Feminist Perspectives on International Relations

  • Citation: Tickner, J. Ann. "Feminist Perspectives on International Relations,” in Handbook of International Relations. (2002): 275-291.
    • Topics:
    • IR Theories
    • Keywords:
    • feminist IR
    • postmodernism
    • gender in development
    • gender in political economy
    • gendered security

Compared to the other social sciences, feminist perspectives entered the discipline of international relations (IR) relatively late – at the end of the 1980s. Asking why IR remained immune to gender for so long, Margot Light and Fred Halliday have suggested that IR scholars have tended to view gender as an intranational problem, irrelevant to international relations; international relations have been seen as ‘gender neutral’, which means that they can no more be about women than they are about men (Light and Halliday, 1994: 45). With its focus on the ‘high’ politics of war, the discipline has privileged issues that grow out of men’s experiences; we are socialized into believing that war and power politics are spheres of activity with which men have a special affinity and special expertise and that their voices in describing and prescribing for this world are, therefore, likely to be more authentic (Tickner, 1992: 4–5).

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