Feminism is a critical social and political movement who first emerged at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth with women's claims of equal rights in society and in the political sphere, with the right of vote. But now, since approximately the end of the 1980's, feminist theories have begun to appear in the realm of international relations underlying the fact that 'IR is one of the most masculinists of disciplines in its personnel and its understanding of states, wars and markets' . Therefore, they focus not only on the position of women but also on the notion of gender arguing that today's perception of worlds politic is distorted by a 'gender-lens' which perpetuates a system were men are advantaged.
But can these feminist approaches be relevant in the study of world politics? Do they provide effective explanations on current international relation's key issues and notions such are state, war or peace?
[...] Feminist theory is, thus, a post-positivist theory who tries to show how the power of gender as a value and valuing system, has kept women in a marginalized, subordinated, invisible position. 'Feminists thus reveal how women, activities associated with women, and/or constructs, identities, practices, and institutions associated with femininity are rendered invisible by IR's preoccupation with men and masculinities activities' . Therefore, feminists try to explain several issues and key notions of world politics in an alternative way. First of all, they argue that men and women's experience of the state are totally different and that state power ought to be explained through the constant exclusion of women from it. [...]
[...] Furthermore, another criticism that can be made against the introduction of feminist theory in the study of world politics is the fact that it remains an elitist thinking that only suits for academic researches and do not apply to the field of actions. This is particularly due, among other things, to a very specific range of ideas and vocabulary. Thus, ironically, one of the main critics of the feminists against mainstream understandings of IR is also use against them. Indeed, feminist theory denounces the ways in which the tool of language is used to serve a gendered way of looking at world affairs, but the concepts feminist scholars are using and how they express them is such complicated that it is difficult to understand for who is not first a feminist. [...]
[...] feminist theory, which has great impacts on the study of sociology for instance, has not succeeded in providing a solid, constructed theory in order to explain International Relations. Furthermore, as Kehoane has argued, feminists tend to lock on themselves in a far too critical position. According to him, 'implicit or complacent acceptance of the world as it is would rob the study of IR of much of its meaning', but, in the other hand, 'criticism of world, by itself, become a jeremiad, often resting implicitly on an utopian view of human potential' , so IR theories need to 3 provide a middle course between radical positions and placid acceptance of the status quo. [...]
[...] For instance, J.A Tickner , one of the main stand-point feminist scholar, has studied the 'Six principles of political realism', that continue to be the main theory of IR, as defined by H.Morgenthau , who argued that politics is govern by specific and objective rules through the concept of interests in term of power. Tickner not only showed that these rules and understandings of IR were dictated by men values and men understandings of world politics but she also proposed an alternative formulation of these principles starting from women's experience. [...]
[...] The first wave of feminist theory in international politics, known as the liberal feminism, appeared in the late 1980's. This approach of feminism was built on many assumptions of existing liberalism, emphasizing the notions of individual, rationality and, most of all, equality. It supports the idea of all equality among men and women and looks more precisely at the place of women in world affairs, highlighting their absence. Liberal feminists examine ' how women have been restricted to roles critically important for the functioning of things but that are not usually deemed to be important for theories of world politics' Scholars such as C.Enloe argued that the simple fact to ask the question' where are the women?' would make them visible in the public space and underline their importance but, only through certain specific roles such as cheap factory labour, wives of diplomats or prostitutes around military bases, that is to say ignored roles or, at least contributions that are usually considered less important that those of men. [...]
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