Manly States: Masculinities, International Relations, and Gender Politics

Manly States: Masculinities, International Relations, and Gender Politics

Manly States: Masculinities, International Relations, and Gender Politics

Manly States: Masculinities, International Relations, and Gender Politics

Synopsis

Much has been written on how masculinity shapes international relations, but little feminist scholarship has focused on how international relations shape masculinity. Charlotte Hooper draws from feminist theory to provide an account of the relationship between masculinity and power. She explores how the theory and practice of international relations produces and sustains masculine identities and masculine rivalries. This volume asserts that international politics shapes multiple masculinities rather than one static masculinity, positing an interplay between a "hegemonic masculinity" (associated with elite, western male power) and other subordinated, feminized masculinities (typically associated with poor men, nonwestern men, men of color, and/or gay men). Employing feminist analyses to confront gender-biased stereotyping in various fields of international political theory -- including academic scholarship, journals, and popular literature like The Economist -- Hooper reconstructs the nexus of international relations and gender politics during this age of globalization.

Excerpt

Once gender identities are recognized as constructed by open-ended, multiple, and multidimensional processes rather than being seen as fixed constructs, then the politics of masculinity can be seen as a contested field of power moves and resistances, rather than being construed as a fixed set of power relations. This chapter analyzes the politics of masculinity, using material from both the sociological men's-studies literature and feminist contributions to the discipline of international relations. in particular, I aim to reconcile feminist critiques of “masculinism” with the recognition and analysis of multiple masculinities.

I first want to make some initial points. Although I shall draw on a wide variety of practical and historical examples (using literature relevant to international relations where possible) the intention here is not to verify or argue the case for any particular example of masculinity or interpretation of masculinism, but rather to draw on existing studies in conjunction with theoretical literature to develop and illustrate a theoretical perspective that will be applied in later chapters. Therefore, this chapter should be read as mainly theoretical.

The preceding chapter identified how gender identities are constructed . . .

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