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International Security and Gender

ISBN: 978-0-7456-5117-0
224 pages
October 2012, Polity
International Security and Gender (0745651178) cover image
What does it mean to be secure? In the global news, we hear stories daily about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, about domestic-level conflicts around the world, about the challenges of cybersecurity and social security. This broad list highlights the fact that security is an idea with multiple meanings, but do we all experience security issues in the same way?

In this book, Nicole Detraz explores the broad terrain of security studies through a gender lens. Assumptions about masculinity and femininity play important roles in how we understand and react to security threats. By examining issues of militarization, peacekeeping, terrorism, human security, and environmental security, the book considers how the gender-security nexus pushes us to ask different questions and broaden our sphere of analysis. Including gender in our analysis of security challenges the primacy of some traditional security concepts and shifts the focus to be more inclusive. Without a full understanding of the vulnerabilities and threats associated with security, we may miss opportunities to address pressing global problems.

Our society often expects men and women to play different roles, and this is no less true in the realm of security. This book demonstrates that security debates exhibit gendered understandings of key concepts, and whilst these gendered assumptions may benefit specific people, they are often detrimental to others, particularly in the key realm of policy-making.
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Acknowledgments vi

1 Understanding Gender in Security Debates 1

2 Gendered Militarization and Militarism 24

3 Gender in Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding 64

4 A Gendered Understanding of Terrorism 94

5 Human Security and Gender 131

6 Gender, Security, and Environment 165

Conclusion: Th e Contributions of Gender Lenses to Security 198

References 212

Index 241

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Nicole Detraz is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Memphis.
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  • Security is a complex concept with multiple meanings, yet its gendered dimensions have so far been unjustly neglected
  • This expert analysis surveys the entire field of security studies in terms of gender politics
  • Ranging across such areas as terrorism, human security and environmental security, Nicole Detraz reevaluates our received ideas about a wide array of contemporary crises
  • This book will be essential reading for students and scholars in politics and international relations, as well as for policymakers
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Winner of the Choice award for Outstanding Academic Title

"Through a vast review of the security literature, Detraz makes an excellent case for the greater understanding and incorporation of gender in security studies."
LSE Review of Books

"An essential read for every IR and feminist scholar and student seeking deeper understandings of current events in the field."
Central European Journal of International and Security Studies

"Should be a key text for students of security studies. It is also a powerful introduction for gender scholars to understand how security discourses not only use, but also create, particular constructions of gender."
Feminist & Women's Studies Association Blog

"International Security and Gender is a complex and critical overview of the field of gender and security, which familiarizes readers with the field in a fair and even-handed manner and provides forward-looking challenges to the field's research agendas."
Laura Sjoberg, University of Florida

"Nicole Detraz’s book presents a comprehensive and well-written introduction to what it means to approach international security through gendered lenses. A highly valuable contribution to the current security debate, it shows persuasively the central place of gender. Convincingly, it argues that security studies miss something crucial when gender remains invisible in debates on militarization, peacebuilding, terrorism, as well as human, environmental, and climate security. It urges students to enlarge the scope of security and question key concepts, while  also suggesting ways toward change and emancipation."
Annica Kronsell, Lund University

"In an essential contribution to the growing field of feminist security studies, Detraz shows impeccably how asking feminist questions about a range of security issues leads us to understand the gendered aspects of vulnerabilities and threats, ultimately helping to formulate reflexive, rather than simplistic, policies to bring about human emancipation."
Catia Cecilia Confortini, Wellesley College

 
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