The State of Feminist Security Studies: A Conversation: Introduction

TitleThe State of Feminist Security Studies: A Conversation: Introduction
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsLobasz, Jennifer K., and Sjoberg, Laura
JournalPolitics & Gender
Date Published12/2011

A growing and evolving research program in "Feminist Security Studies" has been the subject of substantial debate in the field. Feminists studying security have critiqued concepts traditionally employed in the study of security, used gender-based perspectives to uncover new empirical knowledge, looked at the roles that women and gender play in combat and combat resolution, and brought attention to new or neglected subjects of security. Most work in Feminist Security Studies shares an understanding of what counts as a security issue and to whom the concept of security should be applied; an understanding of the gendered nature of many of the values prized in the realm of international security; a recognition of gender playing a broad and diverse role in the theory and practice of security; and a critique of the idea that work in security studies that does not address gender is somehow gender neutral. While the subfield designation "Feminist Security Studies" has become a popular referent for much of this work, the question of what the label means still merits exploration. These questions are crucially important, we believe, both for understanding feminist approaches to security and for situating them within (feminist) IR and security studies. The different contributors to this forum address these different questions, and come to them from different perspectives. [from author]

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