Feminist International Relations Theory

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The dominant discourses in international relations pay little attention to the roles and experiences of women. However, half of all human experience comes from women and to properly analyse the realities of our world, international relations theory needs to account for gender and sex. Feminist perspectives in international relations can do much to ameliorate the failure of established international relations theories to account for half of the human population. Accounting for gender in international relations can, in a positivist and post-positivist manner, provide crucial insights to international relations theory by challenging established assumptions and filling in the gaps of the current major theories. Feminist international relations …show more content…
Feminist international relations does deal with a substantial amount of empirical phenomena left largely unexamined by theories like realism, liberalism, and their rationalist counterparts, critiquing them from a positivist standpoint. Liberal feminists look at gender as an explanatory variable, comparing, for example, the rate of gender inequality with the use of violence internationally (Tickner and Sjoberg 2013, 209). Many feminist critiques are based on how international relations theory ignores empirical facts such as how women as civilians do not experience protection in war and how women are vulnerable to structural violence (Tickner and Sjoberg 2013, 212-214). Feminist constructivists examine how ideas about gender shape and are shaped by international politics, which can add to the post-positivist mainstream literature in international relations (Tickner and Sjoberg 2013, 210). However, much of contemporary feminist international relations tends to be more oriented toward the family of critical theory and its critiques of established schools of international relations attack their epistemological foundations rather than just their interpretation of empirical reality. Feminist post-structuralism perceive international relations as a largely masculine discipline that marginalizes women, some like Cynthia Weber argue that international relations privileges Western scientific ways over more multifaceted feminist perspectives (Tickner and Sjoberg 2013, 210; Weber 1994, 340). Although each perspective has their own contribution to offer, some feminist perspectives can provide more effective contributions to international relations theory than

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