Gender, Feminism, and War Theorizing

Authored by: Laura Sjoberg

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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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.

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