Gender and Post-Conflict Reconstruction

Authored by: Laura McLeod

The Routledge Handbook of Gender and Security

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138696211
eBook ISBN: 9781315525099
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter considers some of the ways in which gender is informed and reproduced by processes and practices of post-conflict reconstruction. Feminist scholars have often pointed to the ways in which the ending of war is never quite clear-cut (Enloe 1993: 4; Handrahan 2004: 429–430), noting that the post-war moment holds potential for a positive or negative transformation of gender relations (Zarkov and Cockburn 2002). I build on these insights to take seriously the intersections between gender and the international, suggesting that this is crucial to a feminist analysis of a post-conflict context. As will become clear, ‘the international’ is a heuristic device used to make sense of a diverse, always precarious, and slippery group of actors. When talking about ‘the international’, I refer to the presence of a varied and incoherent range of international bodies (organizations, institutions, agencies, NGOs, bilateral donors, contractors, individuals, and so on) in post-conflict contexts. I draw on this heuristic device to allow a feminist analysis of how gender manifests in post-conflict reconstruction, and how this depends on the interactions between local and international actors.

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