International Security and Gender
October 2012, Polity
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.
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
- 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
Winner of the Choice award for Outstanding Academic
"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
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