become trafficked and enslaved reveals gendered insecurities that are often wrought by the needs produced by the neoliberal economy. Women who are in insecure visa status are also more likely to become long-term victims of physical and sexual violence and be unable or unwilling to seek help as it would render their immigration status still more insecure (Crenshaw 1991). Movement of people across borders, particularly when inspired by economic need, incorporates gender, race, and class identities that impact how people are received and the experiences they have both in contact with society and with the law of the receiving state. For example, the question of whether migration is ‘forced’ or ‘voluntary’ is often raised in assessing what kind of support a woman might need, which again might create conditions of everyday violence as a woman is cast in a ‘criminal’ role and denied support (Piper 2003). Nevertheless, the ‘forced/ voluntary’ dichotomy is not reflective of experiences in the world. For example, if a woman migrates for work based on economic need she is considered a ‘voluntary’ migrant despite not having chosen her economic circumstances that compelled migration, and that have, arguably, done violence to her habitual way of being in the world.

Conclusion This discussion has illustrated three advantages for incorporating everyday violence into IR in terms of how this allows for greater insight into gendered forms of violence and intersectional violence that might be obscured by the conventional ways of conceptualizing violence in the international sphere. A focus on everyday violence contributes to the feminist project of opening the conceptualization of security by incorporating violence that happens outside of war and conflict, outside of exceptional events and that permeates the private, domestic and personal. Looking at this type of violence in IR can further our understanding of IR embedded in the world, rather than only as part of exceptional and elite politics. 157

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Everyday violence in IR also allows for attention to structural violence as it plays out in quotidian life, embedding structural phenomena in the lived outcomes and bringing scholarly attention to insecurities that emerge as a consequence of structural phenomena. Finally, research that looks to everyday violence in IR is uniquely placed to offer insight into experiences as they are embedded in circumstances, cultures, lifestyles, and relationships. This can challenge the Western, hetero-masculine and class biases at the heart of IR theory for richer contextualized analyses.

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Gender and everyday violence Peterson, V. Spike (ed.) 1992. Gendered States: Feminist (Re)Visions of International Relations Theory. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner. Piper, Nicola. 2003. ‘Feminization of labor migration as violence against women’. Violence Against Women 9(6): 723–745. Shepherd, Laura. 2008. Gender, Violence and Security: Discourse as Practice. London: Zed Books. Sinha, Anita. 2001. ‘Domestic violence and US asylum law: Eliminating the ‘cultural hook’ for claims involving gender-related persecution’. New York University Law Review 76(5): 1562–1598. Sjoberg, Laura. 2006. ‘The gendered realities of the immunity principles: Why gender analysis needs feminism’. International Studies Quarterly 50(4): 889–910. Sjoberg, Laura and Caron E. Gentry. 2015. ‘Introduction: Gender and everyday/intimate terrorism’. Critical Studies on Terrorism 8(3): 358–61. Sjoberg, Laura, Heidi Hudson and Cynthia Weber. 2015. ‘Gender and crisis in global politics: Introduction’. International Feminist Journal of Politics 17(4): 529–535. Steele, Brent J. 2008. Ontological Security in International Relations. London: Routledge. Stern, Maria. 2005. Naming Security, Constructing Identity: Mayan Women in Guatemala on the ‘Eve of Peace’. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Thomas, Claire. 2011. ‘Why don’t we talk about “violence” in International Relations?’ Review of International Studies 37(4): 1815–1836. Tickner, J. Ann. 1992. Gender in International Relations: Feminist Perspectives on Achieving International Security. New York: Columbia University Press. UN General Assembly. 1967. Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees. United Nations, Treaty Series, Vol. 606. Whelehan, Niall. 2016. ‘Gemma Clark: Everyday violence in the Irish civil war’. The American Historical Review 121(2): 653–654. Wibben, Annick T.R. 2010. Feminist Security Studies: A Narrative Approach. Abingdon: Routledge. Zalewski, Marysia. 1996. ‘All these theories and yet the bodies keep piling up’. In Steve Smith, Ken Booth and Marysia Zalewski (eds) International Theory: Positivism and Beyond (pp. 340–353). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.



Before turning the gun on himself, Lionel Desmond killed his wife Shanna, his ten-year-old daughter Aaliya, and his mother Brenda. Desmond was a Canadian veteran of the Afghan war. The media’s coverage of this murder-suicide in January 2017 quickly focused on the lack of adequate services for veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Desmond had reportedly struggled to receive help for his mental health condition, and his acts of violence toward his family were explained in this context. However, this focus on the struggles of (male) veterans sidelined the stories of the female victims and of gendered family violence (Renzetti 2017). Nowhere in the public conversation did commentators question the ripple effects of violence that can occur when soldiers return home from war, or Canada’s participation in the war in Afghanistan itself. Gendered militarism informed the dominant framing of the story in a way that diminished those parts of the story that did not fit with the image of militarized men as protectors of women and children. Militarism is an ideology that values the military and its members over civilian society, and that privileges militarized over non-militarized means of resolving differences. Militarism must be seen as gendered because it relies on, reproduces, and helps justify unequal and hierarchical gender norms and relations. At its core, gendered militarism constructs feminized populations in need of masculinized protection. It defines characteristics stereotypically associated with masculinity, such as strength, aggression, courage, and toughness, in opposition to, and as more valuable than, characteristics stereotypically associated with femininity, such as pacifism, empathy, vulnerability, or weakness. Despite promoting this simplistic dichotomy of masculinized protectors and feminized protected, militarism in fact depends on a range of gendered identity constructions within and beyond the military, such as the masculinized soldier, strong militarized leader, unmanly deserter, patriotic mother, loyal military wife, vulnerable girl, or feminized civilian (Enloe 2000). Militarism has been a central concept in feminist research across fields such as International Relations (IR), Security Studies, Peace Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies. For analytical and political reasons, the study of militarism, militaries, and militarization is important to feminist scholars. Feminists show that militarism is the outcome of a process that includes the successful militarization of masculinities and femininities. They argue that it is not possible to accurately understand why military conflict persists in global politics without taking into account the role of gender. As militarism is one of the main sources of, and justifications 160

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for, unequal gendered power relations, challenging militarism is understood to be a necessary component of the feminist struggle for social change (Cockburn 2010). The aim of this chapter is to introduce readers to feminist scholarship on militarism by asking three interrelated questions: How do feminist scholars conceptualize militarism? How is gendered militarism evolving in the contemporary period? What do feminists say about how to resist or transform militarism? The first section explores the feminist argument that gender and militarism need to be conceptualized as mutually constitutive, and that the relevance of gendered militarism goes beyond the state, the military, or war to the broader militarization of society and everyday life. The second section argues that the concept of gendered militarism helps explain the perpetuation and persistence of militarized violence in global politics, but that it is important to examine the evolving nature of gendered militarism. It outlines three recent shifts in gendered militarism in the West: the emergence of global gendered protection narratives, the opening of combat roles to women, and the greater reliance on private military and security companies. These changes indicate a complexly gendered form of contemporary Western militarism, but one that nonetheless reinforces gender(ed) inequalities. The third section lays out two different feminist approaches to countering gendered militarism, one insisting that anti-militarism is central to feminism and the other seeking to redefine gender roles within the framework of contemporary militaries. Whether we choose to focus on demilitarizing masculinities and femininities or on the de- or re-gendering of militarism and militaries, feminist scholars agree that a gender lens is key to understanding militarism and its role in the global production of violence.

Conceptualizing gendered militarism Despite women’s deepening integration into militaries since the late 20th century, the association of women with pacifism and men with militarism remains strong. The belief in the inevitability of military conflict also remains strong, having gained renewed salience over the last 15 years with the global war on terror. Speaking to both ideas, feminist scholarship on gendered militarism questions the assumed necessity of militarism in global politics and militarized gender roles across societies. Central to feminist theorizing is the insight that perceived gender differences are socially constructed rather than biological; understanding militarized gender roles as constructs helps contest militarism as a ‘natural’ part of IR. Thus, gender and militarism can be seen as ‘mutually constitutive’ – we cannot understand one without the other (Sjoberg and Via 2010: 233; Sjoberg 2015). Militarism is a defining element of gender norms and relations, while notions of masculinity and femininity are constitutive pillars of militarism (Cockburn 2010). Feminist scholars explore how masculinities and men become militarized and how femininities and women come to be seen as peace-loving, vulnerable, or requiring masculinized protection (Runyan 1990; Enloe 2000; Young 2003; Whitworth 2004; Eichler 2012). Which military policies, cultural practices, or societal pressures lead men to behave in ways that conform to, rather than resist, militarism, and lead women to be defined simultaneously as justifications for war and its victim? Government policies and societal expectations construct soldiering as the natural domain of men, while women’s participation in violence is understood to be exceptional, personal, or deviant instead of typical, political, or normal (Sjoberg and Gentry 2007; Gentry and Sjoberg 2015). Central to war discourses is the ‘Beautiful Soul narrative’ (Elshtain 1987) that constructs women as peaceful, links them to the private sphere over that of war-making, and perceives women as casus belli (Sjoberg 2010). One of the tenets of militarism is “that in times of crisis those who are feminine need armed 161

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protection” (Enloe 2002: 23). The gendered politics of protection (Runyan 1990) that arises from militarism and war constructs masculinized protectors opposite the feminized protected, and thus helps justify unequal gendered relations of power. Militarism buttresses the legitimacy of states as masculinized protectors of the feminized nation, and is thus closely tied to state legitimacy, nationalism, and the waging of war (Nagel 2004). Hierarchical, unequal, and dichotomous notions of masculinity and femininity lie at the centre of states’ ability to organize for violence and are therefore crucial to understanding why and how international conflict occurs (Sjoberg 2013). Militaries are the central institution for the promotion and enforcement of gendered militarism, and have long been structured in gendered ways. As male-dominated institutions they privilege masculinity and marginalize women and values associated with femininity. Men are vastly overrepresented in armed forces worldwide, and states predominantly use men to engage in combat (Mathers 2013). While the waging of war is often justified through the need to protect feminized subjects, the training of soldiers involves the denigration of women and characteristics associated with femininity, such as weakness, helplessness, or peacefulness. In addition, militarized masculinity is constructed in relation to a range of subordinate and marginalized masculinities such as gays, draft evaders, deserters, enemies, or the ‘barbaric other’. Despite the growing acceptance of female and LGBTQ military members in Western militaries over the past two decades, the dominant construction of militarized masculinity remains rooted in opposition to femininity and subordinate and marginalized masculinities, and still heavily relies on heterosexism, homophobia, misogyny, and racism for its reproduction (Whitworth 2004). It is also important to consider the relevance of gendered militarism beyond state institutions and the time and space of war (Cuomo 1996). Taking into account the broader militarization of society and everyday life, gendered militarism can, for example, come to define personal identities, whether for the young soldier undergoing basic training or the woman who is comforted by the promise of masculinized protection. It also can shape family dynamics in complex ways, as militaries rely on military spouses, primarily wives, to ensure soldiers’ wellbeing, morale, and work flexibility (Enloe 2000; Horn 2009), or on mothers to ensure the enlistment of young men (Eichler 2012; Christensen 2016). Gendered militarism, furthermore, permeates formal and informal sites of learning, such as schools, video games, social networking sites, popular culture, sports, citizenship guides, or the training of aid workers (Taber 2015). Gender is central to the functioning of militarism, while militarism contributes to unequal gender(ed) relations through its privileging of the military and men as protectors. Militarism, militaries, and militarization are some of the main sources of unequal gendered power relations in societies across the globe. The gendered myth of protection elevates men’s citizenship and social status over women’s. This was reflected, for example, in post-Second World War veterans programmes established by the US government through the GI Bill. These benefits “not only disadvantaged women – they reflected, reinforced, and further embedded traditional gender norms that positioned men as protectors and providers, and women as their homebound dependents” (Murray 2011: 84). The GI Bill had a negative impact on women’s access to higher education and their economic and social status in the post-war era (Nagowski 2005). Gendered militarism is also a factor in political power relations; association with militarism and the waging of war often brings advantages for political leaders seeking to establish their legitimacy. This was the case, for example, with Vladimir Putin whose sudden rise in popularity and success at his first presidential election in 2000 were directly linked to his forceful execution of the Second Chechen War (Eichler 2012). Thus, an examination of gendered militarism is important for understanding gender inequalities and gendered power dynamics more broadly. 162

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This section has offered a brief overview of how feminist scholars conceptualize militarism as gendered. Feminist scholars argue that gender and militarism must be understood as mutually constitutive, and that gendered militarism is intimately tied to the military, nationalism, state legitimacy, and the waging of war. They conceptualize gendered militarism as an ideology that promotes masculinized, militarized protection of populations defined as vulnerable and feminized. Feminist scholarship understands gendered militarism as also relevant to a broader set of actors, times, and places and connected to the militarization of society and everyday life. Gendered militarism exists before, during, and after war, across public and private sectors, and across state and society. The insight that militarism shapes and is shaped by understandings of masculinity and femininity allows feminist scholars to contest militarized gender roles and the militarism they help sustain. Next, I use a feminist analysis to illuminate the changing nature of gendered militarism in contemporary global politics.

Changing forms of gendered militarism Gendered militarism helps explain the persistence and perpetuation of militarized violence in global politics. The tropes of gendered militarism are regularly invoked when state and military leaders demonstrate strength through military force, justify military intervention through myths of gendered protection, or recruit male citizens through appeals to their masculine identity as protectors. But it is important to be attentive to the changing form gendered militarism is taking in the contemporary period. Moreover, as Kimberly Hutchings (2008) has argued, we should not assume that there is a substantive relationship between war and masculinity. It is the hierarchical and oppositional nature of how masculinity is understood that helps reproduce militarism and war, rather than the association of masculinity with aggression, toughness, or violence itself. While state militarism has historically relied on a division between masculinized protectors and feminized protected (Runyan 1990), the masculine/feminine dichotomy underpinning gendered militarism is less clear-cut today. As well, new actors have joined the nation-state in the reproduction of gendered militarism, be they non-state armed groups or private contractors. In this section I outline three recent changes to gendered militarism: the shift toward a global gendered myth of protection, the incorporation of women into gendered militarism, and the greater inclusion of the private sector into gendered militarism. The past two to three decades have witnessed the rise of a new militarism in the West that asserts not only the protection of the feminized nation by the masculinized nation-state, but a responsibility of Western states to protect vulnerable populations in the global South (Doty 1996; Orford 2011; Hall and Shepherd 2013). This form of militarism has redefined the acceptable use of force in the name of protecting human rights and has justified new types of military intervention, such as humanitarian interventions or stability and peace operations, in the post-Cold War period. While Western states play a key role in producing this global protection narrative, so do international organizations, such as the United Nations, military alliances such as NATO, as well as globally active non-governmental organizations and private military and security companies (Eichler 2015a). Critics have noted that this new militarism relies on hierarchical notions of ‘first-world’ saviours and ‘third-world’ victims that require protection, and thus harkens back to earlier discourses and practices of Western colonialism. Western military interventions in the global South, they argue, are less about protecting vulnerable populations than they are about maintaining global inequalities and asserting the superior status of Western states as global protectors (Agathangelou and Ling 2003; Whitworth 2004; O’Reilly 2012). 163

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Importantly, this contemporary form of militarism is profoundly gendered and racialized in ways that reinforce unequal relations between the West and the global periphery. The national protection story of men defending and protecting ‘their’ women is reframed as a global protection story in which masculinized Western heroes protect and rescue vulnerable and passive feminized Third-World populations (Wilcox 2009: 76). It relies on gendered and racialized constructions, such as that of morally superior Western states and men, emancipated Western women, uncivilized ‘others’ who oppress ‘their’ women, and Muslim women whose rights have to be protected through Western military intervention. This new gendered militarism informed the post 9/11 US-led, international wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which were justified in part by claims of protecting local women’s rights (Young 2003; Hunt and Rygiel 2006; Shepherd 2008). This global protection story is evolving, and more recently has begun to include the protection of LGBTQ rights in the global South, especially in the Middle East and Africa, by Western states (Sjoberg 2015). Just as a women’s rights discourse has been incorporated into justifications for Westernled military interventions, there has also been a push domestically to increase and deepen the participation of women in Western militaries. Despite the widespread historic pattern of combatant men and non-combatant women (Goldstein 2001), changes in the organization of force, such as the shift from conscript to volunteer forces, the changing nature of warfare, as well as feminist advocacy for equal citizenship, have brought about an expansion of women’s presence in Western militaries (Elshtain 2000; Carreiras 2006). This evolution in gendered militarism as a result of women’s active participation in the military as soldiers and in combat, requires us to rethink traditional notions of militarized femininity (Eager 2014). In this context, feminist scholars have begun to investigate how particular militaries and societies understand the increasing incorporation of women and femininities into militaries and the waging of war (Lobasz 2008; Stachowitsch 2013). A growing number of countries – most recently Australia and the US – have lifted the combat ban on women. Does this shift in women’s historic place in gendered militarism indicate a transformation of gendered protector roles? Canada ordered its military to remove all barriers to women’s employment almost 30 years ago and can thus serve as an instructive example to explore this question. Not unlike other Western countries, Canada had long excluded women from combat roles and selectively incorporated them into support roles, especially during times of war and thus need of ‘manpower’ (Pierson 1983). In fact, the military’s selective inclusion of women was codified in a quota policy that determined a minimum percentage of men for each military profession, ranging from 100 per cent in the combat arms to 0 per cent in the dental trades. This policy enforced the ties between combat, men, and masculinity and aimed to preserve the military as a masculine institution. It also reinforced the dichotomous gendered notions of protector/ protected so central to gendered militarism. Only as a result of social and legal pressures, such as lobbying from the women’s movement and a human rights tribunal decision in 1989, did women in Canada gain full access to all military occupations (Winslow and Dunn 2002; Eichler 2013). Women’s combat participation came under public scrutiny during Canada’s military involvement in Afghanistan (2001–2014), which resulted in the first combat deaths of female soldiers in Canadian history. Even though barriers to women’s full integration had been lifted much earlier, the public conversation on women in the military was framed by contesting narratives of women’s equality versus difference. The media coverage claimed that Canadian female soldiers in Afghanistan had both achieved the status of ‘equal’ warriors and brought gender-specific ‘feminine’ skills to their jobs (Chapman and Eichler 2014). Such a 164

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contradictory construction of militarized femininity in which female soldiers are seen as equal to, and still as different from, male soldiers, reproduces masculinity as the norm of soldiering rather than acknowledging women as soldiers in their own right. As this example shows, despite the removal of gender discriminatory policy, gender constructions have continued to shape perceptions of soldiering in Canada. They also have limited women’s military integration; women represent approximately 15 per cent of the Canadian military today, but remain concentrated in non-combat roles such as medical, dental, clerical, and other support occupations (Eichler 2013). Changes in the gender order of the Canadian military have challenged, but not broken, the link between masculinity and protection. They indicate the complex gendering of contemporary militarism in which women are more deeply incorporated into the waging of war than in the past, but ideas about gender differences are reinforced in new ways (Eichler 2013; Chapman and Eichler 2014). Privatization is another means through which gendered militarism is being reshaped in the contemporary period (Eichler 2015b). Over the past two to three decades, states such as the US and the UK have increasingly relied on private military and security contractors, especially in their wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Privatization creates new opportunities for profit making, and shifts the discourse of protection from a citizenship right to a market relation. The emergence of new market-based protector masculinity, such as that of the private security contractor, complicates feminist analyses of gendered militarism, which has traditionally focused on the context of state militaries (Eichler 2013, 2015a, 2015b). While privatization challenges a state-centric view of gendered militarism, it largely reinforces and even exacerbates the unequal gendered protection relations which characterize public militaries. Women’s access to private security jobs is limited; they form a minority of employees, and are particularly underrepresented in the most security-focused and militarized spheres of private security work such as security and risk management, security and protection services, and field deployments. Employees who are assigned security and protection tasks often have a history of employment in public security and military forces, particularly in the most deeply masculinized parts of public forces such as the Army and Special Forces. Furthermore, inadequate regulation and the very nature of privatization present obstacles to the enforcement of public gender equality guidelines by reducing public oversight and pressure (Eichler 2013). Privatization reinforces gender inequalities between women and men in the security sphere, but it also creates new inequalities among men and masculinities. The private security industry, which is based in the West but operates globally, is heavily reliant on the labour of non-Western citizens, so-called ‘third country nationals’ as well as locals in the country of operation. This non-Western labour pool consists predominantly of men from countries in the global South, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, the Philippines, El Salvador, Chile, or Uganda. The very significant differences in employment conditions and in the type of work assigned make evident a gendered and racialized hierarchy that positions men from the global South as subordinate to white, Western contractors. More dangerous work is disproportionately performed by local and migrant men, while their vastly lower pay signifies their de-valued position in the global labour market (Eichler 2014a, 2015a; Chisholm 2015; Barker 2015; Higate 2012). The emergence of globally operating private military and security companies as key actors in global politics thus complicates our understanding of gendered protector roles and the role of gendered militarism in the reproduction of gender inequalities. Feminist analysis offers important insights into militarism’s changing forms, as these three examples show. They point to the ways in which gendered militarism is being redefined through global gendered protection myths, women’s partial and unequal incorporation into 165

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the role of militarized protector, and the outsourcing of militarized protection functions to the private sector. Significantly, while gendered militarism is evolving, it still reinforces gendered hierarchies, both between and among women and men, and masculinities and femininities, and across national/global and public/private spheres.

Resisting or transforming gendered militarism? Considering the centrality of gendered militarism to the perpetuation of global military violence and the reproduction of national and global gendered hierarchies, it is worth asking how gendered militarism can be resisted or transformed. Feminists have traditionally asserted that militarism and feminism are not compatible, that a feminist politics requires antimilitarism, and that gender equality is unachievable in a world shaped by militarism. Recently, some feminist scholars have asked how contemporary militarism and militaries can be reshaped in ways that do not reinforce gender hierarchies. In this section, I briefly outline these two approaches to tackling gendered militarism from a feminist perspective. The first approach contends that militarism, in its privileging of traits stereotypically associated with masculinity, is inherently tied to masculinism and the reproduction of gender inequalities. In this view, anti-militarism without feminism is bound to fail. This insight is pertinent considering that the peace movement, which has historically been male dominated, has often lacked awareness of, or even actively resisted, feminist insights. The reproduction of gender inequalities within anti-militarist movements undermines their ability to radically challenge militarism (Cockburn 2012). In contrast, women’s peace movements have explicitly linked militarism to women’s subordination by men and masculinized institutions. While some women’s peace movements have reinforced gender essentialism, arguing that women are inherently peaceful, loving, and connected to nature, most recognize that men and women are socialized into differently gendered militarized roles (Cockburn 2007). As the anti-militarist feminist approach asserts, successfully challenging militarism requires redefining societal gender norms. Feminists see potential for a demilitarization of masculinities in the example of veterans’ peace movements, such as the GI anti-Vietnam War Movement in the United States (Sharoni 2008; Stur 2011). When militarized men turn away from militarism they challenge the ideal of the masculinized warrior, but veterans’ peace movements can also inadvertently end up privileging the militarized, masculinized experiences of male veterans (Tidy 2015). To truly challenge militarism, movements working for peace need to pay careful attention to militarism’s underlying gender norms. This can be done by actively demilitarizing masculinities, endorsing multiple alternative norms of masculinity, and reducing gender hierarchies (Enloe 2002; Sharoni 2008; Ashe 2012; Schroer-Hippel 2011). Importantly, the demilitarization of masculinities needs to be accompanied by a demilitarization of supporting femininities, be they ideas about patriotic mothers, loyal military wives, female soldiers, or feminized vulnerability and need for protection (Enloe 2000). Other feminists have argued that not only is women’s inclusion into the military necessary to achieving equality, it is possible to de- or re-gender the military and thus remake militarism (Duncanson 2013; Duncanson and Woodward 2016). The goal is to redefine the dichotomous, hierarchical gender norms that operate within militaries and to delink soldiering from violent and aggressive notions of masculinity. Claire Duncanson (2013) has argued that a remaking of militarized masculinity is possible and, moreover, is necessary to ensure the success of military operations that include the tasks of peacekeeping or peacebuilding. Other feminist scholars, such as Sandra Whitworth (2004), are sceptical about the military’s potential to cultivate non-violent and non-hierarchical peacekeeper masculinities in light of its long 166

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association with aggressive, racist, sexist, and homophobic norms of masculinity. As well, women’s inclusion into combat roles, as discussed above, does not necessarily disrupt the norm of the masculinized warrior (also see Welland 2010). To truly remake the gender order of militaries would require new methods of recruitment, training, and motivation that no longer privilege masculinity and denigrate femininity. Developing ideas about how militaries can be de- or re-gendered is an important feminist contribution, as interrogating the gender order and purpose of militaries can potentially open space to question the use of gendered militarism on a wider scale. While the traditional feminist approach to gendered militarism has been to argue for an anti-militarist politics, the reformist feminist approach envisions ways to redefine the role of militaries and the gendered basis of militarism. The latter asserts that militaries and military actions do not necessarily have to entail hierarchical gender norms and lead to unequal gendered outcomes. This approach fits with recent attempts at the UN and NATO to gender mainstream international military and peacekeeping missions by including a gender perspective throughout planning and operations (MacKay 2005; Prescott 2013). Many feminists remain doubtful, arguing that women’s deeper integration into militarism, particularly into combat, leads to the ‘militarization of gender equality’ and the perpetuation of military violence (Ware 2012). Taking into account not only militaries but broader processes of militarization, feminist analyses of gendered militarism underline the need for a dual strategy: to contribute to the remaking of military gender orders while also contesting the gendered and militarized protector roles that operate in society more broadly (Eichler 2014b).

Conclusion Gender is central to the functioning of militarism, while militarism helps justify unequal gender(ed) relations by privileging the masculine institution of the military and men as militarized protectors. Gender and militarism must be understood as mutually constitutive, and gendered militarism as intimately bound with nationalism, state legitimacy, and the waging of war. Despite these close ties, gendered militarism operates before, during, and after war, beyond the state, and across public and private sectors. Gendered militarism can be conceptualized as an ideology that promotes masculinized, militarized protection of feminized, vulnerable populations, but its manifestations are diverse and evolving. Recent shifts in gendered militarism in the West include its reframing as a global gendered protection narrative, the greater incorporation of women into militarism, and an increased reliance on the private security sector. Contemporary forms of militarism are gendered in complex ways that do not neatly map onto the male–female dichotomy of protector–protected. Instead, gendered militarism involves a complex interplay of masculinities and femininities, from vulnerable feminized populations in the global periphery and militarized combat femininities in the West, to peacekeeping and private security masculinities that embody new forms of masculinized protection. Feminist critiques of militarism are joined by feminist efforts to remake contemporary militarism and reform the gender order of militaries. Recognizing the danger of militarizing gender equality and co-opting femininities (and women’s rights discourse) into contemporary gendered militarism, feminists need to engage in efforts to reform militaries as well as oppose gendered militarism in domestic and international politics. One of the key contributions of feminist scholarship has been to ‘denaturalize’ the idea that militarism is a necessary feature of global politics and to show how militarism is the outcome of a process of successful militarization that heavily relies on gender. As militarism continues to evolve and it is hard 167

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to maintain certainty about the necessary link between masculinism and militarism in today’s complexly gendered world, feminist scholarship remains crucial to understanding the gendered basis for the reproduction of violence in global politics.

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As documented in this volume, feminists have produced incisive accounts of how gender operates pervasively to shape and often ‘normalize’ inequalities, conflicts, social violence, and even wars.1 Those working in ‘Security Studies’ tend to focus on embodied forms of violence and the ideational premises, institutional practices, and political dynamics that shape questions of security as these are foregrounded in International Relations (IR) research. While many acknowledge the role of economic factors, few take political economy as their starting point.2 In contrast, my chapter here offers a schematic overview of ways in which today’s global political economy (GPE) is pervasively gendered and how this gendering produces and differentially ‘distributes’ insecurities. In particular, I emphasize how the differential valorization – conceptually and materially – of qualities associated with masculinity and femininity affects the unequal distribution of authority, privilege, resources, and insecurities. I begin by reviewing key features of neoliberal globalization and reflecting on definitions of in/security. As a preface to the substantive discussion, I note several starting points that help situate subsequent argumentation, and also clarify how I deploy gender in this chapter. I then introduce my analytical framing of GPE and use that framing to survey how neoliberal globalization produces a wide array of insecurities.

Neoliberal globalization Historical, socio-cultural, and geopolitical differences shape the implementation and implications of neoliberal policies. Deregulation (to remove existing state restraints) has permitted the hyper-mobility of (‘foot-loose’) capital, induced phenomenal growth in crisisprone financial markets, and increased the power of private capital interests. Liberalization (to open borders to the flow of goods and capital) is selectively implemented: powerful states engage in protectionism (less through tariffs than rules, regulations, and subsidies) while developing countries have limited control over protecting domestic industries, goods produced, and the jobs provided. Privatization (to replace the ‘inefficiencies’ of public ownership and control) has entailed loss of nationalized industries in developing economies and a decrease in public sector employment and provision of social services worldwide. Finally, specialization in economic activities (to promote ‘comparative advantage’) and export-oriented policies are favoured in pursuit of economic development and growth. 171

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The results of neoliberal policies are complex, uneven, and controversial. While economic growth was the objective and has been realized in some areas and sectors, evidence increasingly suggests expanding inequalities – indeed a polarization – of resources within and between countries.3 Global restructuring has in important senses eroded the autonomy of states and weakened many, but critics counter that neoliberal discourse obscures the state’s continued, even strengthened, role in sustaining the rights and power of private capital. In effect, global processes are not so much ‘deregulated’ but reregulated by market forces (rather than socially accountable state/government forces). The priority of market forces is profit-making, not welfare provision; and when welfare declines, insecurities rise. Insecurity in many ways appears easier to specify than security. David Roberts (2008: 28) defines human insecurity as “avoidable civilian deaths, occurring globally, caused by social, political and economic institutions and structures, built and operated by humans and which could feasibly be changed”. Here I expand Roberts’ definition to include not only civilian deaths but also psychological and physical threats, risks, losses, harms, and/or other forms of violence ‘caused by’ institutional arrangements. In other words, insecurities are an effect of ‘avoidable’ suffering, or more expansively, of vulnerabilities that could, in theory, be avoided or prevented but, as an effect of prevailing power relations, are not. This encompassing definition acknowledges that everyone faces insecurities, but it also allows us to distinguish particular forms of insecurity and their uneven distribution and effects; it allows me to consider not only embodied and hence more obvious insecurities that feature in accounts of war and disasters, but also less visible yet systemically devastating insecurities generated by prevailing power relations operating in the GPE.

Starting points and defining gender I note several background assumptions that shape my substantive argumentation but cannot be elaborated here.4 First, I assume a critical orientation toward neoliberal capitalism understood as inextricably socio-cultural, economic, and political processes, operating worldwide across ‘levels of analysis’ and promoting a polarization of rich-poor (within and between states/nations) and attendant, prevailing harms (see, for example, Anievas and Nişancioğlu 2015). Second, my critical orientation toward capitalism is part of a more encompassing critique directed at intersecting structural hierarchies and their attendant insecurities, especially those of sex/gender, sexualities, ethnicity/race, and national ‘difference’. Third, I advocate poststructural feminist theory/practice that seeks not only to ‘empower women’ but to advance critical analysis and transformation of these intersecting structural hierarchies, which are linked by the governing code of gender. How I understand and deploy gender is crucial for claims made in this chapter. Referencing ‘empirical’ gender – embodied males and females – is useful when describing who is agentic and/or subjected to particular expectations or practices. Referencing ‘analytical’ gender – asymmetric masculine-feminine difference as a governing code – is crucial when interpreting how and why questions. Gender as a systemic code valorizes that which is characterized and privileged as masculine (reason, agency, productive, political) at the expense of that which is stigmatized as feminine (emotion, dependence, reproductive, personal). Three points are key. First, gender is relational, so that privileging masculinized qualities is inextricable from devaluing feminized qualities; and gender is systemic: manifestations of it are less individual ‘choices’ than effects of institutionalized codes, norms, and rules. Second, the privileging of masculinity does not privilege all men or only men. Rather, gender coding pervades language and culture and operates to devalue whatever is feminized, so that not only embodied subjects, but also qualities, knowledge, objects, bodies, identities, skills, and activities are differentially valued, privileged, 172

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and accorded legitimacy. Fourth, the more a concept, entity or person is feminized, the more likely (not invariably) that their devaluation is assumed, naturalized, and hence does not need explaining. Recognizing that feminizing something devalues it has particular relevance for political economy, where assessments of ‘value’ are key: shaping what we desire, how much we desire it, what its value is relative to alternatives, and what trade-offs we are willing to make in pursuit of realizing particular desires. It is crucial to ‘see’ how this devalorizing is simultaneously ideological (discursive, cultural) and material (structural, economic). Culturally this occurs through gender as a governing code that operates pervasively, and usually unconsciously, to re/produce differential valorization of what is associated with femininity (relative to masculinity), whether in ordinary language, particular discourses, advertisements, entertainments, or explicit ideological beliefs. And cultural coding translates into economic effects through ideologies, policies, and practices that ‘take for granted’ that feminized skills, training, labour, careers, reproductive and caring work, etc., are devalued, literally by being unpaid, poorly paid, trivialized, denigrated, disregarded, or simply unacknowledged. Moreover, through an analytical gender lens we can see that the taken-for-granted devaluation of ‘women’s work’ is generalized from women to include feminized ‘others’: migrants, ‘unskilled’ workers, marginalized (especially, racially stigmatized) populations, the urban poor, and developing countries. This economic devalorization of people and nations, and its attendant insecurities, is either hardly noticed or deemed ‘acceptable’ because it is consistent with cultural devalorization of feminized ‘others’. In sum, the ideological work that gender does is deeply problematic. Because the coding is pervasive (surprisingly few objects/entities or concepts are free of all gender associations) its effects are typically unnoticed and thus elude critical reflection, yet operate powerfully to perpetuate unequal (cultural, symbolic) valorizations that translate into (material, embodied) inequalities, social violence, and systemic insecurities.

RPV as analytical framing of global political economy In A Critical Rewriting of Global Political Economy I venture beyond a narrow definition of economics to develop an alternative ‘RPV’ framework of interactive reproductive, productive, and virtual economies.5 This expansive approach aims to bring the conceptual and material dimensions of ‘social reproduction’, non-wage labour, and informalization into relation with the increasingly transnational, flexibilized and precarious conditions of the ‘productive economy’, as well as with the increasingly consequential ‘virtual economy’ of financial markets and the exchange less of (material) goods than of (symbolic, non-material, cultural) information/knowledge. Hence, the RPV framing provides a way to see reproductive, informal and formal work, transnational production, capital movements, and the commodification of information/knowledge as co-constituting dimensions of global dynamics. It is especially helpful for illuminating how neoliberal globalization exacerbates structural hierarchies and their attendant insecurities. Critics tend to focus on one or another of these hierarchies, or at best ‘add’ one to another. In what follows I use the relational RPV framing to survey how today’s neoliberal GPE is pervasively gendered and how this gendering affects intersecting and wide-ranging insecurities.

Productive economy The productive economy (PrE) is conventionally understood as the sphere of formal (contractual, regulated) exchanges, with production differentiated among three sectors: 173

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primary (natural resources), secondary (manufactures), and tertiary (services). Globalization is complicating these distinctions, especially as technological developments reconfigure each sector and their interrelationships. Prominent shifts in the PrE that entail insecurities include, first, a general decline in world prices of and demand for (non-oil) primary products. This has been devastating to economies where primary production might (as it did for earlier industrializing countries) otherwise fuel industrial development. Instead, these countries and the most vulnerable within them face insecurities associated with deepening unemployment, reduced ability to attract foreign investment, and likelihood of worsening debt dependency. As one response, some countries promote their ‘cheapened’ and often unregulated, nonunionized labour as a competitive resource and/or encourage their people to migrate in search of work; both strategies involve insecure conditions of labour and everyday life. ‘De-industrialization’ is a second major shift that especially affects previously productive manufacturing areas of the global North and major cities worldwide. Changes include downsizing, ‘jobless growth’, loss of skilled and often unionized positions, growth in lowwage, semi- and un-skilled jobs, and relocation of production to lower wage areas. This translates into general employment insecurity, exacerbated for all but elite workers through ‘flexibilization’ processes that favour management (at the expense of workers). Gendered effects include increases in un- and under-employment, especially of men, coupled with erosion of unionized wages, which depletes household pooling resources and typically places additional pressure on women to ensure adequate family/household provisioning. In the global South, ‘privatized’ export enclaves become favoured at the expense of state-directed domestic industrialization and the jobs it provided (primarily for urban men). A third and closely related trend is dramatic growth in, and globalization of, services, which now constitute employment for the majority of workers in the global North and increasingly for those in the South. De-industrialization and growth in services are associated with income polarization and a ‘declining middle’, as service jobs tend to be either skilled and high-waged (professional-managerial jobs in health, education, financial, and legal services) or semi-, un-skilled and poorly paid (in cleaning, food, retail, and telemarketing services). Institutionalized patterns here tend to reproduce, and often exacerbate, familiar inequalities and their insecurities, as differential access to education, training, and career opportunities is structured by gender, race, class, and national location. In short, entrenched inequalities continue to deepen and far fewer can ever hope to prosper, thus also depleting what emotional security the anticipation of ‘working for a better future’ affords. ‘Flexibilization’ captures much that is praised and also despised about neoliberal restructuring: more temporary, part-time, non-unionized jobs with fewer benefits, and more just-intime, decentralized, and subcontracted production processes. It tends to increase the power and autonomy of management, generating fewer choices for labour. It is more attractive to those with highly valued skills or individuals who seek flexible working arrangements given particular life conditions, including mothers and single parents with childcare responsibilities. However much some benefit from these changes, it remains the case that in the absence of regulatory frameworks that protect workers’ rights and generate living wages, flexibilization translates into greater insecurity of employment and income for the majority of the world’s workers. Mies (1998/1986) genders this trend by calling it “housewifization”: where male workers who expected otherwise now find themselves in the situation of housewives – atomized, unorganized, and economically insecure. This trend is also – and inextricably – raced, classed, and nationalized because those who are economically insecure undertake devalorized labour: women as well as racially marginalized men, youth, the urban poor, and labour migrants. 174

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Reproductive economy In contrast to the PrE, the reproductive economy (RE) rarely appears in conventional accounts, which remain preoccupied with waged labour, formal market exchange, and public sphere activities. With other feminists I argue for the importance, indeed centrality, of the RE, given that it underpins all else! I focus here on two aspects of the RE that reveal this centrality to gendering political economy and insecurity: the devalorization of ‘women’s work’ (especially, social reproduction) and the dramatic expansion of informal economic activities worldwide.6 In spite of cultural variations and conflicting realities, men continue to be seen as the primary breadwinners in ‘productive’ income-earning activities, and women as the primary home-makers engaged in (unpaid) care-giving activities associated with the family/household sphere of domestic reproduction. The traditional ideology of patriarchal states, religions, and families situates women in the privacy of the home as loyal dependants and caring service providers; their primary role is to sustain family life with emotional, sensual, and material labour and, when necessary (or culturally desirable), supplemental earnings. ‘Women’s work’ is devalorized as ‘merely reproductive’ – natural, unlearned, unskilled, voluntary, ‘done for love not money’ – and hence not valued ‘economically’. This work has two dominant features: first, providing indispensable but unpaid caring labour that enables newborns to healthily develop, children to be appropriately socialized, and dependants of whatever age to survive and ideally to thrive; and second, providing physical labour that ensures – through multiple tasks of organizing, scheduling, cleaning, shopping, nursing, cooking, etc. – the material and ideally prosperous maintenance of family/household well-being. In these senses, ‘women’s work’ merges emotional and material labour and is decisive for determining the security – or not – of family members. Social reproduction ensures the daily and generational continuity of individuals and collectivities. Access to market, community, and public resources variously shapes the conditions of social reproduction, but most of the work involved is unpaid, assigned to women, and situated in or near households. Feminists argue that economic theory is impoverished by its failure to account for domestic labour and its structural importance, not least, because work in the RE produces labour power (workers) and the social infrastructure upon which the formal economy depends. Employers benefit from this ‘free’ (unpaid) labour first, by not having to pay the full costs of producing the labour force, and second, by the downward pressure on wage demands this generates in the formal economy (insofar as employers are not ‘expected’ to pay for social reproduction). As a corollary, workers and their families ‘lose’ out in these arrangements in terms of labour choices, bargaining power, and ultimately, material compensation. In short, this ‘hidden’ work sustains reproductive processes (upon which all else depends), produces intangible social assets (upon which market activities depend), and significantly shapes the quality and quantity of labour, goods, services, and financial assets available within and beyond the household (through production, consumption, savings, intergenerational transmission of assets). Reproductive labour effectively underpins and sustains all ‘productive’ work, and when the former is compromised all else is less secure. Not only is the work that women do devalued (both ideologically and materially), but women in general have fewer legal protections than men, fewer property rights, and less access to education, training, and work opportunities that are associated with highly valued skills and more secure employment. In short, women – and especially women who are racially and economically disadvantaged – have very limited options for generating income that might reduce insecurities. Moreover, in spite of heading one-third of global households, 175

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women seeking employment confront gender stereotyping that projects them as ‘secondary’ earners, which is then used to justify lower wages, and in labour markets women cluster where ‘feminized’ skills (personal service, caring labour) are preferred but poorly paid. Yet at the same time, gender codes hold women disproportionately responsible for their own and their family’s well-being, even – or especially? – under deteriorating economic conditions. These entwined developments reveal tensions between state capacities, patterns of capital accumulation, and the viability of households as basic socio-economic units. Too often, expectations can exceed what human capacities and structural conditions permit, and feminists refer to a crisis of social reproduction as pressure increases – primarily on women as care givers and household sustainers – to ‘make up the difference’ between an amplification of care needs (emotional and physical) and a reduction of monetized income and public welfare.7 These crisis conditions are compounded by inadequate public support for policies enabling a balance of family life and work obligations (childcare, parental leave) and exacerbated by men’s increasing un- and under-employment yet reluctance to do ‘women’s work’ in the household. The global ‘care economy’ represents the international manifestation of – and the pretence of mitigating – local and national crises of care and the stark insecurities they generate. As families worldwide confront shrinking economic resources, women are expected to compensate – to absorb the costs of ‘adjusting’ to the loss of monetized income (due to unemployment or poorly paid work) and/or a decline in other forms of support (social services, welfare transfers). Sassen calls this the “feminization of survival” (2000) and as a survival strategy, women especially rely on informal activities to ensure social reproduction. Informal activities, informality, and informalization share a reference to ‘work’ that occurs outside of formal (recorded, regulated, taxed) arrangements. Until recently, economists neglected these income-generating activities, viewing them as marginal to ‘official’ market activity and expecting them to wane with state development and modern industrialization. In recent decades, however, the scale and significance of informality have expanded and mounting evidence confirms that informality is both a cyclical and continuous feature of capitalist development; it constitutes the primary source of income generation in the global South; and it shapes the social reproduction practices and resource-pooling strategies of households worldwide (Peterson 2010a, 2010c, 2012). In today’s global economy, informalization is of particular relevance because economic crises expand the scale of informal activities and the inequalities and insecurities that attend them. Patriarchal and racist ideologies devalue feminized bodies, skills, and labour, limit women’s access to valorized skills and resources, and thereby constrain the choices available for work outside of stereotypical roles for women (and feminized ‘others’). Capital takes advantage of existing structural hierarchies – and the ideologies and identities that reproduce them – by presupposing the reproductive labour of women, channelling feminized workers into insecure, low-paying services and labour-intensive employment, and promoting informalization and flexibilization (which are enabled by state complicity in deregulation). Informalization depresses formal wages and effectively disciplines all workers. The increase in women’s labour, and that of other vulnerable groups, serves the structural interests of capital by securing higher profits, inhibiting collective organization (through the isolation of workers), and obscuring structural contradictions (by ‘taking up the slack’ while leaving capitalist/patriarchal principles intact), thus frustrating systemic analyses and potentially more effective resistances. Insecurities mount, yet masculinist ideologies interact with racism (which is inextricable from national hierarchies and migration policies) to render women, the poor, migrants, and recent immigrants the prototypical workers of the informal/flexibilized economy and, arguably, the (insecure) future of all but elite workers worldwide. 176

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Virtual economy The virtual economy (VE) is the least familiar to non-economists yet crucial to analysing recent decades of restructuring and its insecurities. This economy has grown in significance as ICTs have compressed time-space, enabled the shift from material-intensive to knowledgeintensive industries, facilitated the expansion of services and the exchange of intangibles, and fuelled tremendous growth in financial market transactions. I distinguish here two ‘modes’ of the VE: global finance and the informational economy. Since the 1970s, floating exchange rates, reduced capital controls, offshore banking, desegmentation, new financial instruments, and the rise of institutional investors have interacted to amplify the speed, scale, and complexity of financial transactions. Neoliberal policy changes and powerful ICTs have enabled the mobility of capital and a massing of virtual (because abstract, imagined) ‘financial’ assets not being created by investments in the ‘real’ economy (of industries and material production) but by ‘betting’ on the projected value of currencies and stocks in transnational financial markets. This ‘delinking’ of virtual from ‘real’ value does not, however, insulate the real economy from global finance, because prices ‘set’ in the VE (through interest and exchange rates) have decisive effects throughout the socioeconomic order. The allure of financial trading encourages short-term speculation over long-term investments in industry, infrastructure, and more socially beneficial endeavours. It exacerbates the devalorization of manufacturing, which shifts production toward flexibilization and more high-tech, highly skilled, masculinized jobs and devalorized, feminized services. The expansion, complexity, and non-transparency of global financial transactions makes money laundering easier, which enhances opportunities for illicit financial trading as well as organized crime (including traffic in women, migrants, drugs, and weapons), and decreases tax contributions that underpin public welfare. Access to credit becomes decisive for individuals and states, and is deeply structured by familiar hierarchies favouring those who are already ‘valued/valuable’ and not those who are already insecure. Increasing urgency in regard to ‘managing money’ and investment strategies shifts status and decision-making power within households, businesses, governments, and global institutions. These changes disrupt conventional identities, functions, and sites of authority, especially as pursuit of profits displaces provision of basic needs, and governments compete for private global capital at the expense of ‘ensuring’ public welfare. Financial crises and stock market scandals reveal the extent to which (primarily male) agents in this rarefied environment ‘play’ casino capitalism (Prügl 2012; Griffin 2013; Elson 2014). Deregulation and liberalization effectively ‘encourage’ taking greater chances in pursuit of higher returns, while rashness is facilitated by weak reserve requirements, the spiral of innovative financial instruments, the mentality of short-termism, the lure of ‘managing’ risk through derivatives and hedge-funds, and the non-transparency of financial transactions (Grown, Elson and Čağatay 2000; Gender & Development 2010; Roberts 2015). As critics predict, crises ensue, generating individual, family/household, and national insecurities. Women suffer disproportionately: loss of secure jobs and earnings due to their concentration in precarious forms of employment; lengthened work hours as they ‘cushion’ the impact of lost household income; decreased participation of girls in education, and deteriorated health conditions for women; increased child labour and women’s licit and illicit informal activities; and increased acts of violence against women (Aslanbeigui and Summerfield 2001; Harcourt 2014). Females are the primary losers, but entire societies are affected as deteriorating conditions of social reproduction, health, and education have long-term consequences for collective well-being and national prosperity. Yet prevailing economic theories neither 177

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adequately analyse the risks nor take seriously who pays when crises ensue (Peterson 2010b; Young, Bakker and Elson 2011; Hozic and True 2016). As a vicious corollary, the secure, stable provision of social welfare is ideologically constructed as a ‘luxury’ that viable national economies cannot afford, while corporate welfare is typically enhanced as a ‘necessary’ aspect of ‘resolving’ crises and improving national competitiveness (especially, Bruff 2014). Given recent crises, the instability of financial markets is now acknowledged but still not adequately addressed, so managers and traders suffer little compared to the losses suffered by ‘main street’ borrowers and pensioners. At the global level, financial decision-making power is concentrated in firms and organizations with little public accountability, signalling a democratic deficit that is also increasingly recognized, but again not adequately addressed.

The informational economy As its label suggests, this mode of the VE foregrounds the exchange of information itself. While all processes involve ‘conceptual content’, information here is the commodity: ideas, codes, concepts, knowledge, ‘intellectual capital’ are what is being ‘valued’ and exchanged. What matters here is that information/knowledge is inherently conceptual and hence cultural; its commodification thus entails a fusion of culture and economy that contravenes conventional economic theory (as well as the ‘symbolic vs material’ divide). We cannot just ‘add’ informational goods to existing theories, as if the number of commodities in circulation has simply increased. Consider, for example, these characteristics of the informational economy: a self-transforming feedback loop between knowledge and its ‘use’; the imperative of accelerating innovation; the defiance of exclusive possession; a capacity to increase in value through use; and an intrinsic dissolution of cultural-economic distinctions (especially, Castells 2000; Peterson 2003). Rather, the cultural ‘substance’ of informational goods entails both changes in thinking about production and exchange and more complex metamorphoses in thinking itself. My point is that the informational economy necessarily involves a transformation not only of goods but also of minds, thinking, and cultural codes, and these changes shape inequalities and in/securities. Technologies are again central. Computer-based digitization enables the conversion (reduction) of information, images, literature, music, and even human experience into a binary code of 1s and 0s available to anyone with the relevant ‘reading’ capacity (conceptual and technological). Not only are these many and diverse phenomena reduced to a common, universal, code but in coded form they are available around the world, virtually without the constraints of time and space. Digitization also effectively ‘objectifies’ these diverse phenomena, rendering them objects/commodities that are tradable. While the benefits are well rehearsed, there are more troubling aspects that warrant our attention. Not all information/knowledge is deemed worthy of digitization or incorporation in networks of communication. Whose questions are pursued and whose concerns are silenced? Whose health needs are prioritized, whose project is funded, whose paradigm is presumed, and whose priorities govern? What is included and to what effect is inherently political, with profound and far-reaching implications: increasing ‘value’ and security for some while decreasing, resiting or destroying it for others. Finally, how do we interpret and evaluate the effects of this ‘objectification’ and ‘commodification’ of the life world, where the ‘value’ of any information, product, body part, or experience is increasingly subject to determination by transnational market forces? Neither money nor information are neutral. Made meaningful by being embedded in power laden contexts, they carry, convey, and confer valorizations (read: power) in multiple ways, with multiple and diverse effects far beyond simplistic reckoning. Adequate analyses 178

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of these developments and the in/securities they involve requires taking the politics of cultural coding seriously and taking seriously the gender of cultural coding.

Conclusion As surveyed here, the stark and increasing polarization of economic resources between nations of the North and South, and between rich and poor within them, generates countless conditions of insecurity. For the majority of individuals worldwide, neoliberal restructuring has meant declining household income, reduced access to safe and secure employment, decreased provision of publicly funded social services, and phenomenal growth of ‘informal’ work in the home, community, shadow economy, and criminal activities. In the global North, reduction of social services disproportionately hurts women, stigmatized minorities, the urban poor, and immigrant families. Restructuring imposed in the global South exacerbates women’s poverty by promoting outward-oriented growth rather than meeting domestic subsistence needs, while reducing public subsidies (which increases the cost of basic goods) spurs urbanization and labour migrations that increase the number of female-headed households, aggravates un- and under-employment of men (which reduces household income and increases women’s re/productive work), and disrupts traditional social forms of support for women. These conditions of precarity and vulnerability exemplify insecurities that force people to pursue often risky ‘survival strategies’ to generate resources however they can. Yet earning income informally rarely generates household ‘prosperity’ and is often very risky, while migrating transnationally is increasingly difficult and is too often deadly. With other feminists, I argue that these global trends render most ‘feminized’ people (and nations) less secure, and that these practices and policies are shaped by masculinist and racist ways of thinking in regard to how ‘work’ and ‘economics’ are defined, who should do what kinds of work, and how different activities are valued. There is much more to be said about the gendered political economy of insecurity, and my focus in this chapter has neglected important complexities and omitted aspects of resistance and transformation (Peterson 2014). I hope, however, that foregrounding gender as a governing code of valorizations has demonstrated its too often unacknowledged but extremely powerful influence in shaping economic ‘realities’ and their attendant in/securities. If, as Steinem (1997: 84) observes, “economics is only a system of values”, and if, as I argue, gender is a cultural code that shapes virtually all valuing, then gender is constitutive of ‘economics’ as a system. I conclude that we cannot adequately analyse or appropriately resist neoliberal globalization and its many insecurities without taking gender – analytically and empirically – very seriously indeed.

Notes 1 See inter alia Cockburn 2010, 2013; Cohn 2013; Detraz 2012; Enloe 2007; Baaz and Stern 2013; McLeod 2016; Security Dialogue 2004; Security Studies 2009; Shepherd 2008, 2013; Sjoberg 2013; Sjoberg and Via 2010; Wibben 2011. 2 Work integrating political economy and security includes Amoore and de Goede 2010; Andreas and Greenhill 2010; Arnson and Zartman 2005; Duffield 2007; Peterson 2008, 2010a, 2013; Stavrianakis and Selby 2013. 3 See inter alia Berik, van der Meulen Rodgers and Seguino 2009; Peterson and Runyan 2010; Peck 2010; Marchand and Runyan 2011; Shields, Bruff and Macartney 2011; Milanovic 2012; Bruff 2014; LeBaron 2014. 4 Arguments in this chapter draw from and go beyond my earlier work, especially 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010a, 2010c, 2012. 5 I refer to ‘economies’ in a Foucauldian sense: as mutually constituted (therefore coexisting and interactive) systemic sites through and across which power operates. These sites include socio-cultural


V. Spike Peterson processes of self-formation and cultural socialization that underpin identities and their political implications. The subjective, conceptual, and cultural dimensions of these sites are understood as inextricable from (mutually constituted by) material conditions, social practices, and institutional structures. 6 Definitions are debated, but a central issue is that informal practices fall ‘outside’ of formal (regulated) market operations and hence elude government control, recording, and taxation. 7 See inter alia Bezanson 2006; Guha-Khasnobis, Kanbur and Ostrom 2006; Bakker and Silvey 2008; Peterson 2010a, 2012; Rai, Hoskyns and Thomas 2014; Fraser 2016.

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Gendered political economy of insecurity LeBaron, Genevieve. 2014. ‘Unfree labor beyond binaries: Social hierarchy, insecurity, and labor market restructuring’. International Feminist Journal of Politics 17(1): 1–19. Marchand, Marianne H. and Anne Sisson Runyan (eds). 2011. Gender and Global Restructuring: Sightings, Sites and Resistances. 2nd edn. London: Routledge. Mcleod, Laura. 2016. Gender Politics and Security Discourse. London: Routledge. Mies, Maria. 1998/1986. Patriarchy and Accumulation on a World Scale: Women and the International Division of Labour. New edition with preface. London: Zed Books. Milanovic, Branko. 2012. ‘Global inequality: From class to location, from proletarians to migrants’. Global Policy 3(2): 125–134. Peck, Jamie. 2010. Constructions of Neoliberal Reason. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Peterson, V. Spike. 2003. A Critical Rewriting of Global Political Economy: Integrating Reproductive, Productive, and Virtual Economies. Abingdon: Routledge. Peterson, V. Spike. 2007. ‘Thinking through intersectionality and war’. Race, Gender & Class 14(3–4): 10–27. Peterson, V. Spike. 2008. ‘“New wars” and gendered economies’. Feminist Review 88(1): 7–20. Peterson, V. Spike. 2009. ‘Interactive and intersectional analytics of globalization’. Frontiers 30(1): 31–40. Peterson, V. Spike. 2010a. ‘Informalization, inequalities and global insecurities’. International Studies Review 12(2): 244–270. Peterson, V. Spike. 2010b. ‘A long view of globalization and crisis’. Globalizations 7(1): 187–202. Peterson, V. Spike. 2010c. ‘Global householding amid global crises’. Politics and Gender 6: 271–281. Peterson, V. Spike. 2012. ‘Rethinking theory: Inequalities, informalization and feminist quandaries’. International Feminist Journal of Politics 14(1): 1–31. Peterson, V. Spike. 2013 ‘Gendering insecurities, informalization and “war economies”’. In Aili Mari Tripp, Myra Marx Ferree and Christina Ewig (eds) Gender, Violence and Human Security: Critical Feminist Perspectives (pp. 50–75). New York: New York University Press. Peterson, V. Spike. 2014. ‘Family matters: How queering the intimate queers the international’. International Studies Review 16(4): 604–608. Peterson, V. Spike and Anne Sisson Runyan. 2010. Global Gender Issues in the New Millennium. 3rd edn. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. Prügl, Elisabeth. 2012. ‘If Lehman brothers had been sisters . . .: Gender and myth in the aftermath of the financial crisis’. International Political Sociology 6(1): 21–35. Rai, Shirin, Catherine Hoskyns and Dania Thomas. 2014. ‘Depletion: The cost of social reproduction’. International Feminist Journal of Politics 16(1): 86–105. Roberts, Adrienne. 2015. ‘Gender, financial deepening and the production of embodied finance: Towards a critical feminist analysis’. Global Society 29(1): 107–127. Roberts, David. 2008. Human Insecurity: Global Structures of Violence. London: Zed Books. Sassen, Saskia. 2000. ‘Women’s burden: Counter-geographies of globalization and the feminization of survival. Journal of International Affairs 53(2): 503–524. Security Dialogue. 2004. Special Issue: Gender and Security 35 (Dec). Security Studies. 2009. Special Issue: Feminist contributions 18(2). Shepherd, Laura J. 2008. Gender, Violence and Security. London: Zed Books. Shepherd, Laura J. 2013. Gender, Violence and Popular Culture: Telling Stories. Abingdon: Routledge. Shields, Stuart, Ian Bruff and Huw Macartney (eds). 2011. Critical International Political Economy: Dialogue, Debate and Dissensus. London: Palgrave. Sjoberg, Laura. 2013. Gendering Global Conflict. New York: Columbia University Press. Sjoberg, Laura and Sandra Via (eds). 2010. Gender, War and Militarism: Feminist Perspectives. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger Security International. Stavrianakis, Anna and Jan Selby (eds). 2013. Militarism and International Relations: Political Economy, Security, Theory. Abingdon: Routledge. Steinem, Gloria. 1997. ‘Revving up for the next 25 years’. Ms. (Sept/Oct): 82–84. Wibben, Annick T.R. 2011. Feminist Security Studies: A Narrative Approach. Abingdon: Routledge. Young, Brigette, Isabella Bakker and Diane Elson (eds). 2011. Questioning Financial Governance from a Feminist Perspective. Abingdon: Routledge.


16 GENDER AND GENOCIDE Two case studies Choman Hardi

Introduction Genocide is a violent process of destruction and rupture that leads to the creation of a traumatized and disconnected underclass. It feeds off widespread negative perceptions of particular groups and enhances the social and political inequalities already inherent in a society. Genocidal practices target men and women differently. While men are usually selected for destruction, women, who are perceived as bearers of a community’s ‘honour’ and its future generations, are targeted by sexual violence and forced impregnation. After reviewing the literature in the field of gender and genocide and tracing its development, this chapter studies women’s experiences of two cases of genocide in Kurdistan-Iraq. More specifically, it discusses the Anfal genocide in 1988 and the Ezidi genocide in 2014 with a particular focus on sexual violence. Comparing the experiences of female survivors of two different genocides in the same region helps us understand how the dominant discourses of the time influence women’s narrations, endurance, and survival. Claudia Card (2003: 63) identifies “social death” to be “the peculiar evil” which distinguishes genocide from other kinds of mass murders. This is when “survivors lose their cultural heritage and may even lose their intergenerational connections”, leaving them unable “to pass along and build upon the traditions, cultural developments (including languages), and projects of earlier generations” (2003: 73). Card (2003: 76) goes on to add that since women live their lives through connections and are socially responsible for transmitting language, values, and traditions from one generation to the next, they are alienated and disconnected from their families and communities through genocidal rape. Lisa Pine (2004: 364) reminds us that utilizing gender as an analytical tool in Holocaust Studies started with the development of feminist theory in the 1970s. The second-wave feminists critiqued women’s representation in literature, media, and discourses produced by men (de Beauvoir 1949; Friedan 1963; Millett 1969) and aimed to shed light on women’s ‘hidden’ experiences and their marginalization in history (Rowbotham 1975; Bennett 1989). Making women visible, researching about their ‘hidden experiences’, and giving voice became an important field of study that reshaped many disciplines. Genocide Studies was no exception. The development of feminist theory went hand in hand with UN Security Council Resolutions which addressed discrimination against women, recognized 182

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gender-based violence as a crime, and acknowledged sexual violence at times of conflict as a war crime.1 The academic literature in the field of gender and genocide has undergone two main shifts. First of all, there has been a move away from essentialism and toward seeing gender as an oppressive social construct that shapes people’s experiences of violence and influences their survival strategies and coping mechanisms (see below). Second, research has moved toward inclusivity and an appreciation that men, as well as women, can be victims of violence, including sexual violence. Research into men’s vulnerability and victimization gained prominence specifically in the context of the Balkan Wars. Women too are no longer seen as mere victims of men’s wars. In some instances, they incite violence, participate in it, and even become perpetrators. The Rwandan genocide was a striking example of women participating in violence. This chapter draws on my previous foundational research on gendered experiences of the Anfal genocide (Hardi 2011). Motivated by the need to expand the Anfal narrative and ensure the inclusion of women’s experiences in it, I was dissatisfied with the public discourse on Anfal. The simplistic and nationalist discourse focused on the victims of mass graves who were mostly men, the extensive use of chemical weapons, and the destruction of villages and the farming community. I argued that “measuring Anfal by death and destruction . . . the Kurdish revolution has produced a gender-blind and therefore an impoverished understanding of Anfal” (Hardi 2011: 4). Survivors of national catastrophes carry the burden of ‘telling the truth’. Even after 28 years Anfal surviving women are still expected to continue telling the Anfal story and to mourn the dead. In fact, their stories are highly edited by the official channels and only some aspects of their experiences are embraced while the others are left out (Hardi 2011). The focus on violence marginalizes some aspects of women’s experiences while highlighting others. Furthermore, ignoring the aftermath seems to be common in other parts of the world (Ross 2001 and Todeschini 2001). The public endorsement of certain stories and denial of others is “profoundly political” and it determines “‘appropriate’ expressions of suffering” (Todeschini 2001: 104). This endorsement shapes women’s testimonies, forcing them to recount certain experiences while excluding others. I have also relied on three interviews conducted by Yazda (a global Ezidi organization),2 my own interviews with two activists, extensive reports by NGOs and international agencies, and media coverage. I decided not to conduct interviews with Ezidi women specifically because everyone else is. Survivors are pressured to recount their experiences of rape and sexual enslavement for journalists, researchers, NGO workers, and governmental officials. Their “urgent need for safety and privacy” (Minwalla 2015) is sacrificed for “the greater good”. As early as December 2014 (four months after the assault began) Amnesty International reported that members of the community and local activists oblige Ezidi women to talk about their ordeal. In several cases, survivors had not given informed consent and were interviewed by journalists who claimed to work in the medical profession. These women are thus disempowered and victimized once again, leading to further trauma and isolation. The following sections discuss problems associated with the essentialist approach to gender in relation to genocide studies and shed light on the more recent theoretical developments resulting from it. The situation of women survivors of two cases of genocide in Kurdistan will then be addressed, followed by highlighting the dominant narratives’ different positions on sexual violence and the consequences for women survivors. For both groups, the possibilities of speaking out, seeking help, and healing are shaped by their communities’ dominant discourses and attitudes. 183

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Feminism, essentialism, and genocide Genocide Studies and its precursor, Holocaust Studies, have struggled with gender essentialization. Women’s social characteristics, according to this view, are essentially different from men’s. Women are hence considered emotional and peaceful while men are considered rational and aggressive. This section explores the flaws of such a view of gender in relation to genocide. The Holocaust historian, Joan Ringelheim (1984), was first to identify that Holocaust literature was ‘gender-neutral’ and it ignored women’s voices. Women’s experiences were considered irrelevant to the collective memory of the Holocaust. This disregard of certain experiences, Ringelheim (1998) argued, led to memories being ignored by survivors and eventually ‘forgotten’. In an interview, Marianne Hirsh clarified that early feminist scholarship in Holocaust Studies started because feminists wanted “to add women’s voices to the canonical narratives by Primo Levi and Elie Wiesel” and to examine “modes of narrative and memory for gender dimensions and from feminist perspectives” (Altinay and Peto 2015: 387). At first, feminist scholars, in line with cultural feminism, argued that women fared better than men during the Holocaust because of their nurturing skills and their talent for building communities. Writers such as Ringelheim (1984), Sybil Milton (1984), and Myrna Goldenberg (1998) argued that in the concentration and labour camps women were more supportive of each other when compared to men, which was an important factor in their survival. This view was supported by survivor testimonies which highlighted examples of bonding and helping each other (Bondy 1998; Delbo 1995). Goldenberg stated that women’s memories of the Holocaust emphasize women’s strong concern for one another as well as their dependency on one another to withstand the barbarism of the camps; their adaptation of homemaking skills into coping skills; and the effects of their heightened physical vulnerability and fear of rape. 1998: 327 Yet, others have been critical of researchers in this field. Anna Hardman argued that survivors’ testimonies have been used selectively by scholars, “identifying what they consider to be ‘female’ experience” (cited in Pine 2004: 371). In other words, it is the researchers’ own bias and their selective use of testimonies that has led to the conclusion that women cooperated with each other more than men. Pine stated that women who defied gender expectations, by not behaving in a ‘feminine’ and selfless manner because they were focused on their own survival, were “not discussed by historians, even though some survivors have mentioned such women; there has been a taboo in treating them” (Pine 2004: 372). Furthermore, Pascal Rachel Bos (2003: 27) argued that the focus on female cooperation led to a “generalized (and sometimes essentialized) analysis of gender difference which glorified women in general instead of cataloguing the historical experiences of individual women”. The author explained that certain women’s experiences that might have been “unique or even exceptional” were assumed to apply to all Jewish women. This, she clarified, led to “a (sometimes not so) subtle idealization of women’s strength”. Similarly, in a re-evaluation of her earlier work, Ringelheim criticized her own “unconscious use of cultural feminism as a frame through which to view Jewish women survivors” (1998: 384). Cultural feminism essentializes gender differences rather than criticizing the social 184

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norms that construct them. Like patriarchy, it considers men and women to be radically different from each other but concludes that women’s culture (assumed to be caring) is superior to men’s culture (assumed to be aggressive). Hence, Ringelheim (1998: 386) argues “femininity”, which was considered oppressive in the past, is made “sacred”. She goes on to state that “[t]o suggest that among those Jews who lived through the Holocaust, women rather than men survived better is to move toward acceptance of valorization of oppression, even if one uses a culture and not a biological argument”. Additionally, testimony might not always be reliable and survivors’ accounts might not fully correspond to what is widely regarded to be the situation’s ‘reality’. Bos (2003: 31) clarified that testimonies are influenced by various factors and selection takes place on three levels: the experience a witness chooses to talk about, her memory, and the narrative style (structure, tone, and order). Bos (2003: 36) criticized feminist scholars who over-emphasized the bonding aspects of women’s experiences. She argued that because of gender socialization, women are more likely to highlight cooperation whereas men highlight independence. These factors select or limit what is told. This does not mean that women helped each other while men did not.

Toward inclusivity: gender and genocide Recent scholarship in this field goes against essential differences between men and women. It acknowledges that war and genocide are gendered, that men and women are generally treated differently by perpetrators, but this is seen as a consequence of socially constructed views of men’s and women’s abilities and roles in society. Equally, it counters the view that women are kinder than men because both men and women can participate in genocidal violence. Gender socialization encourages male participation in violence but hampers females’ participation. On the other hand, when a group is forced to defend its identity, women’s participation in violence rises, disrupting and challenging gender norms. Women’s sexual vulnerability during genocide and mass violence received considerable attention in the context of more recent conflicts. Speaking of the Balkans war in 1992 where women were raped on a large scale, Catharine MacKinnon (1994: 11–12) addressed rape as an instrument of genocide: This is not rape out of control. It is rape under control. It is also rape unto death, rape as massacre, rape to kill, and to make the victims wish they were dead. It is rape as an instrument of forced exile, rape to make you leave your home, and never want to go back. It is rape to be seen and heard and watched and told to others: rape as spectacle. It is rape to drive a wedge through a community, to shatter a society, to destroy a people. It is rape as genocide. Looking at genocide from a wider perspective, Adam Jones (2009: 140) argued that research on gender and mass violence focused specifically on “‘femicide,’ the selective killing of women and girls; and sexual violence against women, especially rape”. He elaborated on “femicide” by introducing the term “gendercidal institutions” which he defined to be “female infanticide and feticide, maternal mortality, and gendered deficits of health care, education, and nutrition” (Jones 2009: 283). These are cultural practices, Jones explained, which have killed far more women than the women or men killed during political violence and genocide. Yet, the Balkan Wars also brought attention to men’s vulnerability both in the sense of being selectively targeted for annihilation and also for being victims of sexual violence and rape. 185

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Dubravka Zarkov (1997) and Euan Hague (1997) discussed feminization of male victims through raping and exerting control over them. Until this point, Zarkov (1997: 146) clarified, the international legal institutions failed to acknowledge male victims of sexual violence due to cultural norms and assumptions: “Association of femininity and victimization is so natural – wars or no wars – that few laws had anything to say about it.” It is therefore essential to question the assumed link between ‘female’ and ‘feminine’ as well as ‘male’ and ‘masculine’. Hague (1997: 52) refuted the notion that “all that is female is feminine and all that is male is masculine” because, as we can see in the Balkan context, males can be masculinized (Serbs and Bosnian Serbs) or emasculated/feminized (Muslims and Croatians). Hague (1997) stated that through rape in Bosnia-Herzegovina traditional gender assumptions of which persons are “masculine” and which “feminine” came under attack, and in many cases were asserted, through ascriptions of national identity. The qualities of power, domination and violent subjugation often associated with a hegemonic masculinity accrued, in this context, to the national identities known as “Serb” and “Bosnian Serb”. Hague 1997: 53 In this context hegemonic masculinity and ethnicity coincided to construct a dominant and violent Serbian masculinity which emasculated Muslim and Croatian male victims through rape. This can be related to Yuval-Davis’s argument about the consequences of oppression for men of the victim group: “Feelings of disempowerment which result from processes of colonization and subjugation have often been interpreted by the colonized men as processes of demasculinization and/or feminization” (1997: 67). Men, in the aftermath of violent conflict, reclaim their threatened masculinity through gaining power and control over women and sometimes resorting to violence. Hence continuing the circle of violence long after the initial conflict has ended. A question that may be asked here is, while men and women can be victims of both annihilation and sexual violence at times of violent conflict, why is it that, historically, men are more likely to be selected for extermination and women for rape? The social construction and expectations of manhood and womanhood might explain this differential treatment. Jones (2009: 173) identified “non-combatant men of ‘battle age’” as the group that is consistently targeted for destruction. He clarified that this might be because they are “nearly universally perceived as the group posing the greatest danger to the conquering force”. On the other hand, women, because of their role in biological reproduction and socialization of children, are considered keepers and symbols of the nation: “Women are often constructed as the cultural symbols of the collectivity, of its boundaries, as carriers of the collectivity’s honour and as its intergenerational reproducers of culture” (Yuval-Davis 1997: 67). Hence, raping women undermines the victim group’s ability to biologically reproduce, their identity, and their ‘honour’. It also serves as a mechanism to emasculate the men who are not able to ‘protect their women’, as is traditionally expected of them, and their honour and integrity as men are tarnished. As Geetanjali Gangoli (2006: 535) points out, this ‘dishonouring’ works only when “the meaning of honor as symbolically vested primarily . . . in women’s bodies is shared by both the communities of the perpetrators and the victims”. Gender role reversals go even further than men as victims. Women can be perpetrators of genocide as well. For instance, the Rwandan genocide in 1994 was another example that included widespread rape of women. While the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) recognized sexual violence as a war crime and a crime against 186

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humanity, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) recognized “rape and sexual violence” as acts of genocide.3 Another novelty of the ICTR was that for the first time in history a woman, namely Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, was convicted of genocide.4 Nyiramasuhuko had been Minister for Family Welfare and Women’s Empowerment and was convicted for inciting rape of Tutsi women. Jones’ (2009: 221) discussion of “genocidal women” in the context of Rwanda rebukes essentialism: “when women are provided with positive and negative incentives similar to those of men, their degree of participation in genocide, and the violence and cruelty they exhibit, will run closely parallel to their male counterparts.” Hence, Jones concludes, researchers should not be searching for an essential difference in women’s approach to peace but should search for “the range of cultural and policy mechanisms that either allow or, more frequently, inhibit the expression of women’s aggressive and genocidal potential” (2009: 221). Yet, even when women do the same things as men, it is important to recognize that “women and men as actors experience violence and conflict differently, both as victims and as perpetrators, with differential access to resources (including power and decision making)” (Cockburn, cited in Jones 2009: 150). While acknowledging that women benefit less than men when they engage in violence, Gangoli (2006: 536) argues that: women who act thus do enjoy some privileges that are denied to those women who may oppose these acts . . . [they] enjoy power over the men and women of the “other” community, while also enjoying praise and privileges for supporting national struggles. In current conflicts, the concern about women’s and men’s participation in genocide and ethnic cleansing remains central. For instance, while the focus of ISIS tends to be on radicalization and recruitment, when considering the fears of genocide or ethnic cleansing of the Ezidis, Christians, Shabaks, and others, how the individuals undertake the violence is still being shaped. For instance, as ISIS seeks a Caliphate in Iraq and Syria, it needs more than military and jihadist support to survive. It aims to involve women in building the Islamic State without giving them ‘central’ and combative roles. Despite being given non-violent roles, it will be interesting to know how women supporters of ISIS treat other women, such as Ezidis and Christians who were captured by ISIS, and whether they participate in inflicting pain upon them and encouraging their rape and enslavement. Furthermore, in response to ISIS, in 2012 Kurdish women in Syria mobilized and formed the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) to fight the Syrian government and ISIS. The 15,000strong army comprises 35 per cent of Kurdish troops in Syria (Dirik 2014). These women were instrumental in helping the trapped Ezidis escape ISIS in August 2014 (Bucciarelli 2014). More recently YPJ started training Arab and Ezidi women to defend themselves and fight (McKernan 2017). In the Kurdish region of Iraq, where I am based, YPJ women have become a symbol of perseverance, bravery, and patriotism, all traditionally considered to be masculine traits. They have proven that women can lead, strategize, and win wars, challenging negative gender stereotypes.

The Anfal and Ezidi genocides Genocide does not happen in a vacuum. It is the last stage of a process of escalating hostility toward a particular group. Both of the targeted populations in the Anfal and Ezidi genocides were perceived as ‘defective’ and ‘in need of reparation’ by the perpetrators. Despite 187

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similarities between their experiences as victims of genocide, different tools were used ‘to repair’ them. This section compares the Anfal and the Ezidi genocides, focusing on sexual violence. It highlights the shifting discourses about genocidal sexual violence in the Kurdish community and its consequences for women survivors. Al-Anfal (or ‘the Spoils’) was the culmination of the Ba’ath Party’s, which controlled Iraq, soaring violence against Kurdistan’s village population. It punished them for their support to the Kurdish resistance. The campaign targeted six geographical regions (three on the borders of Iran and Turkey and three inland). In 1987 the state passed a number of decrees and administrative orders which declared these areas “prohibited for security reasons” and called civilians “saboteurs” (Middle East Watch 1993: 77–80). In the same year chemical weapons were used against the population for the first time (Middle East Watch 1993: 60; Hardi 2011: 103). Evoking no reaction from the international community, the Ba’ath state was able to step up its plan for genocide. The attacks, launched between 23 February and 6 September 1988, demolished over 2,000 villages, destroyed water sources, looted animals and farming machinery, and burned farms down (Resool 1990). Two hundred and eightyone locations were attacked with poison gas (Baban 2000), more than 100,000 civilians were murdered, and the rest (mostly families) were detained in prison camps until the General Amnesty in September 1988 (Middle East Watch 1993; Hardi 2011). ISIS took Mousel, a major city of over 1 million inhabitants in northern Iraq, in June 2014. Ezidi activists were seriously concerned about the fate of their community and approached members of the Kurdistan Parliament for help.5 Because Sinjar, the Ezidi heartland, is 150 kilometres away from the Kurdistan region and surrounded by Sunni Arab villages, it was vulnerable. Despite reassurances of protection by Kurdish officials (Mahmud 2016), the Ezidi community woke up on the morning of 3 August 2014 to the sight of peshmarga (Kurdish army) abandoning them to ISIS (Human Rights Council 2016). ISIS attacked Sinjar from several directions, murdering hundreds of men and enslaving between 5,000 to 7,000 women and children on the way. Civilians who managed to escape ISIS headed to Mount Sinjar where they were stranded in the summer heat for weeks. On 7 August, US forces, and later UK forces, started air drops to relieve those trapped on the mountain (Ackerman, Chulov and Borger 2014; BBC 2014a). On 11 August, Kurdish fighters from Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran collaborated on securing a safe passage through ISIS lines for the Ezidi survivors (Tharoor 2014). The siege was finally broken in December 2014, allowing the remaining civilians to come down (BBC 2014b). The tools of genocide were different in these campaigns. While the former Iraqi state used conventional bombardment, extensive gassing, starvation in the camps, and mass shootings, ISIS used forced conversion into Islam (making women and children memorize and recite the Quran, pray five times a day, fast during Ramadhan), sexual slavery and forced impregnation, removal of children, and the mass shooting of men. The Ba’athists and ISIS treated men and women differently. While men were killed within days of their capture (being perceived as a threat), women and children were usually kept alive to face a different fate. Some families during the Anfal campaign were also transported, killed, and buried in mass graves. Even then, they were treated differently from the men. While the blindfolded men were taken out of the trucks and shot one by one (Hardi 2011: 18) the families were lined up and shot in large groups (Hardi 2011: 54). The majority of Anfal women were detained in prison for months until the September 1988 General Amnesty was announced. They experienced hunger, disease, sexual and physical abuse, and death of children. Ezidi women, on the other hand, were used solely as sex slaves. 188

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Sexual abuse of Anfal and Ezidi women One major difference between Anfal and Ezidi survivors is related to their experience and recounting of sexual abuse. While women were sexually abused during Anfal, this was not systematic. In most cases the perpetrators of sexual abuse acted opportunistically, taking advantage of female prisoners’ vulnerable positions (Hardi 2011: 63–64). There were reports about women being abducted and gifted to Arab tribes in Iraq and the surrounding countries. Some Iraqi tribes, fearing reprisal by the Kurds, contacted the Ministry of Human Rights in Erbil after the fall of the Ba’ath regime. They informed the ministry that some Kurdish women were given to them as “presents” but they were well treated, married off, and had children (Hardi 2011: 62). It is unclear whether these acts were officially sanctioned by the state. An Iraqi state document named 18 women who were allegedly sold to brothels in Egypt.6 This document was later pronounced inauthentic by the Iraqi High Tribunal. Rape of Ezidi women, on the other hand, was widespread and systematic. They were repeatedly and brutally raped. Some women reported being raped and beaten while their arms and legs were tied and while their children could hear their screams in the next room.7 One woman was raped while nine months pregnant and every time she refused to sleep with her captor he would deprive her and her children of food for a day.8 Another reported that her captor beat and tortured her children every time she refused him.9 They were enslaved, frequently sold, and gang raped for punishment if they tried to escape. The Human Rights Council (HRC) (2016), which recognized the Ezidi case as genocide,10 listed these rapes as war crimes and crimes against humanity, but not acts of genocide. HRC argued that even though Ezidi women were repeatedly raped, there was no “mass rape” of the hundreds of captive women who were surrounded by armed men. This is an odd argument as it contradicts the conventional conceptualization of genocide. The women were targeted as reproducers of the community and as carriers of its honour (Yuval-Davis 1997: 67). In this sense, if killing Ezidi men eliminated ‘a threat’, then sexually enslaving Ezidi women ensured the destruction of the Ezidis as a group (and hence genocide) through destroying their ability to reproduce Ezidi children. Rape served to “occupy the womb” (Fisher 1996) of Ezidi women so that they give birth to new generations of children who are not Ezidi but “Muslim”. Another major difference is that while the official Anfal narrative silenced all talks of sexual abuse (Hardi 2011: 65) the Ezidi discourse is centred on it. Women who survived Anfal could not speak about sexual abuse and were “left with memories that had not been worked through, that had no easy access to public space” (Grossmann 1995: 177). They lived with “the burden of silence and the fear of being found out” (Hardi 2011: 67) and were unable to seek help. Researching the consequences of rape, I found that female survivors of Anfal were held responsible for the crimes committed against them. They were shamed and stigmatized, forced to relocate to a different region where no one knew them, deprived of the custody of their children, never dared to get married (in the case of unmarried girls who were no longer virgins), and some were killed by their own relatives (Hardi 2011: 60). These concerns influenced survivors’ testimonies and censored their Anfal stories. While Anfal survivors could not speak about sexual violence, Ezidi survivors are expected and are at times forced to speak about it. In fact, the focus on sexual abuse in the Ezidi case is so strong that many of their other horrific experiences are marginalized and disregarded. While reading testimonies of women survivors it is startling that ISIS’ torture of children and the poisoning of babies11 are sidelined by rape stories. 189

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Despite the openness of the Ezidi discourse to sexual abuse, talking about such experiences is not easy. Soon after the first women captives managed to escape ISIS in 2014, the Ezidi spiritual leader, Baba Sheikh, urged members of the community to welcome them back and care for them. Although very helpful, the stigma has not lifted in a culture so centred on notions of honour and shame. Young unmarried women who have returned from ISIS captivity are particularly vulnerable. Some of them have felt the need to undergo virginity tests to prove that they have not been raped. Minwalla points out that these tests are “retraumatizing” and “invasive” (Fadel 2014). Some of them have gone through surgery to repair their hymen and restore their virginity in order to be accepted back in their community. Additionally, the women who were impregnated during rape by ‘the enemy’ are seen as ‘soiled’ or ‘tainted’. Children born of rape are considered an enemy of the targeted community (Reid-Cunningham 2008). Therefore, some Ezidi survivors resorted to abortion, which is still illegal in Kurdistan (Fadel 2014). Survivors find themselves in a paradoxical situation. On the one hand, they are pressurized to talk about sexual enslavement and raise awareness about Ezidi victimization by ISIS; and, on the other hand, the patriarchal society victimizes them for having been raped. Women returnees are also not consulted about their place of residence upon returning. They are automatically relocated in IDP camps with the rest of the community where everyone sees them as ISIS sex slaves. Some survivors even report lack of sympathy by the community which has become saturated with these stories and is desensitized and unsupportive.12 They are told by relatives and friends that what they have experienced is not unique and has happened to many other women around them, therefore they should stop crying and try to move on. In this way women who have been victimized and made powerless by perpetrators are once again made powerless by their own government and community.

Conclusion Women survivors of Anfal and the Ezidi genocide have suffered enormously in the aftermath of these atrocities. They are stigmatized as victims of violence, as women ‘without guardian[s]’,13 and as sexually abused women. While sexual abuse was not an instrument of genocide during Anfal, as it was during the Ezidi catastrophe, it was not uncommon. Publicly, sexual abuse in the context of Anfal was taboo. Those whose rape became public faced major repercussions after Anfal. On the other hand, rape of Ezidi women is a major part of the official narrative and women are put under enormous pressure to talk. This has led to exploitation of survivors by journalists and researchers. They are expected to speak when the community wants them to speak and to be silent when the community does not want to hear certain aspects of their stories. The cases discussed above confirm that while both men and women can be victimized in violent conflict, often they are targeted differently. In line with cultural perceptions of men as aggressors and women as reproducers of the group, men comprise the largest number of casualties in genocide while women are raped and forcibly impregnated. It is therefore essential that research becomes more sensitive to men’s and women’s different vulnerabilities in these contexts. Recent events also prove that both men and women can engage in violence to perpetrate crimes or fight for liberation. Perhaps future research can shed more light on the range of factors that mobilize men and women while recognizing that even when they experience similar things (either as victims or as perpetrators) they will have differential access to power and resources. 190

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Notes 1 UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, 1979; UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, 1993; Security Council Resolution 1325, 2000; Security Council Resolution 1820, 2008. 2 I am grateful to my research assistant, Shavgar Mohammed Salih Haji, who transcribed the interviews into English. The names of survivors have been changed to protect their identity. 3 International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, 2 September 1998, The Prosecutor versus Jean-Paul Akayesu. Paragraph 731. 4 ‘First woman to be charged with genocide sentenced to life in prison’. The Telegraph, UK, 24 June 2011. Available at First-woman-to-be-charged-with-genocide-sentenced-to-life-in-prison.html (accessed 9 January 2017). 5 Interview with Judge Qasim Rafu, Ezidi activist. 6 Top secret Iraqi document reveals Kurdish girls sent to harems and nightclubs in Egypt, 7/2/2003. 7 Layla (Yazda Documentation Centre) and Rezhna Mahmud, former SEED Director of Psychological Services. 8 Interview with Kijan, Yazda Documentation Centre. 9 Interview with Sara, Yazda Documentation Centre. 10 Carla Del Ponte, one of the commissioners of the independent inquiry on the Ezidi genocide, stated that: “ISIS has made no secret of its intent to destroy the Yazidis of Sinjar, and that is one of the elements that allowed us to conclude their actions amount to genocide” (UN High Commissioner for Human Rights 2016). 11 Interview with Kijan, Yazda Documentation Centre. 12 Interview with Rezhna Mahmud, former SEED Director of Psychological Services 13 This expression is widely used about Anfal surviving women by themselves and the larger community.

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Choman Hardi Dirik, D. 2014. ‘Western fascination with “badass” Kurdish women’. Aljazeera, 8 January. Available at 102112410527736.html (accessed 25 June 2016). Fadel, L. 2014. ‘For Yazidi women, escaping ISIS doesn’t mean the ordeal is over’. NPR, 10 December. Available at (accessed 28 June 2016). Fisher, S.K. 1996. ‘Occupation of the womb: Forced impregnation as genocide’. Duke Law Journal 46(1): 91–133. Friedan, B. 1963. The Feminine Mystique. New York: W.W. Norton and Co. Gangoli, G. 2006. ‘Engendering genocide: Gender, conflict and violence’. Women’s Studies International Forum 5(29): 534–538. Goldenberg, M. 1998. ‘Memories of Auschwitz survivors: The burden of gender’. In D. Ofer, and L. J. Weitzman (eds) Women in the Holocaust (pp. 327–339). New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press. Grossmann, A. 1995. ‘A question of silence: The rape of German women by occupation soldiers’. In S. Liebman (ed.) Berlin 1945: War and Rape ‘Liberators Take Liberties’ (pp. 42–63). Berlin: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press. Hague, E. 1997. ‘Rape, power and masculinity: The construction of gender and national identities in the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina’. In R. Lentin (ed.) Gender and Catastrophe (pp. 50–63). London: Zed Books. Hardi, C. 2011. Gendered Experiences of Genocide: Anfal Survivors in Kurdistan-Iraq. Abingdon: Routledge. Human Rights Council. 2016. ‘They came to destroy’: ISIS crimes against the Yazidis’. Available at (accessed 20 August 2016). Jones, A. 2009. Gender Inclusive: Essays on Violence, Men, and Feminist International Relations. Abingdon: Routledge. MacKinnon, C. 1994. ‘Rape, genocide, and women’s human rights’. Harvard Women’s Law Journal 17: 5–16. Mahmud, S. 2016. ‘The Yazidi Genocide’. Seminar at the Red Security Building, Sulaimani, 8 August. McKernan, B. 2017. ‘Female Kurdish fighters announce new training academies for Arab women to take on Isis in Syria’. The Independent, 4 January. Available at middle-east/female-kurdish-fighters-ypj-set-up-new-training-academies-arab-yazidi-women-tofight-isis-a7508951.html (accessed 27 April 2018). Middle East Watch. 1993. Genocide in Iraq: The Anfal Campaign against the Kurds. London: Human Rights Watch. Millett, K. 1969. Sexual Politics. New York: Doubleday and Co. Milton, S. 1984. ‘Women and the Holocaust: The case of German and German-Jewish women’. In R. Bridenthal, A. Grossmann and M. Kaplan (eds) When Biology Became Destiny: Women in Weimar and Nazi Germany (pp. 297–333). New York: Monthly Review Press. Minwalla, S. 2015. ‘Has anyone here been raped by ISIS?’ The Daily Beast, 18 May. Available at www.  (accessed  27 April 2018). Pine, L. 2004. ‘Gender and the family’. In D. Stone (ed.) The Historiography of the Holocaust (pp. 364–382). London: Palgrave Macmillan. Reid-Cunningham, A.R. 2008. ‘Rape as a weapon of genocide’. Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal 3(3): 279–296. Resool, S. 1990. Destruction of a Nation. USA: H. Zahawi and L. Rashid. Ringelheim, J. 1984. ‘The unethical and the unspeakable: Women and the Holocaust’. Simon Wiesenthal Center Annual 1(1): 69–87. Ringelheim, J. 1998. ‘The split between gender and the Holocaust’. In D. Ofer and L.J. Weitzman (eds) Women in the Holocaust (pp. 340–350). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Ross, F. 2001. ‘Speech and silence: Women’s testimonies in the first five weeks of public hearings of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission’. In V. Das, A. Kleinman, M. Lock, M. Ramphele and P. Reynolds (eds) Remaking a World: Violence, Social Suffering and Recovery (pp. 250–279). Berkeley: University of California Press. Rowbotham, S. 1975. Hidden from History: 300 Years of Women’s Oppression and the Fight Against It. London: Pluto Press.


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Introduction1 Migrants face gendered insecurities that manifest in multiple ways. They might experience sexual violence at various points in their migration journeys (Freedman 2012). They migrate to/from particular countries because of the gendered dynamics of labour economies (Sassen 1984; Kofman et al. 2000). And, they face challenges in their daily lives, particularly due to the violence that prompted their migration journeys as well as contested legal statuses and forced or exploitative labour (Marchand 2008). This chapter posits a theoretical framework for exploring another dynamic of these gendered insecurities: the gendered insecurities of states as they encounter migrants. State insecurities about migrants are gendered in terms of masculinist anxieties about the alleged threats migrants pose or about what to do about migration flows; furthermore, the state deals with these insecurities through gendered categorizations of migrants. For example, migrants are constructed as threats or as vulnerable, and accordingly, as those who should be deported, detained, surveilled, or contained, or protected and supported through immigration relief or social services. Indeed, an increasing number of studies are exploring how states depict and construct migrants, particularly in the context of increased migrant flows in Europe, immigration debates in the US, and the detention of asylum seekers by Australia. These classifications are in turn used by states to exercise sovereign power and to influence other countries. The importance of this framework is to situate gendered studies of migration within the context of global politics, attentive to the workings of masculinist sovereign power and international relations. The next section fleshes out a feminist theoretical framework that ‘genders’ state insecurity about migrants. The following section then applies this framework to the example of immigration relief, or protection from deportation. This kind of relief might come in the form of special visas or asylum.2 My focus in this chapter is how the US approaches immigration relief for migrant survivors of sex trafficking. I look at this particular empirical case study for several reasons. First, we are able to explore the gendered components of US insecurity about migrants. The US theorizes sex trafficking, a form of gender violence, so as to reserve immigration relief only for the most ‘vulnerable’ and for trafficking victims who can testify against traffickers, whom the US frame 194

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as connected to terrorism. Accordingly, we see at play the masculinist moral panic about whom to protect and whom to criminalize. This kind of hyperreactivity is relevant in most interactions between states and migrants but, in this case, government officials make proclamations about what counts as sex trafficking, thus revealing quite explicitly understandings about gender violence. Second, we see how processes of gendered categorization and classification work, as the US makes distinctions between migrants who experienced sex trafficking, migrants who experienced labour trafficking, migrants who were smuggled, undocumented migrants, and migrants who were sex workers. These distinctions are gendered because they rely upon and perpetuate assumptions about gender violence and gendered ideas about ‘innocence’. Thus through the example of trafficking we actually can discuss multiple empirical examples of the classification of migrants. Third, we see that state insecurity underlies not only exclusionary practices toward migrants but also protective practices. The legislation that offers immigration relief for trafficking victims is used to prevent the entry of sex workers as well as to shape and influence how other countries address prostitution because of enduring fears and repulsion about sex work perpetuated by moral abolitionists. The concluding section explores why examining the theoretical underpinnings and empirical examples of the gendered insecurities of states is crucial to understanding the gendered politics of migration and the lived experiences of migrants.

Gendered insecurities, states, and migrants I draw upon critical constructivist3 explorations of state insecurity, which contend that state identity is constituted through the interpretation of what is ‘dangerous’ and ‘threatening’ to the state. Without such threats, the state cannot exist because it would not be able to construct a meaningful identity and to justify its attempts to reify and control borders. And thus, the drive for security never ultimately succeeds (Connolly 1996; Campbell 1998; Nayak and Selbin 2010). But this discussion is incomplete without a gendered lens. To ‘gender’ insecurity/security means several things when we draw upon Feminist Security Studies scholarship. First, we must rethink what counts as security, inclusive of not only issues like war and weapons but also other topics such as poverty and interpersonal violence, and who gets to be secure; as Sjoberg notes “secure states often contain insecure women” (2009: 198). Second, we learn that security practices and studies value and are committed to hegemonic masculinities (Sjoberg 2010: 5). Third, gender as a lens is not simply about ‘adding’ gender as a variable but rather about transforming entire ways of thinking about what it means to be secure and insecure, thus helping to understand why security problems occur and to pose solutions (ibid.: 5). Finally, we can be curious particularly when a gendered analysis is missing; that absence means something about the way people think and talk about security (ibid.: 5–6). So, what does the gendered insecurity of states look like? First, states express masculinist anxiety through the desire for domination. As Tickner notes, there are multiple modes of masculinity, but hegemonic masculinity is “sustained through its opposition to various subordinated and devalued masculinities, such as homosexuality, and more important, through its relation to various devalued femininities” (Tickner 1992: 6). In the case of states perpetuating and constructing fear, hypermasculinity is at play, which “arises when agents of hegemonic masculinity feel threatened or undermined, thereby needing to inflate, exaggerate, or otherwise distort their traditional masculinity” (Agathangelou and Ling 2004: 519). Hypermasculinity scripts any perceived loss of power, such as the ease with which some foreign nationals may ‘cross’ a border, as a humiliating failure because it reveals the fragility of masculine power. 195

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This fragility is apparent via depictions of ‘hordes’ of migrants overrunning borders. As Doty notes, there are many state practices that “aim to create order, to banish amibiguity, to create stability and fixedness” (Doty 2003: 14). Specifically, states are insecure about migrants because “the movement of human beings across territorialized and coded geographic, cultural, and political space is itself a flow understood as threatening to order, security, and identity” (Doty 2003: 14). The very presence of migrants at or inside borders is represented as evidence of the weakness of states (Hansen and Papademetriou 2014). Huysmans (2006) argues that worries about migration are central to European Union identity-making, particularly as migration is increasingly framed not as an economic or humanitarian issue but as a ‘security’ issue, which then imagines migrants as indubitably ‘different’. As Huysmans deftly illustrates, the issue is not whether migrants are ‘real’ or ‘imagined’ threats, but rather how securitizing an issue sets into motion certain policies as well as ways of relating to migrants, as foreigners/others/outsiders to be feared rather than as people to be viewed with compassion or as rights-holders. The second manifestation of the gendered insecurities of states is through masculinist, paternalist ‘protection’ (Young 2003). States offer protection to citizens from ‘bad things’ (terrorism, changes in society, economic problems) in exchange for the support of state policies, such as militarization and discrimination, ostensibly meant to keep the citizenry safe. The ‘protector’ is not a brute, forcing his domination upon others, but rather a “courageous, responsible, and virtuous man . . . [a] ‘good’ man” willing to risk facing threats and danger to protect those for whom he is responsible (Young 2003: 4). Masculine protection requires “feminine subordination”; “[t]hat he finds her worthy of such risks gives substance to her self” (Young 2003: 5). In other words, those who are to be protected become valuable by virtue of desiring, requiring, and accepting masculinized protection. While migrants are not citizens, acceptance of the state’s protection means legitimizing the state. Thus, in examining states’ gendered insecurities in response to migration, we should not limit the focus to the construction and treatment of those deemed as threats. The way that states classify and treat those deemed as non-threatening, vulnerable, or helpless is also significant to how states manage insecurity about migrants in gendered ways. As Huysman importantly points out, “even when not directly spoken [of] as a threat, asylum [and other forms of immigration relief] can be rendered as a security question by being institutionally and discursively integrated in policy frameworks that [focus on] policing and defence” (2006: 4). Even if a state is protecting a migrant, such as through a grant of asylum, discourses of masculinized security and insecurity underscore this act; asylum protection and immigration relief should not be presumed as necessarily humanitarian or compassionate. The abilities both to protect and to secure are pivotal to the production of masculinist state identity, as impenetrable yet protective. Both protection and security allow countries to construct themselves as powerful. To restrict as well as to protect is to be the kind of state that is ‘masculine’ and ‘civilized’ enough to have control over how sovereignty is enacted. Feminist analyses of gender, war, and militarization show that the gendered binaries that dictate who is to be protected are the same ones that demand that states engage in organized violence and militarization (Sjoberg 2006; Kinsella 2011). In other words, the protection of (some) innocent people, primarily women, constructed as vulnerable and worthy of saving, is a site for states to assert hegemonic masculinity. Further, proclamations of being the kind of state that protects does not mean that migrants will actually be ‘protected’ or experience security, particularly if one evaluates experiences of legal, social, and political exclusion, violence, and discrimination facing migrants, including those who have received asylum or 196

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other forms of immigration relief. Rather, the ability to protect migrants stems from the same gendered logic as the ability to restrict or exclude migrants. Furthermore, the kinds of states that are strong and secure enough to both restrict and to protect migrants position themselves as ‘better’ than other countries. To be better means to be ‘manly’ in the right ways: strong enough to defend borders against threats from ‘bad’ migrants intent on doing harm to and draining resources from the ‘homeland’, yet valiant enough to extend protection to vulnerable migrants in need of defence from persecution. Weak and bad countries drive out migrants due to persecutory practices, corruption, impoverishment, or bad governance; weak and bad countries are overrun by migrants from neighbouring countries. Strong and good countries accept the very migrants weak countries push out and are simultaneously more capable of immigrant restrictionism.4 As I illustrate below, states aim to resolve the gendered insecurities they experience around migrants by proclaiming to be able to protect and restrict migrants.

Good migrants and good states As several migration scholars have documented, migrants’ rights organizations have helped to draw attention to the experiences of those forced to migrate due to trafficking. As stories increasingly emerge about sex slavery, confiscated passports, indentured servitude, and exploitation, anti-trafficking campaigns aim to pressure states and international organizations to address the rights of these particular migrants. Countries might feign taking trafficking seriously, but often their efforts ultimately result in the criminalization and deportation of migrants involved in commercial sex acts, whether forced or voluntary (Kinney 2013). This section explores how state insecurities about migrants eclipse attempts to alleviate the insecurities of migrants. In 1998, the Clinton Administration issued a directive to address trafficking through the “prevention, protection, and support of victims” as well as the prosecution of traffickers. President Clinton signed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) into law on 28 October 2000. It provides special ‘T’ visas for those whose lives would be in danger if they were returned to their countries of origin. Around the same time, after US-led negotiations, on 15 November 2000, the United Nations adopted a new document, the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (Palermo Protocol), with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime serving as the monitoring body. The US became a signatory to the Protocol in December 2000 and ratified it in 2005. The US framed its commitment to ending trafficking as part of its own legacy in ending slavery. It saw both the TVPA and Palermo Protocol as the commencement of “unprecedented momentum” in a global fight to end this type of violence. But this is not a simple story of a government’s attempt to ‘protect’ migrants who are survivors of trafficking. First, the US makes distinctions about who counts as a trafficking victim, thus discounting the experiences of other migrants. Second, anti-trafficking rhetoric is bound up with counter-terrorism efforts. As to the first point, the T visa creates and relies upon distinctions between categories of victims. The US and the United Nations both ostensibly include a wide variety of trafficking scenarios: A woman from a developing country who ends up enslaved at a garment factory in the United States; or a man smuggled from a North African country into Europe and then forced to harvest crops under threat of beatings or death; or a Nepali 197

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woman who is taken across the Indian border and held against her will to work as a prostitute. Kapur 2013: 334 But popular and governmental discourses in the US focus predominantly on sex trafficking. The T visa is technically for survivors of both sex trafficking and labour trafficking. The 2000 TVPA defines “severe forms of trafficking in persons” as follows: Sex Trafficking: the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act, in which the commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; Labor Trafficking: the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery. Thus the US claims that labour trafficking victims are included in their anti-trafficking efforts, but the disproportionate focus on sex trafficking victims stems from the role of abolitionists in drafting and supporting the TVPA. Abolitionists have historically been involved in eliminating all forms of sex trafficking and prostitution and engaging in moral crusades to end these activities. During the negotiations leading up to the passage of the TVPA, abolitionists won ‘ideologically’ in using the human trafficking issue as a way to demonize and abolish prostitution (Bromfield and Capous-Desyllas 2012). Feminist critiques of abolitionist perspectives focus on how these moralistic views of trafficking construct ideas of innocence. For abolitionists, the concern is that trafficking and prostitution both destroy the inherent goodness and purity of women. The innocent woman is targeted, stalked, abducted in the dead of night, and then robbed of her virginity. The all-too-easy reference to ‘slavery’ by abolitionists distracts attention from a more complex view of how neoliberal economic policies, immigration restrictionism, racist and misogynistic constructions of people from certain communities, and exploitation of workers contribute to trafficking and indentured servitude. Furthermore, abolitionists feminize victims so as to set up masculinized states as protectors of helpless women. But while TVPA discourse privileges sex trafficking over labour trafficking victims, it also makes a distinction between ‘good’ sex trafficking victims and ‘bad’ sex workers. The inclusion of sex workers along with trafficking survivors served to elicit support for TVPA legislation by ‘inflating’ the numbers of women affected by commercial sex (Chapkis 2003: 927). But in reality, sex workers are usually not eligible for the TVPA if there is any evidence that the person chose rather than was deceived or forced into prostitution. Furthermore, more broadly speaking, in the US, sex workers are ‘inadmissible aliens’ because they are allegedly participating in ‘moral turpitude’, or deviant behaviour. The codification states: Any alien who (i) is coming to the U.S. solely, principally, or incidentally to engage in prostitution, or has engaged in prostitution within 10 years of the date of application for a visa, admission, or adjustment of status . . . is inadmissible. U.S.C. § 1182 Moral turpitude is a legal concept with roots in early 19th-century racialized and gendered norms (Simon-Kerr 2012). African Americans and Indigenous Americans in general, white 198

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men who committed fraud, and female prostitutes were constructed as less ‘credible’ in legal settings because of their presumed, inherent ‘deviance’. Indeed, these ‘morally bankrupt’ people were apparently even more suspect than people who committed violence. The turpitude concept has had a remarkable hold on how the US legal and criminal justice systems operate, playing a role as well in immigration and asylum decisions (Simon-Kerr 2012: 1002, n. 14). Sex workers are not considered to be ‘innocent’ but rather deviant criminals in the genealogy of US legal thought. Thus, any trafficked person who receives a T visa did so because they were able to prove that they did not wilfully engage in sex work. The gendered distinction between sex trafficking and sex work, or between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ victim, is related to the distinction made between sex trafficking and labour trafficking. Chapkis (2003: 924) argues that the TVPA was passed and reauthorized in a way that entrenched a divide between “violated innocents” and “illegal immigrants”. The latter are imagined to be not only deviant prostitute women but also men who cross illegally into the US for their own opportunities. While women also cross into the US, popular and government discourse depicts border-crossers as predominantly men. The TVPA distinguishes between labour exploitation, that undocumented migrants are likely to experience, and labour trafficking, that ‘innocent’ migrants are allegedly likely to experience. Specifically, in the TVPA, labour trafficking must include “force, fraud, or coercion” whereas exploitation includes “extremely low wages . . ., long hours, poor working conditions, lack of avenues of redress, and may be linked to various forms of mistreatment of immigrants”. So, the primary focus on sex trafficking is also because a more comprehensive focus on labour trafficking would potentially open the door to count as victims the undocumented migrants who have experienced labour exploitation. In order to further distinguish between ‘innocent’ migrants and ‘deceptive’ migrants, the US not only downplays labour trafficking but also makes a distinction between trafficking and smuggling. While the US and United Nations definitions of trafficking focus on deception, coercion, and control, the understandings of smuggling are different. Article 3 of the Protocol Against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime notes: (a) “ Smuggling of migrants” shall mean the procurement, in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit, of the illegal entry of a person into a State Party of which the person is not a national or a permanent resident; (b) “Illegal entry” shall mean crossing borders without complying with the necessary requirements for legal entry into the receiving State. The above definition of smuggling, unlike the definition of trafficking, does not hinge on an explanation of the exploitative and violent effects on those who are smuggled but rather on the ‘bad behaviour’ of illegal entry. Indeed, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime points out that there are distinctions between trafficking and smuggling in terms of purpose, consent, and outcomes to show that trafficking is so much worse. The distinctions, according to the US Customs and Immigration Services, are listed as follows. The smuggling of migrants, while often undertaken in degrading and/or dangerous conditions, involves consent to smuggling. On the other hand, trafficking victims have “either never consented or, if they initially consented, that consent has been rendered meaningless by the coercive, deceptive or abusive actions of the traffickers”. Further, “smuggling ends with the arrival of the migrants at their destination”, whereas trafficking involves the ongoing exploitation 199

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of the victims in some manner to generate illicit profits for the traffickers. Finally, in smuggling, profits are gained from transporting the migrant or facilitating a person staying in the destination country whereas profits in trafficking are “derived from exploitation”. The trafficked victim is allegedly tricked by a fraudulent trafficker into entering the country; the smuggled migrant is the fraudulent actor through his or her free will. Migrants are effectively judged based on whether they seem to “consent” to activity deemed to be “immoral”, such as prostitution or wilfully entering a country without proper documentation (Bhabha and Zard 2006: 6–8). “Deceptive” migrants are hypermasculinized as dangerous, criminal men (and some women) who threaten the paternalistic and protective masculinity of good, masculinist states. The term ‘smuggled alien’ arose concomitantly with the term ‘illegal alien’ in US political discourse so as to describe those whose “first act” upon reaching the US was to “break laws” in a “clandestine manner” (Srikantiah 2007: 188). The TVPA and US agencies involved with the immigration/asylum process cling to the difference between smuggling and trafficking to deter fraudulent attempts by undocumented economic migrants to take advantage of immigration relief options (Srikantiah 2007: 192). The prototypical victim eligible for the T visa must be under full ‘control’ of the trafficker so as to prove that she did not willingly choose to enter the US without proper documentation. This approach makes sense given that the Palermo Protocol and the TVPA both rely upon a criminal justice perspective emphasizing prosecution of traffickers. But this criminal justice perspective allows states to use the Protocol as an excuse to strengthen anti-immigrantism (Chuang 2006). As Bhabha points out, some asylum seekers and migrants, already having fled other forms of violence, can become victims of trafficking because of the desperate choices they make, such as the use of “smugglers, counterfeit documents, subterfuge and clandestine behavior to circumvent mandatory visa requirements” (Bhabha 2002: 172). Haynes is thus concerned about the impact of anti-smuggling stances on trafficking victims (Haynes 2004: 244). However, she too makes a distinction between trafficking and smuggling victims in terms of ‘choice’. Smuggling involves delivering persons to the country they wish to enter, initiated by the potential migrant. Smuggling often takes place under horrible and possibly life threatening conditions, but smuggled persons are left to their own devices upon delivery. Smuggling is not as lucrative for the perpetrators, as smugglers usually make only a short-term profit on the act of moving a person, while traffickers regard people as highly profitable, reusable, re-sellable, and expendable commodities. Haynes 2004: 232 But the experiences of smuggled undocumented migrants, as Haynes does note, are inherently exploitative and violent. They, too, experience gendered insecurities, including sexual assault, the added burdens women accompanied by children experience (van Liempt 2008), and complex negotiations of masculinity within male migrant smuggling networks (Ahmad 2008). Thus, the alleged ‘choice’ of smuggled migrants should be put in context. Systematic constraints, such as border patrols, vigilante groups, lack of resources or legal literacy to legally migrate, and immigration restrictionist measures and laws, contribute to the necessity of smuggling as well as to patterns of exposure to and risk of violence. The perceived distinction between the prototypical female trafficking victim and the conniving male smuggled alien reveals a gendered politics to who gets protected. In addition, both scenarios deny the multiple forms of agency and gender hierarchy simultaneously at play 200

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during migration; there are varying degrees of coercion, exploitation, and choice occurring in both trafficking and smuggling. Further, the focus on trafficked migrants is motivated by the desire of the US to target traffickers. To be eligible for the T visa, migrants must agree to comply with ‘reasonable requests’ from law enforcement for the purposes of investigating the trafficking. There are some exceptions as well as growing awareness that cooperation with criminal investigations can put both migrants and their families in danger. But the expectation of compliance means that protection is bound up with how the US government is increasingly targeting traffickers as a part of counter-terrorism efforts. As Kapur notes, anti-trafficking “has invariably lapsed into the use of sexual and moral surveillance techniques over women while also betraying a visceral concern over border security” (2013: 334). Both the Bush and Obama administrations framed trafficking as national security concerns and explicitly linked trafficking to terrorist networks. This matters because categorizations of migrants do not simply impact people’s lives by making them insecure, but they also are useful to the US in promoting certain kinds of policies, and not just regarding terrorism. Specifically, the TVPA requires the creation of ‘Trafficking in Persons’ (TIP) country reports by the US State Department to assess the effectiveness of countries around the world in combating trafficking. After compiling these reports, the State Department can then group these countries in ranked ‘tiers’. Tier 1 includes countries that have fully complied with the minimum standards the TVPA established. Tier 2 indicates that countries did not comply with these standards but did attempt to do so. Tier 3 countries are not compliant and did not make any efforts. Countries on the Tier 2 Watch List have large numbers of trafficking victims, and failed to make any improvements in anti-trafficking policies, even if they promised to. What is done with these rankings? Particularly for Tier 3 countries, the US can enact sanctions related to nonhumanitarian, non-trade-related foreign assistance and can use its influence to deny foreign assistance by international financial institutions and multilateral development banks to these countries. The decision as to which countries to pressure or punish is not always directly related to the content of the TIP report but rather due to already existing relationships between the US and those countries. Crucial to note is that anti-trafficking policies must also be antiprostitution, as of the 2003 reauthorization of the TVPA. That means that through the TIP reports, the US has effectively punished or threatened to punish countries that support sex workers’ rights. I raise these issues about the TIP reports because state insecurity is not simply about how a country views its own borders but also about how it postures and performs gender in the context of global politics. When countries act as if they are in control of their borders by categorizing migrants, it matters not only to the people most impacted by state practices but also to other states because the classifications of migrants are rooted in ideas about how states should behave about particular issues, such as human rights violations, trafficking of goods and people, criminal networks, and fluxes in labour markets. For example, Flynn (2014) traces the global spread and diffusion of immigration detention as a way to manage migration, examining in particular the role of the US in policy innovation in this regard.

Conclusions The framework of examining the gendered insecurities of states as they encounter migrants is crucial for exploring and finding trends in how and why people who cross borders might be treated in different ways. Further, it underscores that the rights of migrants should be 201

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studied concomitantly with critical analyses of state practices of categorizing migrants. Finally, it shows the necessity of a gendered analysis in understanding the securitization of migrants. At the same time, this framework cannot be used to ‘predict’ who will be constructed as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, and how the state will interact with migrants. First, the line between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ is often shifting and arbitrary, considering that many who ultimately receive immigration relief and are ostensibly categorized as ‘good’ might have been detained, questioned, or at any point in their journeys classified as ‘bad’. This is particularly in countries with mandatory detention policies toward a variety of ‘classifications’ of migrants. But, there are not enough robust feminist analyses of detention and deportation as ‘insecure’ practices by states; such studies would help us trace shifting classifications (see Nayak 2015). Further, as Weber (2016) points out, queer analysis is required to analyse how the ‘unwanted im/ migrant’ is a threat as a sexually perverse ‘underdeveloped’ figure, as evidenced in policies that seek to ban promiscuous and deviant bodies, such as queer migrants, sex workers, and HIV positive migrants; here, too, draconian policies coexist with attempts to extend legal protection for those persecuted due to gender identity or sexual orientation, leading to contradictory and confusing experiences by migrants with the state (Nayak 2015). Second, it might be hard to identify which migrants will be classified in different categories because of the difficulties in deciding who counts as a migrant. Heretofore, this chapter has presumed an a priori category of ‘migrant’. But who is a migrant? When does one ‘stop’ being a migrant? Must one be ‘on the move’ to be a migrant? For how long must one be moving in order to be a migrant? These questions require feminist analysis because they get at why and how bodies are classified. Third, states are not acting unilaterally upon migrants. Migrants’ rights groups and activists craft narratives about migrants’ journeys and desires that confront and rewrite state categorizations and subsequent policies. In so doing, they challenge why states are insecure about migrants and act in ways that exacerbate migrants’ insecurities. Specifically, they organize to challenge the detention of migrants, to support safe passage of migrants into countries, to elicit legal support for asylum seekers, and to challenge unhelpful distinctions such as those made between ‘legal’ and ‘illegal’ immigrants (Basok 2010; Nayak 2016). In sum, in order to understand the gendered insecurities that migrants experience, we must also investigate how state insecurities about migrants are gendered and contribute to migrant insecurities via classifications and related policies of migrants as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. But these categories are not timeless or deterministic. Rather, they help show us how ‘migrants’ and ‘states’ are embroiled in a co-constitutive relationship.

Notes 1 With permission from Oxford University Press, I have reproduced or rewritten portions of Meghana Nayak (2015) Who is Worthy of Protection? Gender-Based Asylum and U.S. Immigration Politics. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 67–68, 103, 110–111, 114–117, 120, 186. 2 Asylum is legal protection extended to those migrants who qualify under the 1951 United Nations Convention Related to the Status of Refugees if they are fleeing their countries of origin due to fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a social group. 3 Critical constructivist theories trace how political actors behave toward other actors or events based on the meanings they have assigned to those entities or events. Thus, state interests cannot be presumed but must be unpacked to explore where interests come from, and how those interests are mediated by social contexts as well as by ideas that give meaning to those contexts and material conditions. Critical constructivists challenge that states are a ‘given’, arguing instead that states are always in the process of becoming via practices of identity formation.


Migration and gendered insecurities 4 While I do not have room to explore the issue of international hierarchy here, I am essentially arguing that policies regarding migration become a site for creating distinctions between ‘better’ and ‘worse’ countries. I am influenced by the scholarship of Ann Towns about how states are socially ranked. As Towns notes, “[s]ocial hierarchy, a term [that can be used] synonymously with social inequality, stratification or rank, concerns the ordering of acts as superior or inferior to one another in socially important respects” (Towns 2010: 4445, emphasis original).

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Meghana Nayak Nayak, Meghana. 2015. Who is Worthy of Protection? Gender-Based Asylum and U.S. Immigration Politics. New York: Oxford University Press. Nayak, Meghana. 2016. ‘Remaking the global: Social media and undocumented immigrants in the U.S’. In Laura Shepherd and Caitlin Hamilton (eds) Understanding Popular Culture and World Politics in the Digital Age (pp. 83–100). Oxon, UK: Routledge. Nayak, Meghana and Eric Selbin. 2010. Decentering International Relations. London: Zed Books. New York Anti-Trafficking Network Legal Subcommittee. 2009. ‘Identification and Legal Advocacy for Trafficking Survivors, third edition’. January. Available at, 7–8 (accessed 27 April 2018). Sassen, Saskia. 1984. ‘Notes on the incorporation of Third World women into wage labor through offshore production’. International Migration Review 18(4): 1144–1167. Simon-Kerr, Julia Ann. 2012. ‘Moral turpitude’. Utah Law Review 2: 1001–1069. Sjoberg, Laura. 2006. ‘Gendered realities of the immunity principle: Why gender analysis needs feminism’. International Studies Quarterly 50(4): 889–910. Sjoberg, Laura. 2009. ‘Introduction to Security Studies: Feminist contributions’. Security Studies 18(2): 183–213. Sjoberg, Laura. 2010. ‘Introduction’. In Laura Sjoberg (ed.) Gender and International Security: Feminist Perspectives (pp. 1–14). London: Routledge. Srikantiah, Jayashri. 2007. ‘Perfect victims and real survivors: The iconic victim in domestic human trafficking law’. Boston University Law Review 87: 157–211. Tickner, J. Ann. 1992. Gender in International Relations. New York: Columbia University Press. Towns, Ann. 2010. Women and States: Norms and Hierarchies in International Society Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. 2014. ‘Human trafficking FAQs: How is human trafficking different from migrant smuggling?’ Available at html#How_is_human_trafficking_different_to_migrant_smuggling (accessed 8 February 2017). van Liempt, Ilse. 2008. ‘Gendered borders: The case of “illegal migration” from Iraq, the Horn of Africa and the former Soviet Union to the Netherlands’. In Marlou Schrover, Joanne van der Leun, Leo Lucassen and Chris Quispel (eds) Illegal Migration and Gender in a Global and Historical Perspective (pp. 83–104). Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. Weber, Cynthia. 2016. Queer International Relations: Sovereignty, Sexuality and the Will to Knowledge. New York: Oxford University Press. Young, Iris Marion. 2003. ‘The logic of masculinist protection: Reflections on the current security state’. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 29(1): 1–25.



Introduction Nascent IR feminist scholarship on the revolution in military affairs, cyborg soldiers, and drone warfare reveals there is no singular way of thinking about the relationship between gender, violence, and technology and the complex ways in which they interface in practices of war (Bayard de Volo 2016; Daggett 2015; Holmqvist 2013; Manjikian 2013; Masters 2005, 2008; Wilcox 2014). What this scholarship does reveal, however, is that careful attention to gender through feminist sensibilities surfaces new sites of enquiry into the corporeal politics of war – how it is embodied, experienced, and rendered intelligible. This scholarship both extends IR feminist understandings of the relationship between gender and war, specifically research on militarized masculinities, and also offers new insights into untangling what often emerges as naturalized connections between men, masculinity, and violence. The use of advanced technology in war, therefore, presents new challenges for feminist(s) thinking about the relationship between gender and violence. And rather than take gender as a given, even if likely a continued site of war’s intelligibility, this chapter is concerned with exploring the contingent ways in which gender is trafficked and what work it is doing in high-tech practices of war with a particular focus on drone warfare. Taking seriously that at the same time gender might be done in human–machine interfaces, it is equally important to interrogate how it might be undone or loosened in ways that might provoke new ways of being in the world. Because technology furnishes us with “fresh sources of power”, Donna Haraway argues (1991: 165), what is urgently needed are “fresh sources of analysis and political action”. The chapter attempts to offer some fresh feminist insight into critically navigating the complex network of gender, violence, and technology. The aim of the chapter is threefold: 1 2


to offer some insight into key feminist debates on the relationship between gender and technology; to offer a feminist analysis of gendered frames of thought which render drone warfare intelligible and permissible and to demonstrate how gender works to (dis)embody war anew; to offer some feminist insight into the ambivalent, and thus, open relationship between technology and violence where gender’s hold might be loosened, enabling challenges to war’s gendered grids of intelligibility and enactments of violence. 205

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The use of advanced technologies in practices of war present IR feminists with unique challenges in thinking through the fraught representations and relations engendered by new embodiments and frames of intelligibility in high-tech warfare. It also potentially produces new sites for the articulation of power and new sites of resistance to gender regimes of power. With this in mind, this chapter advocates for a critically ambivalent attitude to the transgressive potentialities of technology for rethinking and subverting gender as an entrenched and persistent relation of power in practices of contemporary war. One attentive and sensitive to both the deadly enactments of gendered technologies of war and the resistant opportunities available even in the most violent of representations and performances of human–machine interfaces.

Drone warfare and gendered (dis)embodiments Feminists, I would argue, have effectively exposed the many ways in which war is fundamentally reliant on gender (Cohn 1987; Enloe 1989; Elshtain 1987; Sjoberg 2014). While there is little agreement among feminists on what this means exactly for how we understand war’s gendered contours, it suggests that not only does war rely on the production of gendered bodies to do its intense work, with the constitutive effect of producing diverse experiences of war, but that war’s very representation and ‘knowability’ – how it is understood, explained, normalized, and legitimated – is fundamentally tethered to gender. Without gender, and I would add to this race and sexuality, war loses its bearing(s). Put differently, gender keeps war ‘straight’ (Daggett 2015). The implication of this is weighty; challenging war necessitates challenging its gendered grids of intelligibility and the various corporealities enacted through its practice(s). This is both unsettling and provocative in the context of drone warfare when at first glance it is not obvious how it fits into gendered grids of intelligibility and its embodiments appear as unfamiliar in relation to rich feminist analyses of war. Feminist searches for bodily/embodied enactments of gender in practices of drone warfare, therefore, are hardly surprising considering that militaries the world over invest much time, money, and energy into producing contingent embodiments, notably militarized forms of masculinity (see Whitworth 2004; Eichler 2014). ‘Feeling like a man’ surely matters to the business of war – and militaries have certainly worked hard to reproduce and sustain the link between masculinity and war – but does it matter to the successful enactment of drone warfare? While the body of the soldier might be essential to certain types of war, it is not clear that bodily enactments of masculinity are essential to, or easily enacted, in drone warfare as such. Cara Daggett, for example, argues that militarized masculinity “no longer makes sense” as either the embodied orientation for killing in war or as the embodied provision of war’s moral intelligibility. In collapsing two key axes of classic warfare – home/combat and distance/ intimacy – her contention is that drones queer “the experience of killing” in, producing “illegible assemblages” that fail to map neatly onto gendered binaries (Daggett 2015: 362). Drones, she argues, can then be understood as “genderqueer” bodies. This queering is partly an effect of the space of protection from which drone pilots operate, far from physical combat, where the risk of death that haunts traditional practices of soldiering is very much absent. Seen in this way, brute strength, heteronormativity, proximate killing, heroism, and valour – all bodily performances associated with militarized masculinity – make little sense in the context of the successful enactment of drone warfare. Her queer analysis strips away the romanticized cloak of militarized masculine subjectivity, making available vital space for challenging how the production of particular gendered identities (militarized masculinities) does a great deal 206

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of work for normalizing and making killing in war possible. For Daggett this embodied and queer liminality offers some hope for challenging the morality of killing in war, where the bodily sensations of “discomfort” and “trauma” experienced by drone operators in the act of killing at an “intimate distance” might serve to disrupt the flow of war (2015: 363). Cara Daggett is not alone in critically rethinking militarized masculinity in relation to drones. Lorraine Bayard de Volo (2016) traces a similar difficulty in her research on drone operators where claims to hegemonic militarized forms of masculinity are tenuous, yet punctuated with determined attempts to cling to it evident in practices such as the donning of US Air Force flight suits and new medals for honourable service specifically for drone pilots. In different ways, Daggett and Bayard de Volo draw attention to the precarious and relative position of traditional gendered subjectivities for conferring intelligible performative frameworks for doing the work of drone warfare. Neither is suggesting that gender is absent or obsolete but instead that human–machine interfaces possibly serve to loosen the hold of militarized forms of embodied masculinity as an orienting frame of war. This might offer hope as Daggett proposes, or it might lead to new ‘recalibrations’ of contingent militarized masculinities as Bayard de Volo demonstrates (see also Manjikian 2013). Both reveal the constructed, contingent, fluid and contested nature of hegemonic subject positions in hightech warfare. It would be wrong, however, to take this to mean masculinity has been abandoned as an orienting frame of drone warfare (see Masters 2005, 2008; Manjikian 2013). My analysis of drone warfare, consequently, both supplements and departs from analyses concerned with what Kimberly Hutchings (2008) refers to as substantive accounts of masculinity’s relationship to war. Substantive accounts, she argues, are primarily concerned with how war anchors (or not) masculinity, and how it provides “a fixed reference point for any negotiation or renegotiation on what masculinity or, in particular, hegemonic masculinity may mean” (Hutchings 2008: 390; original emphasis). In this configuration, war gives masculinity meaning. While these accounts are undoubtedly useful for troubling masculinity as a stable signifier, there is a risk of linking the relationship between the two to ‘fixed content’. Bearing this in mind, Hutchings urges us to think about masculinity as much as a ‘framework for thought’ as any given material reality in war. As a formal relation, rather than simply as a substantive one, this framework works through two logics: “a logic of contrast (between masculinities) and as a logic of contradiction (between masculinity and femininity)” (Hutchings 2008: 390). “The work done by the formal relational properties of masculinity as a concept”, she argues, “enables more radical questions to be asked” about war as a social practice, ones made possible through foregrounding relationality in the intricate connections between gender and war (Hutchings 2008: 390). Focusing solely on embodiment might mean missing how gender, masculinity in particular, works as a powerful framework for thought in drone warfare, while also taking seriously that ignoring the material realities of discontinuous or new embodiments hailed in drone interfaces might also risk missing key aspects of its gendered politics. Thus we can think about how masculinity renders drone warfare intelligible through contrasts between masculinities and contradictions between masculinity and femininity and what this means for how it is (or is not) embodied anew. The following section will work to demonstrate how gender is essential to drone warfare but in ways that do not necessarily rely on traditional or obvious corporealities including militarized masculinity for its enactment. It explores how masculinity works to produce a distinct visual frame for thought in drone warfare, one that is reliant upon an effacement of the human body. It also explores a gendered embodiment specific to the politics of surveillance and killing in drone warfare – the military-age male. 207

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Drone (dis)embodiments How does drone warfare enact a masculine framework for thought with material gendered effects, and an (dis)embodied politics through logics of contrast and contradiction? This is where militarized masculinity as an embodied subject position might very well reach its limits for helping feminists think critically about the gendered politics of war in the context of drones. Though, as we will see shortly, drone warfare’s masculine visuality might best be understood as not only masculinized but also exceedingly militarized. It just might not present itself as quite so neatly contained in and enacted by the fleshy bodies of soldiers, even as it persists as a central feature of drone interfaces and as constitutive of distinctive repositioning of human bodies in relation to technology (see Cohn 1987; Masters 2005, 2008; Manjikian 2013). Drone warfare, I would argue, is an attempt, however futile and misleading, to circumvent the fleshy body in service of mastery, control, and dominance in hopes of eliminating uncertainty and unpredictability in war – cloaked in precision, humanity, authority, and morality – through the production of a distinct mode of seeing and looking. Variously called a “drone stare” (Wall and Monahan 2011), “scopic regime” (Gregory 2011; Shaw and Akhter 2012), “cosmic view” (Kaplan 2006), this visual modality, I would further argue, is fundamentally masculine. While many critical scholars of drone warfare draw on feminist research to think through its visual logics, few identify this disposition as distinctly masculine, instead preferring to exclusively focus on its colonial and racial representations. Missing from these accounts, then, is an explicit engagement with how gender is integral to its politics. The following is an attempt to fill this gap by tracing the gendered politics of drone warfare. This requires particular attention to how the body is represented in military discourses and the shift to a distinctly masculine visuality as the antidote to the limitations of the fleshy body and its failure to live up to the demands of contemporary high-tech warfare.

Steely masculine displacements of the fleshy body of war The denigration of the body and its codification in the mind-body dualism in gendered knowledge practices is something feminists have long been familiar with in its historical associations of women with messy, leaky, and emotional embodiment – in short, women as the weaker sex – which endure to this day (see Haraway 1991; Hawkesworth 1989). Paradoxically, growing dependence on advanced technology in the US military (the number of drones in operation is growing exponentially and the demand for drone pilots can hardly be met by the US Air Force) has also had the effect of constituting men in similar ways to women’s inferior positioning in the mind-body hierarchical dualism, as vulnerable and problematically embodied. Whereas in the past concerted efforts by militaries to enhance the performance of soldiers through prosthetic technological interfaces – rigorous physical training and reconditioning the body into a fighting machine, outfitting soldiers with numerous prosthetic enhancements including an assortment of weapons, sight enhancement, for example, night vision goggles, and targeting assistance technology, and also including a range of performance-enhancing drugs such as Modafinil which allow soldiers to stay awake and alert for more than 24hours – appeared to achieve the body desired, more and more soldiers (who are still mostly men although this will slowly change with the recent inclusion of women in combat roles in the US military) are being constituted as physically, emotionally, and mentally limited in relation to new technological advancements. Perhaps more important is how soldiers have also been repositioned in the interface as bodies in need of protection. 208

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This can be traced back to the Vietnam War and the almost 60,000 American troops sent home in body bags (see Masters 2005). Wars from above, of which drone warfare is the latest incarnation, are represented as better able to keep both the American public and US soldiers safe. Piloting a drone from the Nevada Desert, far from the battlefield, could not be any safer, with the risk of death in combat effectively circumvented. The same cannot be said, however, for civilians on the ground, a point I will return to below. Contemporary technological developments in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), robotics, and artificial intelligence by the US military, therefore, are not coincidental to attempts to disavow the fleshy body and are directly linked to techno-strategic discourses (Cohn 1987) that situate the human body as the principal limitation and impediment to war’s successful prosecution, irrespective of the extent of its prosthetic enhancement (Masters 2005, 2008). This captures what I identify as a politics of displacement through the human–machine interface, where in attempts to push beyond the limitations of humans, the fleshy body is subsumed, subordinated, and decentred. Drone warfare as an interface of displacement, however, is not a straightforward matter, easily traced, immediately apparent, or entirely new in its disposition to the body. This should not be taken to mean that the body is effectively overcome, lost or fully abandoned in the politics of displacement. Nor should it suggest that prosthetic interfaces where flesh meets technology have ceased – indeed they continue as daily features of militaries and practices of war – merely that they are represented as no longer sufficient for achieving dreams of dominance and control. An important reminder is that representations of displacement tell a story, and while discourses of drone warfare very much attempt to disavow the fleshy body, it is anything but unmanned in practice. A single kill by drone, for example, involves anywhere from 100 to 200 people (Benjamin 2013; Hussain 2013). From US Air Force pilots manning multiple consoles and monitoring, targeting, and killing from the Nevada Desert, to soldiers (usually US Marines) with ‘boots on the ground’ on forward operating bases (FOBs) in countries of operation, to a ‘kill chain’ including the Office of the President, the Pentagon and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Security Council (NSC), and, lest we forget, those living under drones and its so-called ‘high value’ and ‘pattern of life’ targets. The body, as this demonstrates and as will be further detailed below, continues to be of central importance to drone warfare even if in discontinuous and dissonant ways, and it implicates many, many people in its politics. As Shaw and Akhter (2012: 1493) perceptively point out, “drones are always messier and fleshier than advertised”. Yet drone warfare as unmanned leaves a powerful impression, linguistically producing a sense of war absent of people. War becomes something else through this absence, a kind of war that is not war, where the body is at once incidental and also terribly fundamental to its politics. The impression of war without bodies – a politics of wilfully disavowing the body – aids in its unimpeded prosecution by circumventing the one thing that continually stands in its way: the unruly fleshy body. In high-tech warfare humans are presented as the code problem and what the politics of displacement suggests, then, is something about how the body is approached in the “gendered war talk” (Cohn 1987) of the revolution in military affairs (RMA) more broadly, and in drone warfare more specifically. In this talk, the fleshy body is represented as getting in the way of war. Human bodies die, get maimed, fatigued, experience PTSD, and generally suffer in immeasurable ways. They also suffer moral dilemmas over the killing they are trained to dispassionately do. In the gendered war talk of drone warfare, however, drones suffer no such limitations. Drones have staying power and stamina. Predator and Reaper drones with their Hellfire missiles can 209

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operate for an average of 42 hours sending hundreds of hours of uninterrupted video feed, and the still under development Vulture promises to stay in the air for up to five years “turning in lazy circles above any area that needs constant observation” (Benjamin 2013: loc 590–592). Northrop Grumman describes the Global Hawk drone as a provider of persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information. Able to fly at high altitudes for greater than 30 hours [it] is designed to gather nearreal-time, high-resolution imagery of large areas of land in all types of weather – day or night.1 Nor do drones suffer moral quandaries. Drones are represented as more reliable, intelligent, vigilant, protective, capable, seductively offering dreams of control and dominance at a safe distance (Monahan 2009). Put simply, drones appear to surpass all human limitations. This masculine framework for thinking about drones is made partly evident in its distinct disposition to the fleshy body where it is positioned as feminized in relation to technology, as supportive but not necessarily essential. In other words, the modification of a discourse that has long animated masculinist relations of power between men and women – discourses where women have been constituted as tethered to the messy body and its accompanying limitations, with the powerful effect of producing profoundly unequal relations of power through discourses of protector and protected – into one that now animates a central distinction between technology and human where technology comes to inhabit the higher rung of the gender hierarchy. This is evident in attempts to frame drones as ‘just warriors’, for example, more humane in their precision and rational calculations (Singer 2009). Worth noting is that this particular militarized masculine construct acquires meaning because of how it sits in relation to women as ‘Beautiful Souls’ (see Elshtain 1987 for her insights into the Just Warrior/Beautiful Soul binary). In other words, it is the contradiction between advanced technologies and human soldiers and how it is represented through gendered dualisms, not any fixed content for what militarized masculinity might mean at any given time, that produces masculine frameworks of thought in the gendered politics of drone warfare. Drawing attention to how fleshy soldiers are represented and displaced through contradictory logics in relation to so-called unmanned and autonomous technology gets us to think about the shifting subject of war where “sleek metal speeding above” (Kaplan 2006: 403) the earth appears more and more to displace human soldiers. In attempting to eschew the fleshy body it is not that gender, or more precisely masculinity, is abandoned, but rather that gender is reworked to map onto distinctions between technology and flesh primarily through the mind-body dualism. Nowhere is this more palpable than in the conspicuous privileging of sight in drone warfare. Worth remembering is that attempts to overcome the messy and embodied politics of war through a visual masculinist politics of displacement is of course paradoxical when its primary mission is to injure the body (see Sylvester 2013; Cohn 1987). The following section explores the relationship between visuality and drone warfare enabled by the displacement of the fleshy body.

Masculine visualities: gendered and (dis)embodied politics of killing from above The relationship between masculinity and vision precedes drone warfare. Vision has long been connected to masculinity’s negation of the body, and serving as one of its primary 210

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sources of claims to knowledge and power. Well before the advent of killer drones, Donna Haraway (1991: 188) argued that vision is, the sensory system that has been used to signify a leap out of the marked body and into the conquering gaze from nowhere . . . the gaze that mythically inscribes all the marked bodies, that makes the unmarked category claim to power to see and not be seen, to represent while escaping representation. This gaze signifies the unmarked positions of Man and White. Given this, feminists are indeed familiar with the relationship between vision and masculinity – the ‘eye’ and the ‘I’ – where claims to see have been integral to the production of the unitary, bounded rational, masculine, individual subject whose identity begins and ends at the skin. With regard to the visual politics of drone warfare there is much to excavate from Haraway’s influential claims concerning how masculinity comes to inform this distinct, and exceptionally peculiar, way of looking at the world. From altitudes of often more than 10,000 feet, high above the clouds, drones privilege a way of seeing, achieved through the disavowal of the fleshy body and in association instead with visual technologies of surveillance and identification, that appear as ‘God-like’. Like God they cannot be seen, but are very much heard and felt, often in vengeful and deadly ways associated with the vengeful God of the Old Testament. This gaze from above and from nowhere also works to confer legitimacy to claims to know and thus able to precisely target so-called dangerous subjects. In Luce Irigaray’s words (1978: 50), “more than any other sense, the eye objectifies and it masters. It sets at a distance, maintains a distance”. But drones are represented as also like Santa Claus. While this might seem like an odd association, discourses of drone warfare have done much to present drones as much more humane and benign in their ‘signature strikes’ and ‘pattern of life analysis’ than indiscriminate killing from the air. In fact, they have been sold as far superior to traditional forms of fighting terror precisely because drone warfare can supposedly discriminate between terrorist and civilian. Like Santa, drones are represented as ‘knowing’ who has been good or bad, and if you have been bad the warning ‘you’d better watch out’ takes on deadly meaning. Considering this and operating at proximate distances with “unparalleled capacity to see and survey”, “the drone’s eye structures more than vision; it shapes the way we think, talk about, and evaluate a bombing” (Husain 2013: 2–3). It is not, as Nasser Hussain (ibid.) argues, “just one among other ways of looking” where to see is to believe and to believe is to know. Drone warfare takes vision a step further; expressing a masculine framework of thinking where to look is to destroy by seeing the world as target (Chow 2006) through the aperture of a camera. Sight, in this regard, is productive of turning people into objects, and in its objectifying mode it works to classify, categorize, and make objects knowable with the capacity to transform people into potential and actual targets. Again, Haraway’s (1991: 189) insights are prescient: Vision in this technological feast becomes unregulated gluttony; all perspective gives way to infinitely mobile vision, which no longer seems just mythically about the godtrick of seeing everything from nowhere, but to have put the myth into ordinary practice. And like the god-trick, this eye fucks the world to make techno-monsters. Unencumbered by the messy weight of the fleshy body, the drone’s gaze attempts to produce a framework for thinking seemingly unsullied by the “finite point of view” of those 211

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trapped by their bodies, “an inevitably disqualifying and polluting bias” (Haraway 1991: 183). And as such, it is in stark contrast to, and deeply disruptive of, “the familiar geometry and perspective of our mundane, grounded vision” (Hussain 2013: 3). Disavowals of grounded vision are analogous to the historical denigration of situated, embodied, and contingent knowledges often positively associated by feminists with women, and operating through a logic of contradiction where masculinity has long been associated with the mind, rationality, objectivity, and femininity with the messy, emotional, fleshy body (see Haraway 1991). Similar to the hierarchical relationality produced through gendered frames of thinking, where the feminine is necessary yet excluded, drone warfare also produces asymmetrical relations of power where those who are seen are fundamental to its practice but excluded from “participation in its visual economy”, leaving little or “no possibility of returning the gaze” (Hussain 2013: 4). Despite this, though, those on the ground have found ways to return the gaze. #NotaBugSplat is an art installation of a massive portrait, in a region of northern Pakistan heavily bombed by US drones. “[W]hen viewed by a drone camera, what an operator sees on his screen is not an anonymous dot on the landscape, but an innocent child victim’s face” ( It is important to note, however, this is not simply a masculine visuality of old, evident, for example, in Second World War aerial bombing where targets appear as blips on radar screens and pilots remain far from the devastating effects of killing at a distance. Through real-time visual feed, drone warfare produces a distinct masculine visuality that works through blurring some boundaries of old – intimate/distance and homefront/battlefield (see Daggett 2015) – and in so doing profoundly restructures embodied experiences of warfare for both soldiers at consoles, as noted above, and for those on the ground. This newish masculine gaze is much more intimate and does not necessarily effect the same kind of (dis) embodied politics as other cyborgian corporealities. It is achieved through the mobility afforded by the camera, enabling movement between far and near, where drones operate simultaneously at a distance and up close and personal, though what is seen on the screen is not the high-resolution, in colour, feed represented in recent Hollywood productions such as Eye in the Sky (2016). Drones’ real-time video feeds are in black and white, grainy in quality, and have no sound. This “mute world of dumb figures moving about on a screen has particular consequences . . . the lack of synchronic sound renders it a ghostly world in which the figures seem unalive, even before they are killed” (Hussain 2013: 4). For those sitting (un)comfortably at the console, sound is limited to conversation with those in the kill chain. Beyond this there is no sound, no touch, no taste, and no smell from those being watched on the ground to (re)structure drone pilots’ experience; it is a purely visual experience. While it is also likely a rather monotonous and mundane everyday experience, it also shares something in common with the experience of watching pornography where the “so-called money shot or male orgasm structures the film and retrospectively casts the action leading up to it as anticipation, so the experience of watching the drone strike footage is characterized by anticipation of the coming explosion, the moment of the strike” (Hussain 2013: 5). For those on the ground, the experience emerges as viscerally reversed with little about it that could be construed as pornographic, but also undoubtedly anticipatory, though in anxious rather than excited ways. For those on the ground, drones also appear as profoundly disembodied in their invisibility. They are not seen, but they can be heard, the buzzing sound of a drone flying high above, a persistent, everyday lived experience for those subject to living under drones and insistently making those on the ground visible. Much has been made of the supposed intimacy of drone warfare. Sitting at screens deep in the Nevada Desert watching hundreds of thousands of hours of video feed, drone pilots 212

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can literally spend months watching one individual, visually tracking their daily routines, interactions with family and friends, and any infinite number of mundane acts that make up someone’s everyday life. Without a doubt this might very well produce a sense of attachment by drone pilots to those they watch. But is it quite this straightforward? Claims about this relational intimacy assume to an extent that it is an accidental, thus hopeful, effect of the politics of drone warfare. But what if it is not accidental, and instead a fundamental part of its masculine visual logic? I would argue that as much as drone warfare’s visual intimacy might work against the act of killing by Hellfire missile, it might do even more work to smooth the path of killing because of how this sustained form of looking is bound up in claims to know – and know for certain – that those who are targeted must be the dangerous subjects they are claimed to be. It is this very intimacy, effected through the interface, that provides moral certitude and in this way works to legitimize killing at an intimate distance more so than killing indiscriminately at a distance. Moreover, missing from analyses of the resistant possibilities offered by the intimate interface is attention to the work visual technologies are doing in structuring the experience of watching. It is not an unfettered experience. It is shaped by the camera, framed on a screen, and bound up in the deadly logics of war where those who appear on the screen are not simply people moving about their lives and being watched for the fun of it. Watching is already framed through the claim that those watched are potentially dangerous subjects, where being watched already constitutes those on the ground as potential targets as soon as they appear on the screen. In other words, looking through the camera of a drone is not neutral, random, arbitrary, and it is certainly not unintentional. Drone warfare’s masculine visual frames of thinking, therefore, work not only to produce a steely disembodied subject of war that is not war, but also to produce an attending and contrasting masculine embodied subject upon which to enact its deadly politics, the military-age male (MAM). The US government classifies any male eligible for combat as potential enemy combatants. Additionally any MAMs killed in a drone strike, are considered combatants “unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent” (Sex and Drone Strikes: 5)2. A surface-level reading of this means that all men in areas the US deems a concern, such as the federally administrated territories of northern Pakistan (FATA), are viewed as dangerous subjects. This category not only traffics in gender but also in race to produce an embodied target of drone warfare. A performative feminist reading of this category, however, reveals a more troubling gendered politics: the production of whole populations as MAMs in drone imaginaries. Performative accounts of gender have taught us gender is a profoundly ambiguous category open to subjective (mis)interpretation. In this sense, the question of who exactly is a MAM becomes of outmost importance. Is it obvious for instance that the person who appears on the screen, in real-time, grainy, black and white feeds, is between the ages of 18 and 49? Is it obvious who is a man and who is a woman from this perspective? Is a young boy playing with a toy gun a MAM? Is a woman in a burqa a MAM? As Medea Benjamin (2013: loc 357–359) argues: Despite all the super-duper cameras, video images can be misinterpreted. A truck carrying boxes of pomegranates can look just like a truck carrying boxes of explosives. A tall bearded man in a robe can look just like another tall bearded man in a robe. The problem is that the discourse of MAM assumes one’s gender and age are obvious, as though the category of identity is neatly engraved on one’s forehead, rather than the ambiguous signifier that it is. (Mis)identifications become possible not because of ‘human 213

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error’ as such but because the category itself is open to interpretation and the logic through which these determinations are being made – a masculinized scopic regime – work to turn whole populations into targets, thus legitimizing and normalizing their murder. Hellfire missiles perform the ultimate performative feat of transforming all victims of drone warfare into MAMs, and the onus left to those on the ground to prove otherwise, to challenge the godly pronouncements of the drone. This is why Hussain rightly argues that drone warfare is not simply “one among other ways of looking” because everyone becomes a risky subject, and therefore, to all intents and purposes, a MAM. Understanding how populations subject to the operation of drones from above and how they all become MAMs is an attempt to demonstrate that “dominant visualities are necessarily partial, relativistic, particular, subjective and subjectivising, and despite claims otherwise, frequently embodied. In claiming to be all seeing and all knowing, paradoxically these visual regimes are at best fragmentary” (Masters 2015: 221).

Conclusion Human–machine interfaces sometimes appear to offer some escape from exclusionary and hierarchical gendered embodiments. They might also make possible even deadlier gender(ed) relations of power where it is far too easy to forget the radical potentialities of cyborgian interfaces for “imagining a world without gender” (Haraway 1991: 150). The interface, therefore, is not anxiety free for feminists rethinking the complex relationship between gender and technology in the milieu of war. As feminists know too well, the fragility of identity often results in the deadliest of politics. Global politics is exemplary in this regard where claims to identity continue to be shored up often in profoundly violent ways. There is little to suggest, then, that human–machine interfaces necessarily lead to better politics, the cyborg after all is the “illegitimate offspring of militarism and patriarchal capitalism” (ibid.: 151). And to move too quickly to claim gender is obsolete in militarized human– machine interfaces is perhaps to ignore how discourses of masculinity continuously and detrimentally attempt to escape the body. This does not mean the body is ever successfully evacuated from high-tech warfare, and as demonstrated above, it is far from absent and therefore continues to offer the possibility of rupture and challenge to the gendered politics of drone warfare.

Notes 1  See 2  See

References Bayard de Volo, Lorraine. 2016. ‘Unmanned? Gender recalibrations and the rise of drone warfare’. Politics & Gender 12(1): 50–77. Benjamin, Medea. 2013. Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control. London: Verso Books. Kindle edition. Chow, Rey. 2006. The Age of the World Target: Self-Referentiality in War, Theory, and Comparative Work. London: Duke University Press. Kindle edition. Cohn, Carol. 1987. ‘Sex and death in the rational world of defense intellectuals’. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 12(4): 687–718. Daggett, Cara. 2015. ‘Drone disorientations: How ‘unmanned’ weapons queer the experience of killing in war’. International Feminist Journal of Politics 17(3): 361–379.


Gender, violence, and technology Eichler, Maya. 2014. ‘Militarized masculinities in International Relations’. The Brown Journal of World Affairs 21(1): 81–93. Elshtain, Jean Bethke. 1987. Women and War. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Enloe, Cynthia. 1989. Bananas, Beaches, Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics. Los Angeles: University of California Press. Gregory, Derek. 2011. ‘From a view to a kill: Drones and late modern war’. Theory, Culture & Society 28(7–8): 188–215. Haraway, Donna J. 1991. Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. London: Free Association Books. Hawkesworth, Mary E. 1989. ‘Knowers, knowing, known: Feminist theory and claims of truth’. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 14(3): 533–557. Holmqvist, Caroline. 2013. ‘Undoing war: War ontologies and the materiality of drone warfare’. Millennium: Journal of International Studies 41(3): 1–18. Hussain, Nasser. 2013. ‘The sound of terror: Phenomenology of a drone strike’. Boston Review, 16 October. Hutchings, Kimberly. 2008. ‘Making sense of masculinity and war’. Men and Masculinities 10(4): 389–404. Irigaray, Luce. 1978. ‘Interview with Luce Irigaray’. In M.F. Hans and G. Lapouge (eds) Les Femmes, La Pornographie et L’erotisme (pp. 43–58). Paris: Seuil. Kaplan, Caren. 2006. ‘Mobility and war: The cosmic view of US “air power”’. Environment and Planning A 38(2): 395–407. Manjikian, Mary. 2013. ‘Becoming unmanned: The gendering of lethal autonomous warfare technology’. International Feminist Journal of Politics 16(1): 48–65. Masters, Cristina. 2005. ‘Bodies of technology: Cyborg soldiers and militarized masculinities’. International Feminist Journal of Politics 7(1): 112–132. Masters, Cristina. 2008. ‘Bodies of technology and the politics of the flesh’. In Jane Parpart and Marysia Zalewski (eds) Rethinking the Man Question: Sex, Gender and Violence in International Relations (pp. 87–108). London: Zed Books. Masters, Cristina. 2015. ‘Gaga feminism and baroque visualities’. Critical Studies on Security 3(2): 220–222. Monahan, Torin. 2009. ‘Dreams of control at a distance: Gender, surveillance, and social control’. Cultural Studies/Critical Methodologies 9(2): 286–305. Shaw, Ian and Majed Akhter. 2012. ‘The unbearable humanness of drone warfare in FATA, Pakistan’. Antipode 44(4): 1490–1509. Singer, P.W. 2009. Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the Twenty-first Century. New York: Penguin Press. Kindle edition. Sjoberg, Laura. 2014. Gender, War, and Conflict. London: Polity Press. Sylvester, Christine. 2013. War as Experience: Contributions from International Relations and Feminist Analysis. London: Routledge. Wall, Tyler and Torin Monahan. 2011. ‘Surveillance and violence from afar: The politics of drones and liminal security-scapes’. Theoretical Criminology 15(3): 239–254. Whitworth, Sandra. 2004. Men, Militarism and UN Peacekeeping. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner. Wilcox, Lauren B. 2014. Bodies of Violence: Theorizing Embodied Subjects in International Relations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.



Introducing wartime sexual violence There is no more obvious intersection of gender and insecurity than war rape. It is for many the most extreme emblem of male dominance, a wretched scene of women’s collective subordination and disposability, best summed up in Susan Brownmiller’s now infamous declaration that rape “is nothing more or less than a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear” (1975: 15). Writing in the mid-1970s, Brownmiller’s concern was the persistence of rape across recorded human history, against which wartime rape stands out only as the most vivid case study. It is as if war provides an environment in which misogynistic violence, otherwise at least partly restrained by social convention, is unleashed under the justification of an existential struggle between nations. In a more limited version of this thesis, war rape is not an exceptional act of barbarity, but can only be understood by reference to the gender relations existing before war (and, in turn, shaping the post-war order) (Cockburn 2004; Moser 2001; Reardon 1996). If war is, in the classic Clausewitzian formula, the continuation of politics by other means, then war rape might be thought of as the continuation of patriarchy by other means. The idea that rape is part of a conscious process which guarantees certain configurations of power is a recurrent theme in academic, activist, and policy literature. Without it, war rape would not have come to be seen as political violence at all. And yet from this politicization spring a succession of overlapping theories, and diverse responses to sexual violence as an international political problem. In this short contribution, I do not provide a comprehensive taxonomy of violence, and therefore use ‘war rape’, ‘wartime sexual violence’, and ‘conflict-related sexual violence’ relatively interchangeably, although it should be noted that the first term refers to a more restricted range of acts where, in the definition adopted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), the perpetrator invaded the body of a person by conduct resulting in penetration, however slight, of any part of the body of the victim or of the perpetrator with a sexual organ, or of the anal or genital opening of the victim with any object or any other part of the body.1 216

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‘Mass rape’ tends to refer to a scale of rape distinctive of certain conflicts. While some scholars prefer to write of sexualized violence, I use ‘sexual violence’ to refer to the range of acts in addition to penetration, but which nevertheless are directed at sexual identity or sexualized body parts (for example, forced impregnation, sexual humiliation, or sexual torture). ‘Gender violence’ refers to a still wider category of acts, in which gender identity plays a part in the motive for, or character of, violence. For example, the murder of men suspected of being homosexual would count as an act of gender violence, but not necessarily of sexual violence. This chapter, following a brief survey of the literature, maps contributions and disagreements relating to the patterns of wartime sexual violence; the causes of wartime sexual violence; the persons implicated as perpetrators and victims of conflict-related sexual violence; and the contested borders of sexual violence within and without conflict.

Threads The sense of mass rape as a crime against humanity is widely shared today. It is perhaps curious, then, that concentrated research on sexual violence in conflict is relatively recent. The earliest academic work on wartime sexual violence came from outside conflict and peace research, drawing on emerging programmes in women’s studies and their offshoots in literature, journalism, philosophy, and sociology. As is often noted, the focus on wartime rape in its specificity was spurred by the Bosnian war and its atrocities (Stiglmayer 1994; Allen 1996; Buss 2007). Reports of mass rape, conceived as part of an ethno-nationalist strategy by Serbian forces to ethnically cleanse the former Yugoslavia of its Muslim population, helped galvanize an argument that rape was integral to the strategy of war. It was demonstrated that detention camps – the spatial locus for sexual violence during the war – had been established on the same pattern across occupied territories, and that the rapes carried out against women and their families followed a similar script (Sharlach 2000: 96–98). The evidence of mass rape in Bosnia, and the genocidal rape in Rwanda that followed in 1994, occasioned a new and broad sensitivity to sexual exploitation and violence, including in hitherto neglected historical cases, most infamously the ‘rape of Nanking’ (Chang 1997). This first thread of scholarly inquiry into wartime sexual violence revealed its existence in a dual sense, both by documenting and politicizing it. Academics and investigative journalists provided the necessary evidence of sexual violence and also insisted that atrocities were not ‘natural’ byproducts of war, but should instead be understood in more explicitly feminist terms. Rape was, in the words of one early feminist account, “not an aggressive manifestation of sexuality, but rather a sexual manifestation of aggression” (Seifert 1994: 55). The emerging scholarship on war rape followed the more general feminist project of exposing sexual violence as an act of power, both resulting from and contributing to inequality between the sexes (Bourke 2007). In short, the cultural background to sexual violence was patriarchy (Seifert 1996). And if sexual violence was political in its purpose, it could be prosecuted as a crime, and considered an aspect of international peace and security. Feminist research consequently contributed to a change in international political practice over the next decade, the benchmarks of which were prosecutions of rape as a war crime at the ad hoc tribunals on the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, the emergence of an international legal definition of rape, and the inclusion of sexual violence as a protection issue in the global Women, Peace and Security agenda (Chinkin 1994; Mibenge 2013; Aroussi 2011; Kirby and Shepherd 2016). A second, overlapping thread took the political character of wartime sexual violence as its starting point, and began to elaborate on and fine-tune earlier explanations. Bosnia and Rwanda remained key reference points, but the field expanded toward a recovery of the historical record and documentation of new or continuing conflicts, most notably those in 217

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Sierra Leone, Darfur, and especially in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). At the same time, political scientists began to examine sexual violence more explicitly (Sharlach 2000; Wood 2006). Others sought more precise conceptual terms to describe how rape in war functioned, drawing on unfolding conversations in feminist and political theory (Diken and Laustsen 2005). At the same time, the field came to recognize a broader spectrum of persons affected by wartime sexual violence, from male survivors and children born of rape to those exploited and abused by the peacekeepers deployed as their ostensible protectors (Sivakumaran 2007; Carpenter 2000; M. Henry 2013). The first generation of scholarship had lamented indifference to sexual violence and successfully agitated to place it on policy agendas; the second came to be more critical of how this new attention from the international community operated. Whereas it had been common to see sexual violence as oppressive of women in general, recognizing it as organized violence also meant noticing the ways in which multiple constituencies experienced, perpetrated, or manipulated it. For example, evidence of mass rape could be used to reinforce ideas of distinct ethnic groups. Far from advancing feminist solidarity across borders, this kind of discursive manoeuvre could subsume women’s experiences within a collective, and quite traditional, security identity (Hansen 2001). Just as atrocities committed by German soldiers in Belgium in 1914 had become the material for war propaganda, so scholars in feminist and peace studies worried that survivor testimony might support militarized responses. Rather than just seeking greater awareness, research now more closely examined the terms of what Doris Buss (2007) called “curious visibility”: how the perspectives of lawyers, policy-makers, and publics were themselves partial. A third, more recent, thread has taken up this concern by rethinking the basic connections between sexual violence and conflict. For some, this has meant questioning why the international community has seized more strongly on conflict-related sexual violence than other aspects of the Women, Peace and Security agenda (Hudson 2012). For others, global attention risks prioritizing rape over other human rights abuses in a ‘hierarchy of harm’ (N. Henry 2013). For others still, the incompleteness of prior explanations demands a renewed sense of the gender in gender violence (Davies and True 2015). The continuing expansion of the interdisciplinary research agenda on sexual violence in, beyond, and on the border of organized violence has led to a flourishing of studies on individual conflicts, each with its own distinctive coordinates of identity and repertoires of violence.

Patterns Because early scholarship sought to show that sexual violence was a real phenomenon of war, it understandably tended to emphasize the most horrific cases. While the politicization of rape repudiated excuses for rape as a natural inevitability, it at the same time encouraged a view of rape as consistently central to the practice of war. Yet not all conflicts are marked by mass rape. It appears from general reports and the testimonies of kidnapped women that Viet Cong forces engaged in little, if any, organized sexual violence during the Vietnam War, despite their extensive use of other terroristic methods (Brownmiller 1975: 90–92). In the cases of the Sri Lankan and El Salvadoran civil wars, scholars have noted that neither the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) nor the Frente Farabundo Martí para Liberación Nacional (FMLN) had significant claims of sexual violence levelled against them, despite their willingness to engage in other kinds of attacks against civilian targets (Wood 2006: 313–317). The degree of variation is non-trivial. In Dara Cohen’s analysis of 91 civil wars between 1980 and 2012, 21 conflicts were coded as exhibiting rape on a massive scale at some point 218

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(which Cohen classifies as at least one year where at least one party to the conflict engaged in rape described as ‘massive’, ‘systematic’, ‘a weapon of terror’ or similar in US State Department human rights summaries) (Cohen 2016: 72–73). But almost as many conflicts – 17 – had no rapes reported for them, 15 had isolated reports, and the remaining 38 numerous reports.2 What is known as the ‘repertoire of violence’ – the variety of acts that might be favoured or forbidden by an armed group – therefore varies for reasons that are still not well understood, but for which there are a number of plausible explanations (as discussed in the next section). Both the overall level and the trend of conflict-related sexual violence have been subject to some controversy in recent years. Sexual violence is often framed as a ‘hidden’ crime, meaning that the stigma and shame associated with it deters survivors from reporting it to authorities. The result is a paucity of data for historical conflicts, but also potentially a source of misleading information on more recent ones. As international agencies came to recognize sexual violence as a feature of conflict, and as entities such as UN peacekeeping missions are tasked with combating it, so too are greater efforts made to measure it. As a consequence, it is hard to distinguish between an increase in recorded rapes that reflects an underlying trend and an increase that reflects better mechanisms for reporting. The increase in the visibility of sexual violence might also lead some activist groups and non-governmental organizations to overstate the level of sexual violence relative to other human rights abuses, which at the very least makes it difficult to correct misleading statistics (Cohen and Hoover Green 2012). The high-profile mass rapes of the 1990s in Bosnia and Rwanda are instructive for understanding the difficulties of confirming empirical patterns. Bosnian government and European Community estimates from 1992 put the number of women who had been raped at 14,000 and 20,000, respectively, and 20,000 is still given as the total in some comparative studies (see the endnote in Skjelsbæk 2006: 398 and also Green 2004: 111). But even before the war was concluded, reports for UN agencies were quoting a different upper estimate of 60,000 victims (Bunch and Reilly 1994: 36). Whether the total fell closer to 20,000 or 50,000 (the more commonly given high estimate) carried clear political connotations, as did the identity of the survivors, because the argument for rape as genocide was stronger if they were almost all identified as Muslim (see the discussion in Engle 2005). In the case of the Rwandan genocide, the staggering scale of rape – commonly given as between 250,000 and 500,000 cases – might if anything be an under-estimate. The original calculation, necessarily crude, was based on the number of pregnancies recorded as resulting from rape, but did not consider unreported pregnancies, rapes of women otherwise unable to become pregnant, or rapes of men (Palermo and Peterman 2011). In short, the accurate estimation of levels of wartime rape is challenging in the extreme, and always subject to incorporation into larger ideological agendas that might seek to both exaggerate and minimize abuses.

Causes For a number of feminist scholars, predominantly those working in the first thread of research outlined above, the most important fact about wartime sexual violence is that it is highly organized, which is to say that it is pursued as part of an overall policy. This view has come to be known as the ‘weapon of war’ thesis. Claudia Card, for one, described rape “as a form of terrorism” and argued that “martial rape has become a political institution” (1996: 6, 9). Claims of a similar type are made by activists and policy-makers on a regular basis (see Crawford 2013; Kirby 2013). The weapon of war thesis is frequently invoked to explain 219

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violence in the DRC, where sexual violence is seen as following from armed group struggles over minerals (e.g., Gosling and Prendergast 2011). On this account, rape is chosen because it is efficient. The weapon of war thesis is often combined with, but is sometimes also in conflict with, explanations of rape in terms of social norms and patriarchal culture. Where conjoined, it is argued that the effectiveness of rape is directly predicated on social attitudes toward gender. When women are symbolically associated with the nation, where they lack rights or resources, and when cultural codes treat them as the property of men, there will be power in violating women as a bloody ‘signal’ to the enemy. It is as if women’s bodies constitute “a ceremonial battlefield” (Brownmiller 1975: 38). Yet the emphasis on social norms may also complicate the weapon of war thesis where the explanation relies more on the beliefs and ideology of the perpetrators than on their rational pursuit of a material selfinterest. If individuals and communities are targeted not for their resources but because of their identities, then the acts might, in the end, be explicable without an overall rape strategy. Evidence is available both for and against the weapon of war thesis. One prominent survey of government armed forces in the DRC – involving 193 interviews – suggested that direct orders to rape were rare to the point of non-existence (Baaz and Stern 2009). But another, based on interviews with 96 ex-combatants, claimed that orders to rape were in fact quite common (Schneider, Banholzer and Albarracin 2015).3 More broadly, rape has been blamed on the breakdown of chains of command – allowing soldiers to carry out opportunistic attacks as they desire – but also attributed to strong military hierarchy – in which rape might occur against the individual preferences of soldiers (on the former see Butler, Gluch and Mitchell 2007). Rape has been described as an extension and enforcement of cultural norms, but also as violently undermining them (Clark 2014: 464–465). If understood as an act of humiliation, rape against women is a way of shaming men, and will therefore be most effective in societies dominated by patriarchal norms (see MacKenzie 2010). Yet political scientists have also argued that peacetime levels of patriarchy are a bad predictor for wartime levels of rape (Cohen 2016: 89–97). Indeed, the designation of ‘patriarchy’ might be so general as to strip the concept of much use in developing concrete explanations.4 A general environment of aggressive masculinity cannot explain why some groups (and some individuals within groups) carry out certain kinds of violence but not others. As a result, political scientists have turned their attention to variations in the micro-political environment, differentiating between actors in any given conflict. Armed groups are institutions with internal training regimes and political ideologies, facing external constraints and opportunities depending on their enemies, the fluctuating fortunes of the conflict, and the pressure of outside actors (e.g., a great power intervention in a civil war). Rational choice theories have tended to see armed group behaviours as calculated responses to multiple incentives, and therefore support the idea that sexual violence is ‘chosen’ as a tactic. More convincingly, whether and how sexual violence is deployed depends on the everyday practices that bind armed groups together. At this level of analysis, it becomes possible to understand why some groups might not engage in sexual violence, despite apparent ‘incentives’ to do so. Some armed groups convey a political education of restraint to their members that plausibly reduces violence against civilians (Hoover Green 2016). In sum, while attempts to explain conflictrelated sexual violence have become more detailed and more precise, there is still disagreement over causes and the proper degree of abstraction from individual cases. The expansion in interest has produced a larger field of inquiry, an array of insights and critiques, and with it a sense of messiness that defies easy answers.5


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Persons At the same time as elaborating on why sexual violence occurs in conflict, recent scholarship has also investigated who takes on the roles of victim and perpetrator, bystander and protector. It is common to suppose that rebel armed groups are the main perpetrators of conflict-related sexual violence, as well as other abuses against civilians. But, again, there is considerable variation to consider. Cross-national data show that state security forces are more often responsible (Cohen 2016: 74–75). Moreover, not all protagonists in a conflict are selfevidently members of armed groups. Attackers might conceal their affiliation. Alternatively, networks of violent actors can be fluid: at some moments closer to civilian status, at others active combatants. While the weapon of war thesis predicts organized violence by combatants, there is also evidence that intimate partner violence – violence carried out by husbands, boyfriends, and lovers – increases in wartime, and that the damage done to social norms can also enable violence by civilians and authority figures (such as teachers, government officials, and religious leaders) (see Stark and Ager 2011). Critics charge that framing gender violence as ‘conflict-related’ rather than ‘community based’ has the effect of ignoring certain perpetrators, moving attention away from long-running dynamics of poverty and misogyny which result in violence in the absence of any singular strategy (True 2012: 121–128). Whether as combatants or civilians, perpetrators of sexual violence are assumed to be male. But this is not always the case. Although few studies pursue the point, there is evidence that women perpetrate sexual violence at higher levels during conflict than in peacetime. A prominent survey of human rights violations in the eastern DRC found that women had often participated in acts of sexual violence against other women, and against men in a smaller, but still significant, fraction of cases (Johnson et al. 2010). In the case of Sierra Leone, women were significant participants in armed groups, and were frequently implicated in sexual violence. While sexual violence was almost always ‘male-led’, mixed sex groups were often responsible for group rape, in which women restrained female noncombatant victims, used objects to carry out penetrative rapes themselves, and boasted about involvement in rape on similar terms to their male compatriots (Cohen 2013: 399–400, 403–405). Early contributions to the study of sexual violence saw women in general as the target for wartime rape, and subsequent studies have highlighted how ethnic, national, or religious identity might single out groups of women for particular violence.6 But women are not always the sole targets for rape: in some circumstances they might not be the majority victims, or at least not in any undifferentiated sense. Nor need sexual violence stem from a superficially ‘heterosexual’ frame in which men collectively view women as legitimate targets. Men and boys are increasingly understood to experience conflict-related sexual violence in specific ways, and with consequences distinct from those faced by women. In instances from the Crusades to Yugoslavia, Northern Ireland and the DRC, men have endured rape, genital beatings, enforced masturbation, coerced nudity, and related forms of violence (Sivakumaran 2007). In Liberia, a household survey carried out in 2008 found that a third of male ex-combatants had experienced sexual violence over the preceding two decades. This compared to 7 per cent among male non-combatants (Johnson et al. 2008). And in the DRC, a parallel study reported that 24 per cent of men interviewed had experienced sexual violence, a significant majority (80%) during a period of conflict (Johnson et al. 2010). About half of all the male ex-combatants surveyed reported sexual violence, compared to three-quarters of female ex-combatants and a third of all women. In other words, male ex-combatants were more likely to have experienced sexual violence than civilian women, but less likely to have experienced it than female ex-combatants. 221

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Findings such as these suggest that men might face high risks of sexual violence in distinct settings: as part of forcible recruitment, during political detention and torture, and in the process of displacement as refugees (see the data and discussion in Human Rights Watch 2013 and Oosterhoff, Zwanikken and Ketting 2004). High levels of sexual violence in these situations need not imply that men are harmed to the same extent as women. Instead, careful attention is needed to the ways in which sexual violence against men has been recorded under different terminology, stymying proper comparison (e.g., when simply labelled ‘torture’), and to circumstances where men might be singled out for violence, such as where they are ascribed homosexual or ‘deviant’ identities (Sivakumaran 2005). The discourse of sexuality is meaningful for both perpetrators and survivors: for the former because it confirms the un-masculine nature of whoever is being raped and for the latter because it may prevent reporting out of shame at accusations of homosexuality. The diverse contextual relations of perpetrator and victim pose a challenge to simplistic policy and activist narratives.

Borders The study of wartime sexual violence is, then, made complex by the difficulty of knowing what and how much sexual violence there is in conflict, by a range of possible explanations for the diverse forms of sexual violence that do occur, and by a number of different roles that gendered individuals take in relation to that violence. This last complexity is also evident in the very designation of sexual violence as ‘wartime’ or ‘conflict-related’. Critics associated with the third thread of research outlined above have paid particular attention to this point in recent years, and have sought to trouble the assumed boundaries that demarcate ‘wartime’ as uniquely horrific. In doing so, they have also highlighted how the topic of wartime sexual violence is implicated in a whole series of global processes – of politics, culture, colonialism, humanitarianism, and entertainment – that blur what might initially appear to be the selfevidently honourable reasons for studying it. The difficulty of distinguishing between the locations of sexual violence can be seen even in close proximity to the conflict space itself. When formally declared, wars have recordable start and end dates, but the damage done and the dynamics they unleash are not constrained by those timeframes. For one, the after-effects of war frustrate easy diagnosis: is an act of sexual violence carried out by an ex-combatant ‘conflict-related’ or not? A propensity to violence among soldiers might flow less from the situation of war itself than from a broader military culture that denigrates feminine characteristics and enables harassment, and which shares characteristics with peacetime institutions (Bayard de Volo and Hall 2015; Morris 1996; Sanday 2007). A transitional justice mechanism might be expected to resolve the truth of a war, and provide some resolution for survivors, but will itself be caught up in political agendas and ideological antagonisms. Most famously, the war crime of rape was formally prosecuted at the Tokyo Tribunal following the Second World War, but not at the Nuremburg Tribunal. Far from closure, the aftermath of war therefore re-inscribed a supposed civilizational difference between the acts of Europeans and non-Europeans (see Henry 2011). For Doris Buss (2007), one reason that activists were so successful in foregrounding gender crimes in both the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia and for Rwanda was because they were tied to ideas of ethnic war. Because the tribunals focused principally on this ‘ethnic’ dimension they also turned rape into a mark of distinctly Serbian evil, while in the Rwandan case, rape similarly became a question of Tutsi (female) victims and Hutu (male) perpetrators, rendering invisible other gendered atrocities (Mibenge 2013).


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Conclusion What, then, does the conflict space include? Certainly elements of violence and inequality characteristic of war can live on in the ‘post-conflict’ moment. Yet spaces far from the war zone are also linked to conflict: violence found there might consequently be thought of as ‘conflict-related’. Refugee camps and immigration detention centres are extensions of a conflict in this sense, as are the homes of military personnel in peacetime settings. ‘Domestic’ violence might, consequently, be as political as war rape (Gray 2016). Police interventions in response to domestic violence express ideals of protection, and conceptions of security, not so different from those engaged in wartime (Cuomo 2013). Wars capture attention, but ‘peacetime’ gender relations around the world are characterized by high levels of violence against women (e.g., Boesten 2014). Fixation on a foreign conflict might then direct civil society groups in the global North away from the polities in which they can have greatest effect toward a ‘saviour’ role in conflicts they understand poorly. When distant atrocities dominate discussion, the domestic politics of violence and human rights escape scrutiny (Fassin 2007). Nor does the visibility of wartime sexual violence guarantee that it is alleviated by international action. The conceptualization of, and response to, human rights abuses proceeds according to the current logic of security politics. In practice this has meant that feminist civil society groups have petitioned the United Nations – and especially its supreme body the Security Council – to respond, partly through peacekeeping missions and other manifestations of armed force. For a number of critics, the risk is that sexual violence will be securitized – interpreted as requiring a decisive response from security actors in ways that sideline peaceful methods of conflict resolution, exclude the voices of civilians and activists, and potentially contribute to the continuation of a cycle of violence (Hirschauer 2014; Pratt 2013). It is possible then to imagine the debate around wartime sexual violence as a series of extensions: from cases of extreme mass rape to conflicts with varied perpetration, potentially including armed groups that do not engage in war rape at all; from a focus on exceptional military actors to militarization as a whole and to the incidence of intimate partner and civilian sexual violence; from the war zone to wider structures of gender inequality; from the formal span of war to pre- and post-conflict spaces where violence might persist and mutate; and from a restricted selection of behaviours around rape to a spectrum of gender violence and domination. In each case, the growth of dedicated feminist and gender scholarship over the last decades has expanded the understanding of war rape, spurring new public and government responses, and in turn transforming the international politics of sexual violence.

Notes 1 The ICC definition further clarifies that such an act must take place by coercion or the threat of coercion and during a period of international armed conflict. 2 The data source is yearly US State Department reports, which Cohen shows to be compatible with human rights reporting at the time, and which she uses to code for the successive levels. 3 The difference in conclusion is in part attributable to the armed group in question. Eriksson Baaz and Stern interviewed members of the FARDC (the Armed Forces of the DRC), while Schneider et al.’s sample was mainly drawn from the Mai-Mai militia. The 14 FARDC respondents in the latter sample also reported that they did not hear any direct orders to rape (Schneider et al. 2015: 1353). 4 A similar point is made by Clark (2014: 466–467). 5 A case put best by Baaz and Stern (2013). 6 The process is not simple, and comes wrapped in layers of collective experience and memory. Compare, for example, Zarkov (2007) and Mookherjee (2015).


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References Allen, Beverly. 1996. Rape Warfare: The Hidden Genocide in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. Aroussi, Sahla. 2011. ‘“Women, peace and security”: Addressing accountability for wartime sexual violence’. International Feminist Journal of Politics 13(4): 576–593. Baaz, Maria Eriksson and Maria Stern. 2009. ‘Why do soldiers rape? Masculinity, violence and sexuality in the armed forces in the Congo (DRC)’. International Studies Quarterly 53(2): 495–518. Baaz, Maria Eriksson and Maria Stern. 2013. Sexual Violence as a Weapon of War? Perceptions, Prescriptions, Problems in the Congo and Beyond. London: Zed Books. Bayard de Volo, Lorraine Bayard and Lynn K. Hall. 2015. ‘“I wish all the ladies were holes in the road”: The US Air Force Academy and the gendered continuum of violence’. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 40(4): 865–889. Boesten, Jelke. 2014. Sexual Violence during War and Peace: Gender, Power, and Post-Conflict Justice in Peru. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Bourke, Joanna. 2007. Rape: A History from 1860 to the Present. London: Virago. Brownmiller, Susan. 1975. Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape. New York: Ballantine Books. Bunch, Charlotte and Niamh Reilly. 1994. Demanding Accountability: The Global Campaign and Vienna Tribunal for Women’s Human Rights. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers Center for Women’s Global Leadership; and New York: United Nations Development Fund for Women. Buss, Doris E. 2007. ‘The curious visibility of wartime rape: Gender and ethnicity in international criminal law’. Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice 25: 3–22. Butler, Christopher K., Tali Gluch and Neil J. Mitchell. 2007. ‘Security forces and sexual violence: A cross-national analysis of a principal-agent argument’. Journal of Peace Research 44(6): 669–687. Card, Claudia. 1996. ‘Rape as a weapon of war’. Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 11(4): 5–18. Carpenter, R. Charli. 2000. ‘Surfacing children: Limitations of genocidal rape discourse’. Human Rights Quarterly 22(2): 428–477. Chang, Iris. 1997. The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II. New York: Basic Books. Chinkin, Christine. 1994. ‘Rape and sexual abuse of women in international law’. European Journal of International Law 5: 326–341. Clark, Janine Natalya. 2014. ‘Making sense of wartime rape: A multi-causal and multi-level analysis’. Ethnopolitics 13(5): 461–482. Cockburn, Cynthia. 2004 ‘The continuum of violence: A gender perspective on war and peace’. In Wenona Giles and Jennifer Hyndman (eds) Sites of Violence: Gender and Conflict Zones (pp. 24–44). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Cohen, Dara Kay. 2013. ‘Female combatants and the perpetration of violence: Wartime rape in the Sierra Leone civil war’. World Politics 65(3): 383–415. Cohen, Dara Kay. 2016. Rape during Civil War. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Cohen, Dara Kay and Amelia Hoover Green. 2012. ‘Dueling incentives: Sexual violence in Liberia and the politics of human rights advocacy’. Journal of Peace Research 49(3): 445–458. Crawford, Kerry F. 2013. ‘From spoils to weapons: Framing wartime sexual violence’. Gender & Development 21(3): 505–517. Cuomo, Dana. 2013. ‘Security and fear: The geopolitics of intimate partner violence policing’. Geopolitics 18(4): 856–874. Davies, Sara E. and Jacqui True. 2015. ‘Reframing conflict-related sexual violence and gender-based violence: Bringing gender analysis back in’. Security Dialogue 46(6): 495–512. Diken, Bülent and Carsten Bagge Laustsen. 2005. ‘Becoming abject: Rape as a weapon of war’. Body & Society 11(1): 111–128. Engle, Karen. 2005. ‘Feminism and its (dis)contents: Criminalizing wartime rape in Bosnia and Herzegovina’. The American Journal of International Law 99(4): 778–816. Fassin, Éric. 2007. ‘Sexual violence at the border’. differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies 18(2): 1–23. Gosling, Ryan and John Prendergast. 2011. ‘Congo’s conflict minerals: The next blood diamonds’. Huffington Post, 27 June. Available at (accessed 1 May 2018).


Wartime sexual violence Gray, Harriet. 2016. ‘Domestic abuse and the public/private divide in the British military’. Gender, Place and Culture 23(6): 912–925. Green, Jennifer L. 2004. ‘Uncovering collective rape: A comparative study of political sexual violence’. International Journal of Sociology 34(1): 97–116. Hansen, Lene. 2001. ‘Gender, nation, rape: Bosnia and the construction of security’. International Feminist Journal of Politics 3(1): 55–75. Henry, Marsha. 2013. ‘Sexual exploitation and abuse in UN peacekeeping missions: Problematising current responses’. In Sumi Madhok, Anne Phillips and Kalpana Wilson (eds) Gender, Agency and Coercion (pp. 122–142). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Henry, Nicola. 2011. War and Rape: Law, Memory and Justice. Abingdon: Routledge. Henry, Nicola, 2013. ‘The fixation on wartime rape: Feminist critique and international criminal law’. Social and Legal Studies 23(1): 93–111. Hirschauer, Sabine. 2014. The Securitization of Rape: Women, War and Sexual Violence. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Hoover Green, Amelia. 2016. ‘The commander’s dilemma: Creating and controlling armed group violence’. Journal of Peace Research 53(5): 619–632. Hudson, Heidi. 2012. ‘A double-edged sword of peace? Reflections on the tension between representation and protection in gendering liberal peacebuilding’. International Peacekeeping 19(4): 443–460. Human Rights Watch. 2013. ‘We Will Teach You a Lesson’: Violence against Tamils by Sri Lankan Security Forces. New York: Human Rights Watch. Johnson, Kirsten, Jana Asher, Stephanie Rosborough, Amisha Raja, Rajesh Panjabi, Charles Beadling and Lynn Lawry. 2008. ‘Association of combatant status and sexual violence with health and mental health outcomes in postconflict Liberia’. Journal of the American Medical Association 300(6): 676–690. Johnson, Kirsten, Jennifer Scott, Bigy Rughita, Michael Kisielewski, Jana Asher, Ricardo Ong and Lynn Lawry. 2010. ‘Association of sexual violence and human rights violations with physical and mental health in territories of the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo’. Journal of the American Medical Association 304(5): 554–562. Kirby, Paul. 2013. ‘How is rape a weapon of war? Feminist International Relations, modes of critical explanation and the study of wartime sexual violence’. European Journal of International Relations 19(4): 797–821. Kirby, Paul and Laura J. Shepherd. 2016. ‘The futures past of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda’. International Affairs 93(2): 373–392. MacKenzie, Megan. 2010. ‘Securitizing sex? Towards a theory of the utility of wartime sexual violence’. International Feminist Journal of Politics 12(2): 202–221. Mibenge, Chiseche Salome. 2013. Sex and International Tribunals: The Erasure of Gender from the War Narrative. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. Mookherjee, Nayanika. 2015. The Spectral Wound: Sexual Violence, Public Memories, and the Bangladesh War of 1971. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Morris, Madeline. 1996. ‘By force of arms: Rape, war and military culture’. Duke Law Journal 45(4): 652–782. Moser, Caroline O.N. 2001. ‘The gendered continuum of violence and conflict: An operational framework’. In Caroline O.N. Moser and Fiona Clark (eds) Victims, Perpetrators or Actors? Gender, Armed Conflict and Political Violence (pp. 30–52). London: Zed Books. Oosterhoff, Pauline, Prisca Zwanikken and Evert Ketting. 2004. ‘Sexual torture of men in Croatia and other conflict situations: An open secret’. Reproductive Health Matters 12(23): 68–77. Palermo, Tia and Amber Peterman. 2011. ‘Undercounting, overcounting and the longevity of flawed estimates: Statistics on sexual violence in conflict’. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 89(12): 924–925. Pratt, Nicola. 2013. ‘Reconceptualizing gender, reinscribing racial-sexual boundaries in international security: The case of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on “Women, Peace and Security”’. International Studies Quarterly 57(4): 772–783. Reardon, Betty A. 1996. Sexism and the War System. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press. Sanday, Peggy Reeves. 2007. Fraternity Gang Rape: Sex, Brotherhood, and Privilege on Campus. 2nd edn. New York: New York University Press.


Paul Kirby Schneider, Gerald, Lilli Banholzer and Laura Albarracin. 2015. ‘Ordered rape: A principal agent analysis of wartime sexual violence in the DR Congo’. Violence Against Women 21(11): 1341–1363. Seifert, Ruth. 1994. ‘War and rape: A preliminary analysis’. In Alexandra Stiglmayer (ed.) Mass Rape: The War against Women in Bosnia Herzegovina (pp. 54–72). Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press. Seifert, Ruth. 1996. ‘The second front: The logic of sexual violence in wars’. Women’s Studies International Forum 19(1/2): 35–43. Sharlach, Lisa. 2000. ‘Rape as genocide: Bangladesh, the Former Yugoslavia, and Rwanda’. New Political Science 22(1): 89–102. Sivakumaran, Sandesh. 2005. ‘Male/male rape and the “taint” of homosexuality’. Human Rights Quarterly 27(4): 1274–1306. Sivakumaran, Sandesh. 2007. ‘Sexual violence against men in armed conflict’. European Journal of International Law 18(2): 253–276. Skjelsbæk, Inger. 2006. ‘Victim and survivor: Narrated social identities of women who experience rape during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina’. Feminism and Psychology 16(4): 373–403. Stark, Lindsay and Alastair Ager. 2011. ‘A systematic review of prevalence studies of gender-based violence in complex emergencies’. Trauma, Violence, and Abuse 12(3): 127–134. Stiglmayer, Alexandra. 1994. ‘The rapes in Bosnia-Herzegovina’. In Alexandra Stiglmayer (ed.) Mass Rape: The War against Women in Bosnia Herzegovina (pp. 82–169). Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press. True, Jacqui. 2012. The Political Economy of Violence against Women. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Wood, Elisabeth Jean. 2006. ‘Variation in sexual violence during war’. Politics and Society 34(3): 307–342. Zarkov, Dubravka. 2007. The Body of War: Media, Ethnicity and Gender in the Break-Up of Yugoslavia. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.



“The men from Salt go to Syria to fight because they’re real men”, the woman said as we sat together in Salt, an ancient hilltop city in the fertile valleys of west-central Jordan. The woman, a mother wrapped in black, sat on the floor in her house, pouring sweetened tea into small glass cups. The noise of the street filtered through the window. “The men from Salt are real men”, she said again. “They hear about the rape of women in Syria and they have to go”. By comparison, she said, the men of Amman “only care about their hair”. She mimicked a foppish urbanite stroking his locks. She laughed. Her three sons had all left, pledging themselves to the black flag of the Islamic State in Syria. Two were now dead. “I’m glad they went”, she said. “Jihad was their duty as Muslim men, to protect their sisters”. “And where did they learn about this duty, and about jihad?” I asked her. “From me, of course”, she said, passing the tea. “They learned it at home”.1

Introduction/context Gender identity and gendered political narratives are fundamental to understanding conflict, and yet gender remains under-explored in much of the literature on violent extremist organizations. This has resulted in significant gaps in theory, knowledge, policy, and programming (Saltman and Smith 2015; Sjoberg and Gentry 2007). In this chapter we apply a gender lens to better understand how violent extremist organizations attract and maintain their male and female members. We explore the centrality of gender within the family, which is a site of both recruitment and resistance to violent extremism. We reflect on how policy-makers and implementers grapple with gender as they attempt to shrink sources of support for violent extremist movements, insurgencies, and non-state armed actors. We conclude that violent extremism and fundamentalist violent extremist organizations should be understood as rooted in deeply gendered identity, gendered obligation, gendered emotion, gendered opportunity, and gendered political narratives. Within policy-making and academic circles, the term ‘violent extremism’ is saddled with ambiguity. The United States government, the European Union, and the United Nations all lack an official definition. The result is a conceptual vagueness that undermines analysis, 227

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policy, cooperation, and programming. Moreover, confusion about what constitutes violent extremism can be harmful, particularly where it provides a licence to governments around the world to brand their foes – including civil society actors, religious leaders, and human rights activists – as extremist enemies of the state (United Nations 2009; Cortright et al. 2012). While widely accepted definitions do not exist, violent extremism is generally described as (a) the use, support, and/or advocacy of violence, (b) typically by non-state actors, (c) in support of political, ideological, or religious goals that (d) contradict values of democracy, human rights, and rule of law (USAID 2011; United Nations 2016). This is far from precise; indeed, these characteristics encompass many, if not most, of the world’s nonstate armed actors. The aim of this article is not to litigate existing definitions. Rather, we are primarily concerned with fundamentalist violent extremist organizations for whom the policing of the female identity and body is a central characteristic of an ideology justified, however shallowly, by Islamic tradition. The so-called Islamic State (ISIS) is emblematic, as are the Taliban, Al Shabaab, Boko Haram, and the regional franchises of Al-Qaeda.

Theorizing gender and violent extremist organizations Whereas ‘sex’ refers to inherent biological and physical characteristics, ‘gender’ refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, and expectations that a society imposes on men and women. Like ethnicity, religion, and class, gender is a fundamental category of analysis, informing identity, duty, desire, power, and obligation. Conceptually interdependent, masculinity and femininity are given meaning by a border that is shared and often vigilantly policed. Masculinity and femininity inform not only how individuals are viewed, but how they view themselves. Given its role in categorizing and hierarchically structuring social relationships, gender organizes authority and responsibility, and informs personal rights, access to resources, and life options. Gendered systems of power are in turn upheld, extended, and enforced by a range of social institutions: political, social, economic, legal, and cultural (Cohn 2012; Mazurana and Proctor 2014). As a social structure flush with symbolic meaning, gender infuses conflict, informing the justifications, narratives, and application of violence (Enloe 2000; Goldstein 2001; USIP 2015). This is certainly true of violent extremist organizations, for whom gender identities and political narratives are central. The role gender plays in the manifestation and perpetuation of violent extremism is illuminated through our gendered consideration of the New Wars theory, as elaborated by Mary Kaldor (2013). The New Wars theory is concerned with conflicts in fragile and failed states, where goals, methods, means of finance and war economies, and use of identity politics and political narratives contrast sharply with Westphalian conflicts. Kaldor’s insights track closely with the characteristics of today’s fundamentalist violent extremist movements, some of whom epitomize the New War antagonist. Critically, identity politics created through conflict is the linchpin: “political mobilization around identity is the aim of war rather than an instrument of war, as was the case in ‘old wars’” (Kaldor 2013: 3). Whereas Old Wars were fought for geopolitical interests or ideologies (e.g., democracy or socialism), New Wars are fought to gain access to state resources for particular identity groups, while explicitly seeking to exclude other identity groups from those same resources. At the same time, war itself is both the means and the goal. New Wars are fought by disparate and loose networks of groups including armed forces and groups, paramilitaries, mercenaries, extremists, criminals, politicians, their financiers and commercial backers. Given the varying reasons for each group’s participation – economic interest, criminal interest, adventure, social mobility, revenge and retribution, fascination 228

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with violence, desire for the status of ‘real man’, peer pressure – and thus the inherent instability of these networks, New Wars and violent extremist organizations within them must mobilize identity politics and political narratives in an effort to hold themselves together. War is an integral part of the construction of these political narratives and identities, where fear, hatred, and reward are drawn upon to create ‘us’ vs. ‘them’ and fuse together the different groups and their motivations (Kaldor 2007). We contend that the creation and maintenance of these New War identities are deeply and inherently shaped by gender. Defining the roles of men and women is central to processes of militarization, recruitment, and the propagation of violence. This is particularly evident among fundamentalist violent extremist organizations where the division of public and private spheres, the cloistering of women, and a militant defence of home and tradition are rooted in obligations and hierarchies that are deeply gendered. Importantly, the subjugation of women by such movements is not incidental, but at the heart of their ideology, appeal, identity creation, and political narratives. Of course, gendered hierarchies are not unique to violent extremist movements. In spite of variations across cultures and contexts, gender norms in most societies situate women and girls unequally compared to men. Restrictions on female rights – political, economic, social, sexual, and reproductive – abound across societies, in ways both implicit and explicit. In few cases, however, is gender-based hierarchy as explicitly part of the political programme as it is in the case of fundamentalist violent extremist groups, where the subjugation of women is a core element – rather than a byproduct – of extremist ideology (Soussan and Weingarten 2014).

Seeking the status of a ‘real man’ Extremist organizations manipulate masculinity and femininity to facilitate recruitment and gain traction in communities (Mazurana and Proctor 2013). This is perhaps most obvious in terms of masculinity. Socially constructed expectations around masculinity can push male youth into the arms of recruiters, particularly where young men feel a need to prove themselves, and where insurgencies or extremist organizations – in the absence of other culturally appropriate avenues – offer them the opportunity to do so (Kimmel 2005; Mazurana and Proctor 2013). In marginalized communities, a hypermasculine ideal might take hold as a palliative to the sense of emasculation that stems from poverty, humiliation, and disempowerment (Baird 2012; Martin 2015; Van Leuven, Mazurana and Gordon 2016).2 As Van Leuven, Mazurana and Gordon (2016) argue, those who join fundamentalist violent extremist organizations are often seeking to fulfil gendered expectations, to become the idealized men and women these organizations claim they have the capacity to become. In Jordan, for example, young men who pledged themselves to ISIS or Al-Qaeda, were celebrated – as the mother quoted above celebrated her dead sons – as the community’s ‘real men’. In interviews, this phrase was echoed by the peers, siblings, and elders of those who ventured to Syria and never came back (Proctor 2015b). By conflating manliness with violent action, purportedly for the protection of other (weaker) people or in defence of ideologies, fundamentalist violent extremist organizations are able to leverage social and cultural expectations of masculinity, silencing or humiliating those who refuse to participate (USIP 2015). Among those who waver, shame can be a powerful lash. Not surprisingly, in Jordan the recruits to fundamentalist violent extremist organizations are often following the example of an esteemed male of the community – a cousin or brother who went before, and whom the aspirant seeks to emulate. The language of ‘radicalization’ might muddy a central reality; the first step, for many, to becoming a violent extremist might be less an ideological act than a social one. 229

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What appears central in many recruitment narratives is that masculinity is defined by the individual’s responsibility to community, which might be both literal and imagined, local and geopolitical. The community, the home, the domestic and private: these are the spaces of the feminine, which might be threatened by other males or groups. Thus the drive to protect the community’s women and children infuses masculine justifications for violence. In Jordan, recruits often cited a protection narrative as part of their justifying motive: after seeing reports of Syrian women and children killed by Syrian government forces, they said they were compelled to defend their Sunni sisters against the Assad regime and its Shiite Iranian backers. The regional, sectarian anxieties were translated through, justified by, and amplified using intimate, personal desires to be perceived socially as an empowered, dutiful male (Proctor 2015b).

‘Women worth protecting’ and those that push the boundaries The centrality of the male as protector illuminates the critical, symbolic role in which women and girls are cast. Their bodies and behaviours are held to represent the feminine ‘protected’: families, ethnicities, cultures, and the ethnic or national group (Saghal and Yuval-Davis 1992; Peterson 2007; Mazurana and Proctor 2013). When women’s and girls’ sexual purity defines the honour and integrity of the group or movement, the violation of their bodies – either literally or figuratively – stains the honour of the entire group. This animates the masculine identity as ‘protector’, the flip-side of the subjugation of the feminine, but also perversely fuels war-time sexual violence. Because the purity of women and girls is associated with the integrity of a nation and ethnicity, they might be systematically targeted by the conqueror. Rape, as a weapon of war, is no accidental byproduct. Rather, it is a likely outcome of militarized masculinity, an inversion (but only partially) of the masculine duty to protect, itself rooted in gendered hierarchy. The Islamic State’s horrific sexual enslavement of Yazidi women and girls is emblematic but hardly unique. Of course, women and girls are not simply or overtly victims. Female recruits might seek an opportunity to escape environments of domestic drudgery or gender-based abuse, or to redress past humiliations. Like their male counterparts, they might also seek power, adventure, the admiration of their peers, and a chance to commit to a larger-than-self movement. It is not unusual for women to work in the service of violent extremist movements, not merely as facilitators, but as active participants: recruiters, logistical supporters, and sometimes as fighters and suicide bombers (Mazurana 2012; Sjoberg and Gentry 2007; USAID 2015). Yet, even where women are participants and actors, they operate within, and through their behaviour reinforce, the accepted gender hierarchies of the violent extremist movements.

The role of the family The domestic sphere features prominently in the violent extremist enterprise. Family, as a conduit of culture and belief, can play a central role in shaping attitudes toward violence and non-violence. In an analysis of violent extremism in the West Bank, Cragin et al. (2015) found family to be more important than other kinds of social networks in shaping individual perspectives on non-violence. Parental influence appears to be particularly important. Among respondents, those who claimed their parents had a minimal impact on their decision-making were also statistically more likely to engage in violence (Cragin et al. 2015: 13). Sometimes, however, family members play an actively malignant role: siblings follow one another into armed insurgencies; a child might be tutored in extremist ideology on her 230

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mother’s lap; fathers might speak proudly of martyred sons. Militant family ties can play a key role in violent extremist recruitment (Sageman 2004; Bakker 2006 as cited in Davis and Cragin 2009). Recruitment to groups such as Indonesia’s Jemaah Islamiyyah or the Abu Sayyaf Group of the Philippines appeared, in many cases, to be conducted through family, clan, and tribal relationships (Davis and Cragin 2009). But violent movements do not merely recruit through family and tribe; rather, they seek to replicate kinship structures. Manufacturing, manipulating, and rendering personal a collective identity – as if it were an extended family – is vital to creating and sustaining a transnational movement (McCauley and Moskalenko 2010). Violent extremist movements seek to create alternative and idealized family structures. They seek to replace individual recruits’ families and create new families for them, filling social and emotional vacuums. Charismatic leaders offer paternal substitutes. The extremist movement promises jihadi brides and grooms fulfilment of ‘true’ manhood and womanhood (Bloom 2012; Van Leuven et al. 2016). The example of the Islamic State (ISIS) is illustrative; the manipulation of gender, family, and the domestic space is central to the so-called Caliphate’s recruiting narratives. ISIS appeals to male recruits by instrumentalizing and militarizing expectations of the ideal masculine. To female recruits they offer a hyper-feminized ideal in which they have an opportunity to join an Islamic ‘sisterhood’ and become jihadi brides (USIP 2015; Van Leuven et al. 2016). Devotion to the movement, grounded in idealized domestic commitments, can offer an important antidote to those who feel marginalized, powerless, or unrooted in their own communities, as well as to formalize a recruit’s commitment to the communal enterprise (De Bode 2015; USIP 2015). Potential recruits who have suffered abuse or neglect in their own family can be particularly susceptible to such overtures (Vidino 2015: 408–409; Proctor 2015a). Marriage, a marker of the transition to manhood and womanhood, is used to entice both male and female recruits, and to formalize their commitment to the extremist enterprise (Bloom 2012; Saltman and Smith 2015; Van Leuven et al. 2016). Importantly, the domestic narratives deployed and manipulated by violent extremists often disappoint. While domestic life in the so-called Islamic State has been glamourized in social media, the reality – for men and women – is more likely to be one of impoverishment, insecurity, and fear (Van Leuven et al. 2016).

Applying a gender lens to countering violent extremism: sources of resistance If gender identities can be politicized, militarized, and manipulated by violent extremists, they might also point to key sources of resilience. Though violent extremists might exploit domestic commitments, family ties can also promote peace. While not in themselves decisive, obligations to a wife, children, or elderly dependants can keep males home, ‘raising the costs’ of participation (Cragin 2014; Lankford and Gillespie 2011; Horgan 2009; Lilja 2009). Kurzman (2011, as cited in Cragin 2014) observed that having economic dependants deterred some would-be suicide bombers from becoming martyrs. Apart from prevention, family can work as a ‘pull factor’ in getting extremists to give up violence. Commitment to family, or a desire to start one, can be an important motive in disengagement (Altier, Horgan and Thoroughgood 2014; Reinares 2011). Bjorgo (2008, cited in Hearne 2009) finds that new family and marital commitments can be central to explaining why extremists abandon violence. Consequently, a number of deradicalization programmes – in Saudi Arabia, for example – emphasize binding former extremists in commitments to their families and larger communities (Bhulai, Chowdhury Fink and Zeiger 231

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2014; Proctor 2015a). Those who lack close family ties are encouraged to build them: upon release, former prisoners have been assisted in finding employment, obtaining housing, and starting a family (Lankford and Gillespie 2011). The extent to which programmatic efforts succeed in preventing violent extremism will hinge on whether they can help males create a life of meaning, achieve dignity, and redress experiences of emasculation, without resort to the powerful and often thrilling appeals of violent extremism. In eastern Afghanistan, analysis found that the insurgency’s top recruits were not motivated by money or ideology, but were ambitious and charismatic young males eager to prove themselves, protect their culture, and preserve religious norms. Given their leadership potential and the respect they commanded, the men (and they were all men) involved in the programme were seen as playing an outsized role in shaping the direction of their communities and the region. They were highly sought after by insurgency recruiters. The Natural Resources Counter-insurgency Cell (NRCC) attempted to deny armed opposition groups these key recruits, not through handouts, but by cultivating a new status marker within the community that was culturally resonant and that spoke to the ambitions of participants to establish their masculine identities. Selection of participants was highly competitive. Working with local elders, NRCC developed a merit-based programme with an intentionally high attrition rate: the goal was to avoid handouts, instead offering an opportunity that would be hard to grasp, hard to hold, and therefore of considerable social value. NRCC projects, designed and implemented through the cohort of programme graduates, aimed to fill real, locally defined needs, and in turn provide participants with the social cachet they sought. Programme implementers observed successes. Insurgent recruitment in the programme areas dropped, as did violence (Kleinfeld and Bader 2014). Of course, many empowerment programmes amount to little more than trainings for young people. Civic engagement programmes typically identify a real gap – the powerlessness of sidelined groups – but they often fail because they do not link to tangible opportunities for participation. In most cases, traditional male elites are loath to incorporate new voices. Where existing political institutions lack the capacity or the will to accept a new generation, empowerment programmes raise expectations doomed to go unfulfilled. The implicit goal, if often unrealized, of empowerment programmes is to provide non-violent avenues for (predominately male) individuals to assert themselves in public spaces. It is unclear if this can be done consistently. However, an approach rooted in an analysis of gendered expectations and obligations appears central to any scheme that aims to channel ‘at-risk’ (male) individuals toward non-violence.

Women, the public sphere, and female empowerment Throughout the programmatic and academic literature on violent extremism, women remain among the most important potential actors and participants in countering violent extremism (Naraghi-Anderlini 2007; USAID 2015). Given their proximity to a community’s youth – as mothers, caretakers, and teachers – women are perhaps best placed to identify and predict vulnerabilities to violent extremism (Hearne 2009). Yet, for women to play a prevention role, they must be informed and empowered, within the broader community but also within the home. A mother might spot concerning behaviours in her sons or daughters, only to be silenced by her spouse. In many communities, the social isolation of women restricts interactions with authorities, including law enforcement, and reduces opportunities to air concerns outside the home. Not coincidentally, where such isolation dynamics predominate, violent extremist organizations enjoy greater freedom of movement and the means and opportunity to reach potential recruits without detection or resistance. 232

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There appears to be a positive relationship between female empowerment and the resilience of a state and community to violence and violent extremism (Couture 2014). Where women are not subjects, but agents of their own choosing, they are more likely to resist conservative violent extremist organizations, adding their voices to the chorus of opposition. Ample evidence supports this assertion. More gender-inclusive societies tend to be less violent (Caprioli 2005; Enloe 2007). Studies find that norms of gender equality within a state are associated with a range of attitudes and behaviours averse to violent conflict (Melander 2005; Tessler and Warriner 1997; Tessler, Nachtwey and Grant 1999). Conversely, gender inequality is correlated with a country’s likelihood to experience armed conflict (Hudson et al. 2012). The greater women’s access to political power, the lower the likelihood that a state will engage in interstate disputes and in war (Regan and Akeviciute 2003). Finally, states that are indifferent about enforcing their own laws that protect women are significantly more likely to fail to comply with international laws and norms (Hudson et al. 2012). In many societies, female empowerment programmes are fraught with risk, particularly where they are seen to overstep the cultural comfort zone of the community. Given their sensitive nature, gender-based interventions can unwittingly endanger participants and might play into the hands of violent extremist movements (Saucier et al. 2009; Chowdhury Fink and Barakat 2013). Where interventions are seen as intrusive, guided by outsiders, or a threat to local values, they might offend community members and contribute to the appeal of violent extremist movements’ recruitment narratives. Furthermore, there is rightly a good deal of concern among women’s rights’ defenders and feminists about the instrumentalization and securitization of women as tools within counterterrorism agendas. In spite of these very real risks, female empowerment3 programmes have the potential to transform both public and private spheres. In Morocco, a female imam programme has dramatically expanded the role Moroccan women play within the religious sphere, entrusting them to act as teachers, counsellors, and social service providers, and giving Islam a female face (Hearne 2009; Couture 2014). Such initiatives can also have important impacts within the home by giving women the confidence and competence to engage with spouses and children on issues. There are many examples of programmes that appear to be making progress. The US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Mali Transition Initiative (MTI) implemented community-level programmes that sought gradually to incorporate and empower women in the public sphere, and to shift popular attitudes toward women through cash-forwork programmes, theatre competitions, and the establishment of a community market garden. An evaluation of MTI found that public attitudes toward women had improved, and that these shifts correlated with a drop in support for violent extremism (USAID 2016). Micro-credit programmes in Bangladesh improved women’s status across a range of indicators, beyond greater access to financial resources: expanded social networks, a greater voice in household decision-making, and increased freedom of mobility (Pitt, Khandker and Cartwright 2003). In Nigeria, the Women without Walls Initiative (WOWWI) programme worked to prevent crime and extremism by providing women with the resources and knowledge to counsel at-risk youth. Participants said the programme helped them better understand their roles as mothers and women in preventing extremism (Okenyodo 2016). Finally, the international organization Women Without Borders offers a ‘Mothers School’ model. The programme supports local partners in delivering home-based workshops that offer income-generation programmes while also creating a safe space for women to discuss the risk violent extremism poses to their families and communities (Chowdhury and Barakat 2013). 233

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Of course, the challenge of preventing violent extremism cannot be placed solely at the feet of mothers and sisters. In most cases, such efforts will only be effective if they are integrated in regional engagements with a variety of governmental and non-governmental stakeholders. The impacts of individual programmes scale, in part, by conducting interventions that offer templates for collaborative, community-based action. In many (if not most) cases, such efforts must incorporate regional or national law enforcement actors. In Nigeria, the Women Preventing Extremist Violence (WPEV) programme trained women-led civil society organizations to better understand radicalization and how to prevent it – and also aimed to improve relations with local law enforcement. This is easier said than done. Just as expectations around masculinity and femininity can facilitate radicalization and recruitment, they can also complicate community prevention efforts. In a follow-on project to the WPEV programme, female participants found that male officers at local police stations did not welcome their outreach, potentially undermining future engagements (Okenyodo 2016). While this is not always the case, and the WOWWI programme experience with local police appeared to be more positive (ibid.), building opportunities for tangible cooperation between women’s groups and the formal authorities remains, in most cases, a steep hill to climb.

Conclusion Gender dynamics are central to understanding who fights and why. Hierarchies, social relations, and communal obligations are all highly gendered. They explain differences in power, inform motive, and structure the relationships among men and between men and women. Affirming these hierarchies is both an engine and aim of war. This is clear in the case of fundamentalist violent extremist organizations, for whom the policing of the female identity and body is both a tool and an end, a means by which gendered identities are mobilized, and a core purpose of the political programme where cycles of domination, protection, and obligation are observed, practised, and replicated. Fundamentalist violent extremist movements gain traction in no small part because they speak to desires and anxieties that are, for some, culturally resonant and highly personal. This has clear implications for policy. State-led efforts to counter violent extremism have been slow to appreciate how gender identities and gendered political narratives fuel violent extremist movements. Jobs training programmes aimed at diverting ‘angry young men’ from joining violent movements have been a popular remedy. Yet, transactional, market-oriented approaches to countering violent extremism have generally come up short. To the extent that economic investments and training programmes lead to growth in occupational opportunities (itself highly doubtful), the link between young men’s poverty and support for or participation in violent extremism seems far weaker than would appear to warrant longstanding policy and programming prescriptions (Fair and Haqqani 2006; Krueger 2008; Berman et al. 2011). Most efforts to counter violent ideologies – through ‘norms shaping’ narrative programmes and education efforts – appear to be similarly lacklustre in their results (Van Hiel and Mervielde 2003; Bartlett and Miller 2011). Why? In part, perhaps, because most programmes assume, explicitly or not, that violent radicalization is a straightforward intellectual choice, a weighing of various options, and therefore one that can be manipulated or shaped through a precise application of external pressures. This seems wrong-headed. Violent radicalization is a social experience. It hinges on personal and communal sources of meaning that are deeply gendered: how recruits view themselves and how they are viewed by others whose respect they crave. 234

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Efforts to counter violent extremism are perhaps bound to fail where they are not anchored in the social experiences that give violent ideologies resonance and meaning. Attention to the significance of gendered identities in these social experiences can help bridge that gap. Modesty is called for, however. Alternative sources of meaning are not easily manufactured, certainly not by spreadsheet development programs designed in Western capitals.

Notes 1 Interview conducted by Keith Proctor, April 2015, Salt, Jordan. 2 While there are a range of recruitment experiences, Sageman (2004) notes that recruits are often not simply passive ‘at-risk’ converts. Rather, admission to the ranks of a violent extremist organization offers a palliative to frustration and an opportunity to remake a dissatisfying world; an opportunity, in the words of a former ISIS recruit, “to make a society according to our values” (Proctor 2015b). 3 Indicators measuring relative levels of female empowerment might include: gender parity in school, the number of seats held by women in parliament, female unemployment and literacy rates, contraception use.

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Gender & countering extremist organizations McCauley, Clark and Sophia Moskalenko. 2010. ‘Individual and group mechanisms of radicalization’. Topical Strategic Multi-Layer Assessment (SMA) Multi-Agency and Air Force Research Laboratory Multi-Disciplinary White Papers in Support of Counter-Terrorism and Counter-WMD, January. Melander, Erik. 2005. ‘Political gender equality and state human rights abuse’. Journal of Peace Research 42(2):149–166. Naraghi-Anderlini, Sanam Naraghi. 2007. Women Building Peace: What They Do, Why It Matters. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers. Okenyodo, ‘Kemi. 2016. ‘The role of women in preventing, mitigating and responding to violence and violent extremism in Nigeria’. In Naureen Chowdhury Fink, Sara Zeiger and Rafia Bhulai (eds) A Man’s World? Exploring the Roles of Women in Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism (pp. 100–116). Abu Dhabi: Hedayah and Global Center on Cooperative Security. Peterson, V. Spike. 2007. ‘Political identities/nationalism as heterosexism’. International Feminist Journal of Politics 1(1): 34–65. doi: 10.1080/146167499360031. Pitt, Mark M., Shahidur R. Khandker and Jennifer Cartwright. 2003. ‘does micro-credit empower women? Evidence from Bangladesh’. Policy Research Working Paper, World Bank. Proctor, Keith. 2015a. Youth & Consequences: Unemployment, Injustice and Violence. Washington, DC: Mercy Corps. Proctor, Keith. 2015b. From Jordan to Jihad: The Lure of Syria’s Violent Extremist Groups. Washington, DC: Mercy Corps. Regan, Patrick and Idap Askeviciute. 2003. ‘Women’s access to politics and peaceful states’, Journal of Peace Research 40: 287–302. Available at (accessed 27 April 2018). Reinares, Fernando. 2011. ‘Exit from terrorism: A qualitative empirical study on disengagement and deradicalization among members of ETA’. Terrorism and Political Violence 23(5): 172–186. doi: 10.1080/09546553.2011.613307. Sageman, Marc. 2004. Understanding Terror Networks. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. Saghal, Gita and Nira Yuval-Davis (eds). 1992. Refusing Holy Orders: Women and Fundamentalism in Britain. London: Virago. Saltman, Erin and Melanie Smith. 2015. ‘“Till martyrdom do us part”: Gender and the ISIS phenomenon’. Institute for Strategic Dialogue. Available at uploads/2016/02/Till_Martyrdom_Do_Us_Part_Gender_and_the_ISIS_Phenomenon.pdf (accessed 27 April 2018). Saucier, Gerard, Laura Geuy Akers, Seraphine Shen-Miller, Goran Kneževié and Lazar Stankov. 2009. ‘Patterns of thinking in militant extremism’. Perspectives on Psychological Science, May: 256–271. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-6924.2009.01123.x. Sjoberg, Laura and Caron E. Gentry. 2007. Mothers, Monsters, Whores: Women’s Violence in Global Politics. London: Zed Books. Soussan, M. and E. Weingarten. 2014. ‘What really scares terrorists’. CNN, 26 December. Available at (accessed 27 April 2018). Tessler, Mark and Ina Warriner. 1997. ‘Gender, feminism, and attitudes toward international conflict’. World Politics 49: 250–281. doi: 10.1353/wp.1997.0005. Tessler, Mark, Jodi Nachtwey and Audra Grant. 1999. ‘Further tests of the women and peace hypothesis: Evidence from cross-national survey research in the Middle East’. International Studies Quarterly 43: 519–531. doi: 10.1111/0020-8833.00133. United Nations. 2009. ‘Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders’. UN Human Rights Council, 27, UN Doc. A/HRC/13/22, 30 Dec. Available at SRHRDefenders/Pages/SRHRDefendersIndex.aspx (accessed 27 April 2018). United Nations. 2016. ‘Report on best practices and lessons learned on how protecting and promoting human rights contribute to preventing and countering violent extremism’. Report of the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights, UN Human Rights Council, UN Doc. A/HRC/33/29, 21 July. Available at (accessed 9 May 2018). USAID. 2011. The Development Response to Violent Extremism and Insurgency. Washington, DC: USAID, September. Available at (accessed 27 April 2018).


Keith Proctor and Dyan Mazurana USAID. 2015. ‘People, not pawns: Women’s participation in violent extremism across MENA’. Research Brief No. 1, September. USAID. 2016. ‘Mali Transition Initiative (MTI): Evaluation of the impact of social networks in Gounzoureye Commune, Gao Cercle, Mali’. Washington, DC: USAID. USIP. 2015. Women Preventing Violent Extremism: Charting a New Course, Thought for Action Kit. Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace. Available at files/Women-Preventing-Violent-Extremism-Charting-New-Course.pdf (accessed 27 April 2018). Van Hiel, Alain and Ivan Mervielde. 2003. ‘The measurement of cognitive complexity and its relationship with political terrorism’. Political Psychology 24(4): 781–801. doi: 10.1046/j.1467-9221. 2003.00354.x. Van Leuven, Dallin, Dyan Mazurana and Rachel Gordon. 2016. ‘Analysing foreign females and males in the Islamic State in the Levant (ISIL) through a gender perspective’. In Andrea de Guttry, Francesca Capone and Christopher Paulussen (eds) Foreign Fighters under International Law and Beyond (pp. 97–120). The Hague: ASSER/Springer Verlag. Vidino, Lorenzo. 2015. ‘The role of non-violent extremists’. In Laurie Fenstermacher (ed.) Countering Violent Extremism: Scientific Methods & Strategies. Topical Strategic Multi-Layer Assessment and Air Force Research Laboratory Multi-Disciplinary White Paper in Support of Counter-Terrorism and Counter-WMD, July.



Gendered security practices


Introduction In (neo)liberal political discourses, the ideal subject is an independent Homo oeconomicus: a masculine, disembodied being, who is self-sufficient and self-caring, while knowingly making rational, utilitarian, and abstracted ethical choices for the common good of all. The liberal subject is an invulnerable individual, or at least well secured against any risks in life. He is never ill; he does not leak bodily fluids (because he seems not to have a body); and he never ages. Or, in case he does age, he does so actively and ‘successfully’, in ways that his body’s care needs would never gain control of his life: the life of a subjective, rational Self. Feminist social and political theory argues that these conceptions of political subjectivity are nonrealistic: such disembodied subjects simply do not exist (see Bacchi and Beasley 2002; Beattie and Schick 2013; Cohn 2014; Fineman 2008; Grosz 1994; Hoppania and Vaittinen 2015; Robinson 1999, 2011; Ruddick 1990; Shildrick 2002, 2012; Tronto 1993; Vaittinen 2015, 2017). While vulnerable embodiment is discursively associated merely with women, children, and the weak, the truth is that as human beings we all are bodies, and as such vulnerable, relational, and dependent. As political subjects we are perhaps meant to ‘own’ our bodies, to be in control of them and our lives. Yet, the bodies that our subjectivity inhabits might in fact both pre-exist and outlive the subjective ‘I’. We are intercorporeal: conceived, born, raised, and sustained by other bodies. We live - and die - in concrete relations with others. Thus, as opposed to being the self-caring ideal subjects of (neo)liberal politics, as bodies we are dependent, fleshy, and irrational. We are vulnerable, sometimes sick and dis/abled, every day in contact with our own bodily fluids - and frequently also with those of others. We are made of and sometimes governed by the fluids, bacteria, and hormones that move within, without, and between our bodies (see Fishel 2015; Irni 2013; Preciado 2013). Our lives are inherently frail. We start ageing and decaying the moment we are born. In other words, the fact of embodiment makes the liberal understanding of subjectivity ultimately an illusion. Nevertheless, global politics and its security policies and practices continue to build on the liberal conceptions of life. In other words, the contemporary security policies and practices tend to build on an illusion. In this chapter, I challenge these illusionary yet prevailing understandings of security through different accounts of embodied 241

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in/security. I begin the chapter with a discussion of feminist analysis of vulnerability. Here, I rely on accounts that emerge from the feminist ethics of care tradition (e.g., Robinson 1999, 2011), as well as Carol Cohn’s (2014) interrogation of vulnerability in international security discourses. Feminist conceptions of vulnerability and care challenge conventional security practices, and reveal them as unrealistic, by foregrounding the human beings’ existential dependency on each other for survival (e.g., Robinson 2011; Beattie and Schick 2013; Butler 2004). Yet, as I have argued elsewhere (Vaittinen 2015), they also rarely explicitly engage with the body organism and its materiality, which need be recognized if embodied in/security is to be taken seriously. In this chapter, I interrogate the body in more concrete terms. Here, I first show how embodied realities of human life have always been central in Feminist Security Studies, albeit usually in contexts of direct violence and hence in/securities external to the body. I then introduce the concept of the lowest common denominator of embodiment, which emphasizes the body’s need of care from other bodies and, while defying essentialism, is applicable to all living bodies at all times (Vaittinen 2017). Unlike in the usual security frames that begin with direct violence, in this conception, embodied in/security becomes defined through to the body’s most basic needs, which necessitate care relations with other bodies at times when we are corporeally incapable of being the liberal individual subjects that we are meant to be. In the concluding section, I juxtapose my conception of embodied in/security with the conceptions that seem to predominate security discourses more generally. I argue that, sometimes also in Feminist Security Studies, the empirical contexts of direct violence, war, and militarism easily (re)produce perceptions of embodied in/security that begin with the threats that bodies pose to other bodies. Here, in/secure bodies are primarily present as subjects and objects of violence, rather than as caring and in need of care. Consequently, the threats that the body, as an organism, poses to itself remain unaddressed. I argue that ultimately at stake here are two contending gendered ontologies of human relatedness through which security policies can be shaped: feminized dependency on other bodies’ care against masculine perceptions of the bodies of Others as primarily threatening. Both the conceptions of embodied in/vulnerability are profoundly relational, yet the security practices that they (re)produce are fundamentally different.

Existential vulnerability and the ethics of care Feminist literature (e.g., Fineman 2008; Beattie and Schick 2013) has emphasized the necessity to put vulnerability instead of liberal individualism at the centre of political discourses and practices, since vulnerability describes the condition of human life much more realistically than individual, rational autonomy does. This way of thinking is particularly present in the feminist ethics of care tradition, which provides a powerful alternative to liberal individualistic thinking about ethics, morality, and politics. Foregrounding the existential dependency of every human being on each other’s care for survival, feminist accounts of care can also forcefully challenge the conventional security thinking, by presenting the lack of care as a threat to human security (Robinson 2011). Feminist ethics of care argues that practices of care give rise to an alternative moral thinking, which is capable of realistically accounting for the situatedness of the moral subject (see, e.g., Tronto 1993; Robinson 1999, 2011; Ruddick 1990). Feminist care ethicists show how moral decisions are never made in a political void or behind a ‘veil of ignorance’, as in the Kantian tradition, but in concrete relations with particular others. Importantly, 242

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emphasizing practices of care as a source of moral and political relatedness, feminist ethics of care demonstrates how human existential vulnerability - that is, our dependency on care as well as our capacity to respond caringly - is a powerful site and source of politics rather than a realm external to it (Tronto 1993; Robinson 1999, 2011; Vaittinen 2015). In peace and conflict research, feminists have also argued that the kind of thinking that derives from care is capable of challenging militarism and customary thinking of global justice, while providing avenues to re-imagine just peace (Confortini and Ruane 2014; Forcey 1991; Bailey 1994; Ben-Porath 2008; Robinson 1999, 2011; Ruddick 1990; Tronto 2008; Held 2006, 2008). Of critical significance in this literature is Sara Ruddick’s book Maternal Thinking: Toward a Politics of Peace. Although she talks about mothering, and refuses to extend the argument to caring more generally, her account is closely related to the ethics of care. Ruddick argues that, since maternal practices are based on the preservation of life and fostering of growth and on the recognition of complex embodied relationality of human beings, the thinking that arises from mothering can be used as “an engaged and visionary standpoint from which to criticize the destructiveness of war and begin to reinvent peace” (Ruddick 1990: 12). Accounts such as Ruddick’s have been criticized for purporting essentialized imageries of ‘women as peacemakers’, or ‘women as caretakers’ (Forcey 1991; Duhan Kaplan 1994; Väyrynen 2010). These criticisms, however, seem to miss the point of feminist care ethics as an argument about the kind of thinking that caring elicits. Ruddick’s maternal thinking, or feminist care ethics more widely, is not an argument about what ‘women’ are. It is an argument about the epistemologies enacted by practices of care, which in turn can be conducted by genders of all kinds (Ruddick 1990: 40–41; Cohn 2014). Although care is frequently socially constructed as a female responsibility, this need not be the case. Indeed, to claim that care ethics automatically essentializes women as carers is not only incorrect, but also paradoxically risks essentializing care and dependency as feminine which, as shown below, has direct implications on the politics of vulnerability and in/security. Fiona Robinson (2011) in particular has challenged the liberal rights-based discourses of human security with an argument that derives from critical feminist ethics of care. Addressing questions such as gendered labour in the global political economy, humanitarian intervention and peace building (see also Tronto 2008; Held 2008), she draws attention to adequate care delivery as a central security concern for all human life. Consequently, Robinson challenges the perceptions that human security would begin and end at the protection of people against external threats of violence. Similarly Carol Cohn (2014: 52, citing Kirby 2006) points out that the predominant conceptions of human security are easily co-opted by “methodological individualism”, and hence by the fallacy that political subjects were autonomous individuals rather than dependent on one another. In her contribution to a symposium honouring Sara Ruddick’s life work (see Robinson and Confortini 2014), Cohn (2014) reads Ruddick’s Maternal Thinking as “a heuristic device” through which to rethink vulnerability in international security discourses. She points out that vulnerability is “one of the core concepts” in both politics of care as well as security, yet a “foundational contrast” is found in conceptions of “who or what is seen as vulnerable and in need of preservation” (Cohn 2014: 51, original emphasis). This question, she maintains, is of fundamental importance, since perceptions of vulnerability are highly consequential for the policies and practices of security. For Cohn (2014: 53) “the most important piece of the puzzle” is “the ways in which vulnerability is intensely gendered at the symbolic level”. This is particularly so in the predominant international security theory and practice, where human vulnerability is perceived 243

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as a matter of “vulnerable groups” only and thus “displaced onto a subset of humans”. Drawing on her empirical work at the UN Security Council (SC) as an observer of discussions on the SC Resolution 1325 on Women Peace and Security, Cohn demonstrates that vulnerability is frequently discussed at the SC, yet always with a reference to some Others. In these discussions, vulnerability is never attached to those responsible for gendered security practices. The same, of course, applies to much of liberal politics today, where decision makers and state officials are presumed to be invulnerable, rational minds. In security practices, however, the implications of such othering are far-reaching, since they fundamentally shape our gendered understandings of whose in/security is recognized and recognizable. First, not only is the concept of ‘vulnerable groups’ deeply gendered in practices of security, but it is also heteronormatively gendered to apply to (cis)women, who are inherently connected to the infantilized mass of womenandchildren-and-thedisabledrest. This shows in the framework of UNSCR 1325 (Cohn 2014: 61), but also in the racialized development agendas in the global South, where campaigns to invest in a girl for women’s financial empowerment are promoted as projects of global justice, even if they might, in fact, commodify women’s (re)productive bodies for the expansion of neoliberal capitalism (Wilson 2011; Roberts 2015). Such limited conceptions of gendered vulnerability also direct research and activism, as politically motivated funding instruments often require that researchers and NGOs focus their activities on ‘vulnerable groups’ that are explicitly defined as womenandchildren (and the disabled rest). Furthermore, when vulnerability is allowed for some but not others, only certain kinds of bodies’ vulnerability makes sense. Consequently, those who cannot - because of their sexed and racialized bodies for instance - appear as vulnerable in the predominant security discourses, seem suspicious and emerge as a threat. The wrong kind of vulnerable bodies appear as incomprehensible, and the ethical responsibility to secure needs of these ‘other others’ becomes blurred and denied (Ahmed 2010; see also Ahmed 2004). Here, the recent European political representations of young refugee men make a conspicuous example. Especially in the social media, but often also in the yellow press, male refugees are recurrently portrayed as ‘terrorists’ and lazy aliens, who forge asylum claims and come after a better social security system instead of staying in the conflict zones to defend ‘their’ womenandchildren at home. Simultaneously, they are represented as sexual predators and pathological rapists, and hence a threat to ‘our’ womenandgirls (Rettberg and Gajjala 2015). In security politics throughout Europe, such portrayals have been indirectly and post-factually used as justifications to curb migration and increase security measures at the borders and in public spaces - which further adds to the embodied insecurity of those identified as racial Others. Another example of such racialized embodied in/security is the recurrent police violence against black men and women in the US (see: Here, too, the racially differentiated and gendered body itself becomes a site of insecurity: potentially killable (rather than vulnerable) because marked by a difference associated with a threat to the public security (cf. Weheliye 2014). These examples show not only how “constructions of vulnerability have security effects” (Cohn 2014: 62), but also how security effects are constructed in relation to differentially sexuali(zed), gendered, and racialized bodies of the Other. Some bodies, such as womenandchildren-and-thedisabledrest, become othered in the liberal discourse through their hyper-vulnerability, whereas the vulnerabilities of other others are obscured by their threatening embodied appearance. Yet, as feminists have emphasized, all bodies are existentially vulnerable to life itself, and thus in need of care. I will return to this argument below, after a brief review of Feminist Security Studies discussions of the body. 244

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The body in feminist security studies: a review While otherwise useful for thinking about the politics of existential vulnerability, feminist ethics of care has rarely explicitly addressed the body. Here, Sara Ruddick’s Maternal Thinking is perhaps an exception, with its chapter-long discussion of the existential fleshiness of human life, its (inter)corporeal beginnings and endings (see Ruddick 1990: 185–218). Simultaneously in feminist analyses of security, the question of sexed and gendered bodies as well as their differential value has been a central concern. Carol Cohn (1987), for instance, has shown how the rational world of defence intellectuals in the nuclear age is constructed on a strangely dis/embodied discourse. Here, the targets of the war machinery are discursively constructed as female bodies, or body parts as instruments of penetrable sex, while simultaneously attention is diverted from what happens to real bodies in war. Also Cynthia Enloe’s work, beginning from Bananas, Beaches and Bases (Enloe 1989), has always analysed world politics as gendered, embodied, and situated practice (see also Pettman 1997; Agathangelou 2004). More recently, and building on existing work in feminist IR, Christine Sylvester (2012) has further emphasized that understanding war requires that we not only theorize war experiences, but study them ‘up’ from the concrete level of bodies. Lauren Wilcox (2015) in turn, in her award-winning book Bodies of Violence, has applied feminist social and political theory in IR to demonstrate how violence aimed at bodies operates as a creative force that shapes the limits of political subjectivity. Analysing empirical cases from drone warfare to suicide bombing to biometric technologies of surveillance, Wilcox demonstrates the multiple agencies that bodies of violence can take in international practices of in/security. Similarly, Jessica Auchter (2016: 12) calls attention to the agency of the dead body in security politics, as “a complex political form, both a human and a thing”. She argues that security politics always involves death, either in terms of its creation or its prevention, and therefore Security Studies would benefit from attending to the politics of “the global dead”. Feminist scholars have also analysed the global killing machines of the military as made of actual human bodies of soldiers. Examining British soldiers’ life in the armed forces, Victoria Basham (2013), for instance, provides a thick ethnographic account of the army, where the embodied everyday is temporally as well as spatially co-constituted with geopolitics. She shows how the heteronormative, gendered, and racialized logics of the military make possible certain kinds of politics of life, which helps to define the subjects and objects of war, while making it possible for liberal states to wage war against the ‘illiberals’. For Basham, such biopolitics takes place through what the soldiers are and do as gendered and racialized bodies, while intra-acting with other bodies and the world. Thus the soldier’s body is both a concrete (and indeed often insecure) site and instrument of governance, through which the British nation and position in the world become (re)produced and reiterated. Aaron Belkin (2012) shows how military masculinity is (re)produced through a concrete sexual moulding of the soldiers’ bodies into something more complicated than the hypermasculine and non-feminine. Belkin argues that the US soldiers are not simply produced as masculine bodies, as is commonly understood. Rather, through concrete and often violent practices conducted by and on their bodies, the soldiers are systematically governed as the split in-between of heteronormative gender dichotomies. Belkin shows, for instance, how in the military academy “men rape each other ‘all of the time’” (2012: 79), and how the practice of male–male rape cannot be reduced to the heterosexual dominance of and feminization of bodies that are violently penetrated. Instead, when there are systematic practices where the victims are forced to sexually penetrate the anuses of their gang-rape perpetrators, 245

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or when the perpetrators give forced blow-jobs to their victims, the heterosexual orders on which the military presumably relies is confused in fundamental ways. Belkin’s central argument is that, coupled with the politics of silence, such violent governance of soldiers’ sexual identities institutes confusion within the military, which in turn makes militarized bodies more docile and compliant instruments of the global warring machine of the US Empire. In her research on wartime sexual violence against men in the Great Lakes region in Africa, Élise Féron has made similar findings. Based on in-depth research and interviews with both victims and perpetrators, Féron argues that sexual violence against men is not simply about feminizing and dominating the victim. Rather, it is about violent, embodied manipulation of the wider social order, orchestrated through the manipulation of the sexual relations and identities of people and communities in the micro-level (Féron forthcoming; see also Solangon and Patel 2012; Baaz and Stern 2013). Belkin, Féron, and others underline the ways in which the in/secure body exposed to violence is both a site and an instrument for the governance of wider social orders. This is perhaps particularly so when the governmental violence takes place in ‘taboo’ realms of life, which confuse the heterosexual social norms that lie in the heart of liberal thinking (see McRuer 2006). As a whole, the above discussion shows how feminist accounts have brought the body to the centre of security analysis, exposing how differentially gendered and sexed bodies are asymmetrically exposed to violence, while also asymmetrically identified as vulnerable. Nevertheless, it seems that in much of feminist security analyses, too, embodied in/security is primarily analysed through bodies of violence. This is probably due to the traditional empirical interest of Security Studies in direct violence, war, and militarization. I believe that, while such an approach does recognize the body as existentially vulnerable and insecure, it does so only partially. Namely, when vulnerability is understood as the ability “to be wounded, painfully transformed from outside” (Hutchings 2013: 25, my emphasis), embodied in/security becomes understood mainly in terms of violent threats that are external to the body. Yet, to challenge the malestream accounts of (dis)embodied in/security, the body’s vulnerability to life itself must be acknowledged as well. At this point, it is thus perhaps necessary to ask what the human body is.

The lowest common denominator of embodiment The body is ontologically multiple, which means that it is many things at the same time (Mol 2002). Feminist social theory, for instance, has examined the body as inscribed and discursively (re)produced (Grosz 1994, 1997; Dallery 1992; Butler 1993), but also as that which writes the world (Kirby 1997; Vaittinen 2017). The body is internally governed by gendered sex hormones, organic and synthetic alike (Irni 2013; Preciado 2013), while simultaneously home to other bodies such as microbes (Fishel 2015), or sometimes foetuses (Homanen 2013). As discussed above, the body is a vulnerable and destroyable target of violence, but also that which may violently destroy and explode the bodies of others (Wilcox 2015). The body is differentially grievable (Butler 2004) and dis/abled (Shildrick 2002, 2012; McRuer 2006). It is a gendered and sexual(ized) object of desire as well as trade (Agathangelou 2004; Penttinen 2008), while simultaneously subject to norms strictly tied to able-bodiedness and the twogender binary (Butler 1993; Smith 2013; Shildrick 2012; Repo 2015). The body is a space that extends toward other bodies, human and non-human alike (Haraway 1991), not only residing in space but also making space when exposed to/with other bodies (Manning 2009). The human body can be simultaneously all this, and much more. It is not possible, in the space of this chapter or a lifetime, to discuss all these complementary ontologies of the body. 246

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Below, I thus focus on elaborating a particular conception of the body that applies to all living human beings at all times. I call this concept the lowest common denominator of embodiment (Vaittinen 2017). Its definition begins with the fact that all human bodies as organisms have certain fundamental, material needs, which make human beings existentially dependent on care provided by other bodies. In addition to breathing, all human bodies need to be fed and hydrated, to digest, and get rid of excess fluids and excrement in an adequately hygienic way. When incapable of doing so independently, they need other bodies’ assistance in meeting these basic needs. In the course of a lifetime, this makes all human bodies dependent on care provided by other bodies. While there might also be other fundamental needs, I refer to nutrition, hydration, urination, defecation, and hygiene, because these needs apply to every single living/dying human body at all times, regardless of age, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, status, or any other attributes of identity or social position. Only at death are our bodies freed from this existential embodied dependency on other carnal beings – albeit even dead bodies tend to be subject to various practices of care, security, and governance (see Auchter 2016). Of course, one can argue against the existential dependency on care by saying that we do not need concrete care from others throughout and at each moment of our lives. Yet (from a secular perspective at least) it is a fact that we only have one life, tied to one body organism, which can be prosthetically fixed and enhanced but only to a certain extent. If we look at the entire life-course of our embodiment, or do the same at the level of populations, the periods of life when human beings are (presumably) independent from other bodies are limited to able-bodied adulthood (cf. McRuer 2006; Shildrick 2002, 2012). Taking this illusionary independent period of life as the norm leaves out innumerable lives, including our own lives at the times when we are frail, needy, and dependent. Yet, as shown by Cohn (2014) as well as by feminist care ethicists, in liberal politics and its security practices, invulnerability and independence are the norms, while those in need of care and protection are considered as exceptions. When human vulnerability is examined at the level of the lowest common denominator of embodiment, it becomes clearer still that, as for human bodies’ existential need of care, there are no exceptions, only difference. That all bodies are existentially dependent on care does not mean that all bodies would need the same care in the same way, or could demand it with the same power and the same ‘voice’. In the field of care needs too, there are power relations, with some vulnerable bodies being more powerful than others are, even as bare bodies in need of care (see Vaittinen 2015). This is because, in the prevailing material-discursive orders, some bodies are inscribed with value, eligibility to care and embodied security, while the care needs of others are turned into something incomprehensible and barely recognizable (Vaittinen 2017). Nevertheless, the body’s dependency on care given by other bodies is an ontology of human corporeality that, whether recognized or not, is present in all realistic ontologies of the body. It is the lowest common denominator.

Embodied in/security and its contending ontologies of relatedness It is notable that, on the level of the lowest common denominator, the body and its leaky care needs are not about the feminine. After all, if we only just focus on the fact that everybody must eat, drink, urinate and defecate, maintain an adequate level of hygiene, and need care from others when not capable of doing so independently, the lowest common denominator of embodiment marks a space where telling the feminine from masculine is not self-evident (Vaittinen 2017). This fact of life applies as much to (cis)women as it does to 247

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(cis)men, as well as to the various bodies that do not fall into either of the dichotomously defined gender/sex categories. Hence, as living organisms, our bodies are not only always latently dependent on care provided by other bodies, but also fundamentally queer. It is even more notable that, in the era of the Anthropocene, human bodies and their influence are literally everywhere, as are therefore their leaky, disgust-materialist needs. Indeed, the fundamental leakiness and filth of human embodiment is also present in the military. Belkin (2012: 125–172), for instance, has analysed the practices of filth and excremental self-control in the US army. Basham (2013: 87), in turn, uses the loss of excremental self-control in the battle-field as an example of how the soldiers’ bodies, however disciplined, might sometimes resist their utilization as the logistical vehicles of killing and being killed. She writes: In war . . . it is not at all uncommon for servicemen to tremble, to sweat, to piss themselves, to vomit, or to shit their pants when they come under fire. . . . When servicemen’s bodies do not perform as they have been disciplined to do, opportunities for puzzling out and critiquing how they are normally made intelligible become more apparent. My account of embodied in/security emerges from a very different empirical context from war and the military, namely the international politics of elderly care, and hence from social security rather than security ‘proper’ (Vaittinen 2017). Here, unlike in a context where the body loses excremental self-control when exposed to the direct violence of other bodies, the body’s existential leakiness denotes another type of relatedness with fellow carnal beings. This relatedness is about care, enacted by the body’s vulnerability to its own decay. As feminists have emphasized, this vulnerability – and the relatedness it necessitates with the Other – is something that just cannot be done away with. As argued above, from the most basic needs of the body (to eat, drink, urinate and defecate, and stay clean) follows that no human being can survive without care provided by other bodies. As in ethics of care, this inescapable neediness and dependency makes us always already latently related to and with other bodies - not antagonistically through the exposure to the embodied other’s violence as in many existing accounts of embodied in/security, but through care needs that only other human bodies can meet. Yet, whereas my lowest common denominator of embodiment emphasizes the body’s existential need of care from other bodies for survival, the traditional premise of Security Studies is equally true: all living bodies at all times can also be killed by other bodies. In this regard, it might well be argued that the conventional security paradigms, including a range of feminist accounts, rely on another lowest common denominator of embodiment, namely the body’s existential exposure to external threats of violence - the Hobbesian world. Both these conceptions of embodied in/vulnerability are fundamentally relational. When one begins with care needs, the relations between people/bodies are defined in terms of nurturing and sustenance of life, both of which are absolutely necessary for the sustenance of our species. When one begins with the threat of external violence, our vulnerable bodies’ relations with each other become defined antagonistically, through the threat that the Other might pose. Ultimately at stake here are two contending gendered ontologies of human relatedness through which security policies can be shaped: feminized dependency on other bodies’ care, against the masculine perceptions of the bodies of others as primarily threatening. Both the ontologies are true descriptions of human embodiment, yet the security practices that they 248

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(re)produce are fundamentally different. When embodied in/security is defined merely through the threat of violence that other bodies might pose, what emerges is a masculine conception of security that disregards the threats that each body organism poses to itself by its very life. In these, largely prevailing conceptions of embodied in/security, care-related questions such a disease, dis/ablement, birth, infancy, as well as the sheer decay of ageing, appear as lesser security concerns, as do the more feminized functions of the state and global politics, such as social and health security. Yet, existentially and from the perspective of the species, it might well be that our need of care from other bodies is more real and true at all times, than the threat of violence posed by the bodies of the Other. What might security policies and practices look like, if they were based on what bodies actually are, rather than fears of what they might be?

Conclusion Contemporary security policies and practices rely on a liberal, disembodied conception of human life, which is in many regards illusionary. In this chapter, I have shown how feminist analyses of care provide a convincing challenge to the hegemonic security discourses, by emphasizing vulnerability as an existential condition of human life. This literature rarely explicitly discusses the body in its material carnality, however, which Feminist Security Studies does, yet with a focus on direct violence that is external to the body. Consequently, in Feminist Security Studies, too, the body organism’s vulnerability to its very own decay becomes overshadowed as a question of everyday embodied in/security. In this chapter, I have presented a parallel reading of feminist care theorists’ contributions to Security Studies on one hand, and Feminist Security Studies discussions of embodied security on the other. Introducing the concept of lowest common denominator of embodiment, I suggest that the existential care needs of the body are inherent in all ontologies of the human body, and hence in all ontologies of embodied in/security. It is therefore crucial that care needs as a shared existential condition of human life be integrated in policies and practices of security, not just as an issue of ‘vulnerable groups’, or womenandchildren-andthedisabledrest, but as something that applies to each and every human being. As long as this is not done, security policies and practices continue to build on an illusionary understanding of human life - that is, on an illusionary understanding of that which they claim to protect.

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The question of gender and agency in the context of violence is a topic of much debate in feminist scholarship. The controversy lies in developing understanding of how violence is gendered without reinforcing gender stereotypes about women as passive victims and men as aggressive perpetrators, and to develop new understanding of how especially women use and enact agency in conflict and post-conflict settings. In this chapter I combine Feminist Security Studies with feminist research on violence in order to deepen understandings of how gender and agency can be understood in the context of violence. The objective of the chapter is to focus on how violence is gendered, how gender norms and normative notions of gender inform manifestations and practices of violence in public and private spheres, as well as to look for possibilities of agency in the midst of violence. My objective is to broaden the analysis of gender-based violence in Feminist Security Studies which focuses on large-scale gender-based violence in conflict areas (Baaz and Stern 2014; Gould and Agnich 2016) on the politics of gender-mainstreaming (Basu 2016; Pratt and Richter-Devroe 2011) by combining research on intimate partner violence (IPV) (Dobash and Dobash 1998; McKey 2005) in order to develop understanding of how the large-scale and small-scale manifestations are linked and reflect hierarchic gender orders. I emphasize that in the context of Feminist Security Studies it is important to recognize the connectedness of violence in the practices ‘out there’ and ‘over here’ especially if the research on conflict areas is done by scholars situated in the global North. The fact remains also that women and girls are disproportionately affected by genderbased violence globally (Meger 2015; True 2015) and that this violence is deeply reflective of male-domination, patriarchy and traditional gender relations (York 2011). The question that arises is about the possibilities to transform these oppressive structures which naturalize women’s subordination and manifest as various levels and degrees of violence. Is agency something that emerges after the conflict or experience of violence? Are women always passive victims? Or is violent resistance and participation in violent conflicts sign of emancipation, empowerment, and transformation of gender norms? In this chapter I hope to bring emphasis to the complexity of violence as an integral element to society and culture and in so doing broaden our understanding of what gendered agency is in the context of violence. The chapter is divided into three sections. First, I discuss the challenges in defining violence in feminist terms. Second, I focus on what violence is 252

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seen to say about gender and agency. Last, I argue for the recognition of agency of targets of violence and thus broaden our understanding of agency in the context of violence and how it can be supported. Thus, my approach is informed by feminist ethics of non-violence (Butler 2009) and I seek to challenge feminist scholarship which equates violence enacted by women as transformative of the normative violence of hierarchic gender order.

Challenges in defining gender-based violence in feminist terms How we define what is violence matters in terms of what kinds of acts and practices are understood as a violation and what kinds of practices are accepted as part of normal society. Feminist research on violence begins with the premise that the hierarchic gender order, which is based on normative heterosexuality and gender binary is in itself a practice of violence (McKey 2005; York 2011). Therefore, the heterosexual social contract which assigns women a specific gender role as mothers, nurturers, and caretakers naturalized by their biology is a practice of normalized discrimination (Karhu 2016). The binary gender order is named as a system of normative violence by Judith Butler (Karhu 2016; Butler 2009), a system that informs the manifestation of discrimination and diverse violent practices against women, gender and sexual minorities in a social order informed by compulsory heterosexuality. These include, for example, the pathologization of gender non-conformative persons and sexual minorities (Honkasalo 2016), medical procedures on intersex babies, and everyday practices of exclusion and discrimination against women and girls based on their role in the heteronormative social order. Violence against women in the context of normative violence of the binary gender order is a practice of maintaining that order through control and intimidation. It is important to understand that women and girls are not vulnerable because of their biology, but because the hierarchic gender order assigns women and girls to a subordinate position. What is important to note here is that the poststructuralist feminist approach (Butler 2004, 2009; Karhu 2016) maintains that the range of manifestations of violence such as war on terror, hate crimes, gender-based violence, IPV, and sexual abuse are not separate or distinct forms of violence. The basis of the diverse manifestations and practices of violence is the normative violence of hierarchic gender order. Therefore, violence against women in wars, for example, is not a spillover of war to the private sphere, but based on the normative violence which informs the public–private distinctions. Feminist research on violence against women in the global North emphasizes this connectedness (McKey 2005). Moreover, the practices of non-physical abuse such as coercive control, psychological abuse or threat of violence are seen as manifestations of the hierarchic gender order in feminist research (Lammers, Ritchie and Robertson 2008; Meger 2015). In this regard, the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention ISTA 2011) offers the most comprehensive definition of gender-based violence to date. First of all, it frames genderbased violence as “a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between women and men, which have led to domination over, and discrimination against, women by men and to the prevention of the full advancement of women” (p. 5). This refers to the challenges women face in terms of equal rights in civil society as well as direct and indirect violence toward women on the basis of their gender. What is notable here in this definition for Feminist Security Studies is that whereas the convention recognizes the increase in genderbased violence during and after armed conflict, it does not differentiate between violence against women in conflict areas and in areas of Western liberal democracies. 253

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The convention defines violence against women as a violation of human rights and a form of discrimination against women and shall mean all acts of gender-based violence that result in, or are likely to result in, physical, sexual, psychological or economic harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life. ISTA 2011: 8 What is relevant here is that the Istanbul convention identifies for the first time psychological violence and threats of violence as violence against women. This challenges the conventional distinctions between what is regarded as actual violence and what is regarded as a warning sign of violence to come. In this definition the threat of violence in itself is already defined as violence. In addition non-physical practices of coercive control of women in the private sphere are to be taken seriously as large-scale physical violence against women in the public sphere such as during conflicts. The mundane and often disregarded IPV is seen here as a manifestation of gender-based violence that is often normalized as part of heterosexual relationships. Men’s rights organizations have already reacted strongly against this as it is seen to threaten the power relations in heteronormative relations. Therefore, the objective is not only to react and respond to violence after the fact, but to prevent violence and transform discriminatory gender order. The boundary between normalized and extreme forms of gender-based violence may also be reiterated in feminist research which prioritizes gender-based violence of scale in conflict settings as indicative of the problem (Gould and Agnich 2016) and simultaneously distances the practices of gender-based violence in the context of the private sphere. McKey (2005) emphasizes that this emphasis on gender-based violence in conflict areas reflects the conventional understanding according to which violence in the public sphere is regarded as unacceptable, whereas violence in families and in the privacy of homes is left untouched or less relevant. McKey (2005: 17) argues that even though one in four women in Britain experiences violence during their lifetime by men known to them, this does not raise as much public discussion as the violence perpetrated by strangers in public places does. This reflects the implicit assumptions about what is considered as unacceptable violence at societal level and what kinds of violence are seen as up to partners in adult relationships to figure out on their own. This refers to the level of responsibility for individuals who are targeted by violence. The partner who is abused in an adult relationship can be seen as responsible for ending the abuse and the relationship, whereas in the context of large-scale violence the targets are not seen to have such possibilities. Or IPV can be seen as a problem of personal psychopathologies such as narcissism or continuation of violence from the family of origin (Elmquist et al. 2016) and thus fundamentally different from systematic violence such as rape as a strategy of war. Moreover, violence in the privacy of the home and family might be seen as violence as a normal part of relationships (Velonis 2016). But if violence in public and private spheres is seen as manifestations of hierarchic gender order, IPV can also be seen as a large-scale manifestation of violence, albeit it takes place in the private sphere. Feminist phenomenological research on violence (Crann and Barata 2016) challenges the prioritization of large-scale physical violence over mundane practices of gender-based violence by building the definition of violence on the basis of how it is experienced. Thus this approach challenges the role of the academic expert as the one who gets to decide what violence is and what it means. Moreover, the feminist phenomenological approach to 254

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violence highlights how violence cannot be reduced to the violent event and does not have a clear beginning or ending for the target. A person who has been abused and violated carries the sense of being dirty or different from others long into adulthood (Ronkainen 2008). The experience of violence is deeply transformative. It challenges core beliefs of a person in their own sense of self, goodness in others, capacity to trust other people and society (Penttinen 2016). Experience-based research shows that targets of violence name psychological abuse and living under fear as more harmful than the direct physical violence.

What does violence say about gender? As explained above, feminist research on violence is informed by the premise that genderbased violence reflects structural gender hierarchy. However, the controversy lies in understanding what violence says about gender. How do we account for the fact that women are disproportionately affected by gender-based violence during conflicts and not reiterate essentialist notions of women as passive victims? Recently, in the discussion on gender-based violence, the inclusion of how men and boys are affected by these practices enables us to broaden the scope of who is affected (Kirby and Shepherd 2016). This means recognizing how men and boys are targeted in gender-specific ways during conflicts and in the context of militarism. In addition, the analysis of hazing practices and sexualized torture enables one to see how gender norms and normative notions of gender concretize in the context of male victims of gender-based violence. Thus the objective is to broaden the understanding of gender-based violence as something that affects mainly women. Agency appears as something that emerges after the conflict in the form of activism (Hill, Aboitiz and Poehlman-Doumbouya 2003; McLeod 2015) or the diverse social roles that women take in conflict resolution (Cockburn 2007). Another approach that challenges the binary opposition between women as targets of violence and men as perpetrators, which informs much research on gender and violence, is a focus on women as active perpetrators of violence (Sjoberg and Gentry 2007). Henshaw (2016) argues that critical study of men and masculinities also reinforces gender stereotypes as it focuses on the critical study of men in the context of terrorism and militarism. For example, hypermasculinist male culture and hegemonic masculinity are seen to inform men’s choices to participate in violent conflicts. This is problematic, as women’s roles in the same violent conflicts are ignored as well as underestimated. Moreover, women might have their own reasons and motivations to join which are not reflective of stereotypical gender roles. Indeed, women who participate in conflicts as perpetrators of intimate and extreme violence are seen as challenging gender norms (Hassani 2016) and having agency (Brown 2014). Yet, such arguments do not mention whether targets of violence transform gender norms. The gender of active perpetrators and passive victims is also a source of much debate in the literature of IPV. The challenge has to do with acknowledging the fact that the majority of IPV is still perpetrated by men toward women known to them (McKey 2005; Dobash and Dobash 2004) and recognizing how women use violence against men in heterosexual relationships. In the context of research on IPV, a critical perspective to feminist research on violence is called ‘gender symmetry’ or the family violence approach (Johnson 2006). This approach contends that violence in the context of intimate relationships is perpetrated by both genders approximately equally. Feminist research on violence has traditionally gathered data from women’s shelters, court cases, reports to the police, first-person accounts of survivors and from anti-violence organizations both at national and international level 255

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(Dobash and Dobash 2004; McKey 2005). The evidence shows clearly that domestic and gender-based violence is, for the most part, perpetrated by men and targets women known to them. On the other hand, the family violence uses statistical analysis based on survey data from large generalizable samples (Velonis 2016). Both approaches accuse each other of methodological biases. What is relevant here is how research design and methodology, in addition to the definition of violence, influence research outcomes. Johnson (2006) emphasizes that the general surveys are not apt to measure the kind of systematic coercive control, which is telling of IPV in heterosexual relationships (Anderson 2009). Instead, the surveys mainly ask questions about situational violence, such as throwing objects at a partner, or using physical force or verbal abuse during heated arguments, and show that there is a gender symmetry in the respondents who use such practices (Velonis 2016). However, such situational violence is different from the practice of what Johnson names as ‘intimate terrorism’; such practices are systematic acts of coercive control in heterosexual relationships. Intimate terrorism refers to a practice where the target is terrorized into subjecting to the perpetrators will by systematic acts of coercive control, isolation of the target, financial control, intimidation, manipulation, and blame-shifting. Moreover, these practices are reflective of the normative heterosexual gender order; the targets are controlled in terms of dress and appearance, the cleanliness of the house, and parenting (Alaggia and Vine 2006; York 2011). Women do retaliate against such practices of coercive control with violence, either as a means to break free, to defend themselves, or defend their children. On the other hand, women who reported using violence because they were angry reported doing so without much guilt or remorse about their actions (Velonis 2016). This does not imply, however, that there is a gender symmetry to violence in families and heterosexual relationships. I am concerned with the feminist theorizing on violence in which there is a tendency to equate violence with having agency (Sjoberg and Gentry 2007; Hassani 2016) as a means to transform gender orders. I find these arguments problematic because they do not challenge the normative violence of binary gender order. Rather, these challenge the boundary between binary opposites by also including women in the category of those who can dominate and discriminate against others. It is a matter of shifting power relations within the context of normative violence, but not about transforming the implicitly violent power structure. Women who use violence challenge gender stereotypes and, perhaps, gender roles in relationships and institutions, but this is different from transforming the gender norms. Emphasis on violence as agency reinforces the category of the victim as passive, feminized other. The challenge here is to rethink what agency is, what the real consequences of violence are, and recognize how agency is not the binary opposite of being a victim, nor something that victims might gain after the violent conflict or relationship has ended. In practice this means destabilizing the category of the victim as ontologically passive and thus without agency. Moreover, it means redefining vulnerability as integral to being human (Butler 2004; Salamon 2010) instead of weakness. Emphasizing the use of violence enforces the prioritization of masculine subjectivity by the argument that ‘also women’ can enact harsh violence and thus be recognized as subjects. For the targets of systematic and patterned abuse, these arguments would hardly make any sense, whether they were male or female. Therefore, the level of abstraction in theorizing gender, agency, and violence can lead to a dystopian worldview in which the use of violence is seen as a positive force and a sign of gendered agency without much compassion toward the feminized others who are victimized, violated, and hurt in return. 256

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In the next section I discuss further how recognizing agency in the midst of violence can enable moving beyond the binary opposition between active perpetrators and passive victims in order to pave the way for feminist ethics of non-violence (Karhu 2016; Butler 2009). Therefore, in order to recognize gendered agency in the context of violence, it is crucial also to look for how agency is enacted into being in non-violent ways.

Possibilities for agency in the midst of gendered violence The experience of violence is deeply humiliating and transforms the sense of self of the target and their sense of belonging to a community (Penttinen 2016). Moreover, cultures and societies that value individualism, strength, heteronormative heterosexual relationships, and the pursuit of happiness, reinforce also the sense of shame that is the result of experience of violence. In my own research with women who had lived in abusive relationships,1 the reasons that made them stay longer in the relationships included having to admit to themselves and others that the abuse happened to them. As one of the respondents mentioned, “I did not want to be one of ‘those’ women” referring to being an ‘abused woman’ as a sure sign of bad judgement, being stupid enough to fall for the wrong guy, or too subjugated to leave. It is also difficult to admit that one’s partner is abusive and the shame associated with being involved with a man who uses violence. This might have resulted in rationalizing and minimizing diverse forms of abuse as part of the normal relationship or not ‘bad enough’ to take action to leave, and reflects the valorization of strength and responsibility at the expense of one’s own safety. In this section I focus on recognition of agency during the process of seeking help and support and seeking justice for the violence. My goal is to destabilize the category of the victim as a passive, feminized other and broaden the understanding of agency in the context of gender-based violence. Agency is understood here as both process and actions that lead to change and transformation. Therefore, agency is different from taking action that might or might not lead to change. We know agency from the outcome of the action and not on the type of action that is taken. I have argued elsewhere (Penttinen 2016) that the process of transforming trauma should be regarded as a sign of agency as it leads to change and transformation at a personal level. Here, I focus on the actions and processes that targets of violence have taken that have led to a change in their situation. Recognition of agency in the midst of gendered violence means, first of all, paying attention to how the targets of violence are able to transform their situations and seek help, support, and justice. These can be, for example, disclosing the experience of violence, making formal or informal reports, taking necessary steps to leave the relationship, and making a safety plan. Or, these can be the actions of individual peacekeeper, security agent, or police officer who helps a target of violence even beyond their own job description (Penttinen 2013). Therefore, the difficulty of recognizing agency in the midst of violence and oppressive conditions might only be a problem of level of analysis. When the focus is on large-scale violence, such as war, it is difficult to discern how individuals are able to transform their situation, heal and recover as well as support each other. Including also research data that focuses on the level of lived experience can broaden the perspective to recognize the ways in which there is already agency within contexts of violence. What does it take to really make changes once a person has been systematically violated? Turning attention to healing and recovery as a relevant object of research in the context of Feminist Security Studies is therefore not a practice of denying violent practices and structures, but opening toward the individual experience of violence with a strong sense of 257

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validation. This includes the validation that during violence the person who is the target is victimized and rendered helpless. At that moment they were not able to defend themselves. It is crucial to understand that such an experience results in debilitating shame and self-blame (Crann and Barata 2016) and it takes courage and strength to break from the internalization of the message which normative violence induces in the victim. Therefore, reporting violence should not be taken for granted. As there is a tendency to blame the victim for sexual assault or challenge their credibility, there is a social risk for the victims of sexualized violence to make an official report of the crimes done to them. According to Carretta, Burgess and DeMarco (2016), women who made a formal report of rape to the police received negative social reactions. For example, in the US, only approximately 50 per cent of rape cases were formally reported to the police in 2008 and only 24 per cent of the reported cases led to consequences for the perpetrator of violence. This means that making a formal report does not necessarily lead to justice, but more likely results in hostility toward the victim, adding another layer of suffering to her experience. Ronkainen (2008) calls this the culture of postmodern harshness, referring to the responsibility placed on the victim for her own victimization. McKey emphasizes (2005) that discriminatory gender order is enabled and maintained in the global North by distancing gender-based violence as something that is a symptom of non-democratic and Islamic societies. This adds a level of responsibility for the individuals in liberal democracies to be able to individually assess the risks in public and private spheres in order to ensure their own safety. If being victimized is the result of misjudgement on the part of the target, of her incapacity to assess the risks, then being violated is indeed deeply shameful. This adds shame to the target of violence for the fact that they were not able to prevent, defend, or protect themselves during the event, or they might be regarded as naive or weak. Carretta et al. (2016) explain that the key factor that contributed to healing and social adjustment of the rape victims in their study was being believed and listened to. In opposition to formal reporting, informal disclosure of the experience of violence enabled the victims to heal. In practice, this means that their victimization was also validated and that they were seen and heard. This was helpful even if the abuse occurred in childhood and was disclosed much later in adulthood. The validation of violence means turning toward the experience of violence with compassion and without the need to fix it or change it for the person (Germer and Neff 2015). This is a practice of stripping the cultural negative connotations of victimhood and reducing the sense of shame which is a consequence of violence. Paradoxically, validation of the fact that the person was victimized in gender-specific ways was key to supporting their agency and recovery. It enabled the target of violence to recognize that the harm done to them was violence, and something that was not in their control or their own fault. Letting go of self-blame and shame also opens the possibility to take necessary steps to improve one’s situation and make lasting changes, which are indeed signs of agency. Crann and Barata (2016) argue that we need new ways of understanding resilience by researching how women who have been the target of violence define what resilience means to them and what actions they expressed as forms of resilience. Such forms of self-proclaimed agency were, for example, telling someone, reporting the abuse to the police who actually were able to help, making a safety plan with the help of a support organization, leaving the relationship even though this meant financial difficulties and, further on, participating in support groups, offering help to other victims of violence. These examples show that resilience and agency is the capacity to action which leads to changing circumstances. Moreover, it shows how agency of a person emerges in relationship with supportive people. Agency is not something that someone either has or does not have. It can be evoked with support from 258

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others and enacted into being even against all odds. Recognizing agency in this way enables to us move beyond the conceptualization of violence as agency and transformation of gender norms. Moreover, agency is something that can be supported in the validation of violence by formal organizations. This means also willingness of persons working in institutions such as police, the judicial system, social work, development aid, health care, and other agencies who come into contact with people who have been targets of violence to really recognize and validate their experience. This is a challenge because the people working in these services might also hold onto cultural constructs that normalize certain levels of violence such as coercive control in heterosexual relationships or fear and intimidation as simply warning signs of violence and not actual violence. In this regard, I also want to emphasize that academic scholarship in Feminist Security Studies can be a practice of violence validation as well. Recognizing the agency that is already present in the midst of violence enables us to open up to the complexity of lived experience and move beyond the normative violence of binary gender order. Therefore, there is a direct link between the capacity to validate how violence hurts and understanding what agency is. How we define what kinds of actions and events are regarded as unacceptable and violent is, on the other hand, linked with how targets of violence can recognize what has been done to them as unacceptable and wrong instead of being a normal part of patriarchal power relations. In this process the academic scholarship on research on violence in the context of Security Studies can play a crucial role. It is about being accountable to the millions of people who are affected by gender-based violence on a daily basis; those who are close and those who are in distant locations. It is a matter of recognizing how the women, men, and sexual and gender minorities already enact agency in their everyday life, how they are able to influence change regardless of the outside conditions and often bleak circumstances. Therefore, the recognition of agency in the midst of violence can be a practice that enables the strengthening of these processes for the victims of violence, instead of being a practice that enforces and reiterates the normative notions of shame and weakness associated with the experience of violence.

Concluding words In this chapter I have shown how gender-based violence is not something that happens only ‘somewhere else’ or to ‘someone else’ but that it is part of everyday life in societies both in peaceful democracies as well as conflict areas. I have explained how conceptualizing agency in the context of violence is difficult because the debate on how violence is gendered often masks or renders invisible the agency of the persons who have been the targets of violence as well as the people in national and international organizations who, in practice, offer help and services to people who have been violated. Instead the focus turns to discussing what violence says about gender and can lead to problematic conclusions that see violent resistance or participation in conflicts as the salient forms of agency and thus leave the category of the passive victims intact. My goal has been to show that even a small step taken to transform a violent situation should be recognized as agency, because it takes enormous courage to challenge the practices of violence that emerge out of hierarchic gender order. Moreover, the validation of this violence as real, harmful and something that hurts for a long time is in itself a practice that can support the process of healing and recovery and enhance personal and social transformation. 259

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I want to emphasize that gender-based violence emerges out of the normative violence of a binary gender order that informs cultures and societies globally. To create new understandings of gender and agency in the context of Feminist Security Studies we need to develop a meta-analysis of violence, which recognizes how gendered violence here and elsewhere are reflective of the same system of power. This approach opens the conceptualization of agency toward practices that transform normative gender orders and not only change power relations between genders. In addition we need to develop further experienced-based research, which builds the understanding of agency from the perspective of targets of violence themselves and what enacting and embodying agency is to them. Such a multifaceted approach enables us to recognize agency in non-normative ways and in unexpected places, which can be easily overlooked if the focus remains solely on gender discrimination and gendered disempowerment, or violence as agency. Violence is a complex phenomenon that cannot be distanced to faraway places, to other families, or to other men and women who perpetrate violence, but is entangled in our everyday practices. We need to be ready to look directly at how violence is configured in our everyday lives, in the lives of people close to us, in our own neighbourhoods and workplaces, and build an active practice of validation and resistance in alignment with feminist ethics of non-violence in order to transform the ontologically violent normative gender order.

Note 1 This research project involves moderating online support groups and interviews with targets of IPV in collaboration with Women’s Line, a non-governmental organization which offers counselling and support to women who have been targets of IPV. The research is funded by University of Helsinki three-year grants.

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