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ARTICLE Feminism and the role of gender politics in International relations - Literature review Example

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Feminism and the Role of Gender Politics in International Relations This essay is about the correlation between feminist approaches and international relations. First, the essay will provide summaries of the reviewed articles followed by critiques of the articles and a conclusion at the end of the essay…
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ARTICLE Feminism and the role of gender politics in International relations

Download file to see previous pages... Issues between feminist and experts in international relations cannot be reconciled; the reasons could be that feminists and scholars of international relations are working on different realities and knowledge perspectives. Tickner states that silence occurs between feminists and IR women scholars because of their drawing on different realities and using dissimilar epistemologies. Some IR scholars refer to gender as “a category of analysis”. Gender differences must be appropriately understood with more constructive dialogues on both sides. In bridging the gap between feminist and IR scholars, Tickner focused on feminist answers to questions and ideas from ordinary IR scholars. Identified were three types of misunderstandings on the debate between feminists and IR scholars: 1) the misunderstandings about what gender means in personal conversations and actions; 2) the various realities or nature of things as expressed by feminists and non-feminists when they talk about international politics, considering that feminists also do not talk about the same subject matter of IR; and 3) the epistemological gap about the question that feminists do not deal with theory. Claims of gender neutrality in language are filled with masculinist assumptions. Feminists provide the meaning of gender with socially and culturally constructed words like “power, autonomy, rationality, and public,” words which belong to the masculine world. These words have opposites (weakness, dependence, emotion, and private) which refer to the feminine gender. Masculine characteristics are designated with positive values, and both masculinity and femininity are interrelated: to be called “a man” one must not exhibit “womanly” weaknesses. Martin Wight (1995 as cited in Tickner 1997) lamented the lack of international theories about Western philosophies because the international system was characterized with less intellectual and moral aspects. Wight’s thoughts had some significance in that feminists had problems with theories when referring to the international subject. Realist and feminist theories could not reconcile. IR scholars comforted with the Kantian tradition that promoted a healthy debate on social relations and not on anarchy. Linklater (1982 as cited in Tickner, 1997, p. 5) supported the concept that citizens should cooperate with other states to develop “free lives.” IR scholars posit that Kant’s philosophy on women depends on time which can easily be countered in a gender-sensitive world. Feminists believe that the Western philosophy is embedded with masculine traditions that cannot be depended upon in creating a gender-sensitive IR. Tickner concluded that feminists and IR scholars have never reached a point of agreement; instead, their conversations have always been misunderstandings about ideas and theories on feminism and international relations. Some of the reasons for their misunderstandings are the use of ontologies and epistemologies, but also on power differences. IR scholars do not know full well feminist approaches. Both sides have to settle their differences by means of constant dialoguing and understanding of the problems. However, feminists and constructivists can share the same ontology, although there are some differences. IR feminists see that gender and power should go together in the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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