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Based on analysis of military do. Foreign Security Policy, Gender, and US Military Identity. Authors Part of the Gender and Politics Series book series ( GAP).
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He founded the Asian-American Political Alliance, an organization philosophically influenced by the works of Chairman Mao and the Black Panther movement.

Theorising feminist foreign policy

But no one voted on this, and the people who were directly affected—those being shoehorned into such groups—were initially reluctant. The record on this is long. In his history of the era, the Minority Rights Revolution, University of California San Diego Professor John Skrentny vividly depicts how top-down and undemocratic the genesis of identity politics was.

The images of the minority rights revolution are mostly of mainstream Euro-American males and minority advocates, wearing suits, sitting at desks, firing off memos, and meeting in government buildings to discuss new policy directions. And therein lies the rub. On the issue of what constitutes a nation, a Socratic dialogue would turn on what binds people together for a common purpose. What convinces people to form a nation?

Would a New Draft Solve Military Inequality? - Michael Desch

And who made this claim? In contrast, what the other side has to offer is an arrangement by different identity groups to engage in power-sharing and collaborate in the public sphere, while returning to their respective primal attachments at night. Can a free society long endure that arrangement? John Stuart Mill, observing the cosmopolitan, multicultural Habsburg Empire of his day, does not believe it can. As immigrant communities reach a certain scale, they tend to become self-sufficient and no longer need connections to groups outside themselves.

Defenders of liberal democracy should acknowledge that controlling borders is a legitimate exercise of sovereignty, and that the appropriate number and type of immigrants is a legitimate subject for debate. Denouncing citizens concerned about immigration as bigots ameliorates neither the substance nor the politics of the problem. Galston is right on his last point, too.

A debate without rancor on the benefits of and concerns with immigration would not be possible if politicians from both sides make hyperbolic statements from opposite directions.

Theorising feminist foreign policy - Karin Aggestam, Annika Bergman Rosamond, Annica Kronsell,

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Renewable Energy. Crime and Justice. Election Integrity. Without gender analysis, attempts to untangle and understand the symbolic value and meaning of WMD are incomplete and inadequate. Some brief examples illustrate this important dimension. When India exploded five nuclear devices in May , Hindu nationalist leader Balasaheb Thackeray explained "we had to prove that we are not eunuchs".

An Indian newspaper cartoon depicted Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee propping up his coalition government with a nuclear bomb.

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Images such as these rely on the widespread metaphoric equation of political and military power with sexual potency and masculinity. Political actors incorporate sexual metaphors in their representations of nuclear weapons as a way to mobilise gendered associations and symbols in creating assent, excitement, support for, and identification with the weapons and their own political regime; in other words, the symbolic gendered dimensions of nuclear weapons are not trivial; they are an integral part of accomplishing domestic and political objectives.

That a nation wishing to stake a claim to being a regional or world power should choose nuclear weapons as its medium for doing so is too frequently characterised as "natural": advanced military destructive capacity identifies a state as powerful. The "fact" that nuclear weapons are being instituted as the currency for establishing a hierarchy of state power is unremarked, unanalysed, and taken for granted by most analysts.

By contrast, feminist theory, using a historical and post-colonial lens, is better able to understand nuclear weapons' enshrinement as the emblem of power not as a natural fact, but as a social one, produced by the actions of states. Thus, when the United States, with the most powerful economy and conventional military in the world, acts as though its power and security are guaranteed only by a large nuclear arsenal, it creates a context in which nuclear weapons become the ultimate necessity for, and symbol of, state security. And when the United States or any other nuclear power works hard to ensure that other countries don't obtain nuclear weapons, it is creating a context in which it is perceived as keeping other nations down, to subordinate and emasculate them - to render them eunuchs!


Balasaheb Thackeray did not invent the meaning of India's nuclear tests out of thin air. The ways in which ideas about gender are embedded in ideas about WMD matter for two central reasons. Firstly, ideas about gender serve to shape, limit and distort the very discourses - both professional and political - that have been developed to think about WMD, and so have political consequences that have a crucial bearing on our efforts to try to achieve disarmament and non-proliferation.

Secondly, ideas about gender also shape, limit and distort the national and international political processes through which decisions about WMD are made.

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Ideas about strength, protection, rationality, security and control have a critical impact on governmental and intergovernmental policy, as well as functioning at a large-scale societal level, where a certain notion of aggressive masculinity is equated with human nature, as in the phrase "disarmament would be nice but it's against human nature".

We must be aware of, and find ways to address, these gendered assumptions if we are to transform the intellectual and political processes that have so long impeded effective WMD disarmament. Ideas about gender shape, limit and distort professional and political discourses about WMD. We start with a true story, told to Dr. Cohn by a member of a group of nuclear strategists, a white male physicist:. At one point, we re-modelled a particular attack, using slightly different assumptions, and found that instead of there being 36 million immediate fatalities, there would only be 30 million. And everybody was sitting around nodding, saying, 'Oh yeh, that's great, only 30 million,' when all of a sudden, I heard what we were saying.

And I blurted out, 'Wait, I've just heard how we're talking - Only 30 million! Only 30 million human beings killed instantly? Nobody said a word. They didn't even look at me. It was awful. I felt like a woman. Why did he feel that way? First, he was transgressing a code of professional conduct.

Expressing concern about human bodies is not the way you talk within the terms of the strategic expert discourse, which is, after all, a discourse about weapons and their relation to each other, not to human bodies. But even worse than that, he evinced some of the characteristics on the "female" side of the dichotomies - in his "blurting" he was being impulsive, uncontrolled, emotional, concrete, upset and attentive to fragile human bodies.

Thus, the hegemonic discourse of gender positioned him as feminine, which he found doubly threatening. It was not only a threat to his own sense of self as masculine, his gender identity; it also positioned him in the devalued or subordinate position in the discourse. Thus, both his statement, "I felt like a woman," and his subsequent silence in that and other settings, are completely understandable.

To find the strength of character and courage to transgress the strictures of both professional and gender codes and to associate yourself with a lower status is very difficult. This story is not simply about one individual, his feelings and actions; it illustrates the role and meaning of gender discourse in the defence community. The impact of gender discourse in that room and countless others like it is that some things are excluded and get left out from professional deliberations. Certain ideas, concerns, interests, information, feelings and meanings are marked in national security discourse as feminine, and devalued.