Feminism In International Relations

2194 Words 9 Pages
While realists concern themselves with the balance of power system and liberals with the power of trade, interdependency and democracy, constructivists are most concerned with the power of ideas. For constructivists, political order arises from a shared understanding amongst individuals. In this, people’s understanding of their interests is shaped by the ideas that they adopt.

Constructivists argue that international reality is socially constructed. They are primarily concerned with the role of ideas in shaping the international system. Recognized from work of famous authors like Alexander Wendt and Katherine Sikkink, constructivists are interested in how ideas define international structures, and how international structures define the interests and identities of the state as well as non-state actors. Using Wendt’s theory as an example, he believed that ‘anarchy is what states make it’.
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Feminists are especially critical of the masculine characteristics of the state and its perpetuation of the patriarchy. They highlights the role of gender in conflict, as a source of conflict, and generally assume that increasing the role of women in governance will lessen the frequency of war and enhance peace. For feminist IR theories, like Anne Tickner and Mary Kaldor, conflict is tied to senses of masculinity, and gendered concepts, as well as to the relative absence of women in the decision to go to war. For feminist theorists, male aggression is the central cause of conflict. Femininity is viewed in parallel with maternal instinct, which feminists often tie to a sense of pacifism that can lead to peace. Overall, feminist IR theorists see militarized masculinity to be inherent in the social construction of the state, which they believe perpetuates the construction of a gender dichotomy in which devalues feminine

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