War as Experience: Contributions from International Relations and Feminist Analysis

TitleWar as Experience: Contributions from International Relations and Feminist Analysis
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsSylvester, Christine
Number of Pages149
PublisherRoutledge
CityNew York
Abstract

Christine Sylvester argues that non-feminist international relations (IR) studies fail to examine war as an embodied and emotional phenomenon. Until the recent rise of feminist security studies, feminist IR that did take bodies and emotions seriously has shrunk from studying war in all its aspects because the anti-militarist norms to which it subscribes make it "more comfortable studying peace rather than war". Expanding on her most recent forays into IR via artwork, feminist postmodernism and Zimbabwean women's struggles, Sylvester advocates for studying war as a social institution. She contends that to study war as a social institution requires an exposition of the elites who wage and finance war as well as those who directly experience the injuries of war "but are kept out of view" from the public. It also means that we must turn to more ethnographical approaches as well as plumbing literature and art to access the social, bodily and emotional experience of war.

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