Chapter 24: Abstract

Gender, Peace and the New International Politics of Humanitarianism in the First Half of the Twentieth Century

Glenda Sluga (University of Sydney, Department of History)

Abstract

This chapter examines the changing ideas of peace and their connections with the longer history of humanitarianism in the first half of the twentieth century, using gender as an analytical focus. In particular, it explores the international and internationalist contexts of the emerging peace movement and international humanitarianism and their changing character; the gender dimensions of peace-thinking and policies, especially in the context the League of Nations (found 1919) and the United Nations (founded 1945); and the ways in which feminism was a significant influence on the development of these two international bodies, even as women were sidelined in their operations. In the first half of the twentieth century, these international (inter-governmental) organizations had as their central rationale the taming of warfare. The chapter analyzes the extent to which, in each case, they contributed to institutionalization of new gendered international norms of pacifist and humanitarian activism.

Keywords

Feminism; Humanitarianism; Internationalism; League of Nations; Pacifism; Peace; United Nations; World War I and II; Gender; Women; Europe; United States.

In Part III: "The Age of the World Wars" of the Oxford Handbook of Gender and War since 1600.

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