Gender, Sex and the Post-National Defense: Militarism and Peacekeeping

Gender, Sex and the Post-National Defense: Militarism and Peacekeeping

Gender, Sex and the Post-National Defense: Militarism and Peacekeeping

Gender, Sex and the Post-National Defense: Militarism and Peacekeeping

Synopsis

Scholars have argued that the end of the Cold War and the War on Terror have radically changed the context of war and defense, diminished the role of nation-states in favor of multi-lateral defense activities, and placed a new focus on human security. International peacekeeping has superseded the traditional act of war-making as the most important defense strategy among wealthy, liberal-democratic nations. And, per UN Security Council Resolution 1325, adopted in 2000, all member nations must consider the needs of women and girls during repatriation, resettlement, and post-conflict reconstruction efforts.

Gender, Sex, and the Postnational Defense looks at the way that a postnational defense influenced by SC 1325 and focused on human security affects gender relations in militaries. Interestingly, despite the successful implementation of gender mainstreaming in training, the number of women involved in military peacekeeping remains low. Contradicting much of the gender mainstreaming literature, Annica Kronsell shows that increasing gender awareness in the military is a more achievable task than increasing gender parity.

Employing a feminist constructivist institutional approach, Kronsell questions whether military institutions can ever attain gender neutrality without confronting their reliance on masculinity constructs. She further questions whether "feminism" must always be equated with anti-militarism or if military violence committed in the name of enhancing human security can be performed according to a feminist ethics. Kronsell builds her theoretical argument on a case study of Sweden and the E.U.

Excerpt

In this book, I am interested in exploring the postnational defense and its gender implications. a postnational defense is one that pays less attention to the defense of the territory and more to the security situation outside its borders, often in cooperation with other states. Sweden is an example of a state that has moved from a national to a postnational defense, as is the European Union (EU), once a trade organization that has developed its own security and defense institutions. the postnational defense is the result of a longer process of changes in the security, defense, and military relations in Sweden, the eu, and the world but was articulated, for example, in the “Statement of Government Policy in the Parliamentary Debate on Foreign Affairs” in February 2010 when Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt declared, “In a globalised world, foreign policy risks know no borders. Threats that originate far away from Sweden can be just as palpable as those that are rooted in our geographic proximity…. Our foreign policy is a part of the common European foreign policy” (9) and “membership in the European Union means that Sweden is part of a political alliance and takes its share of responsibility, in the spirit of solidarity, for Europe’s security” (3). Hence, postnational security is envisioned as multinational and as achieved in solidarity with others well beyond the borders. Foreign Minister Bildt continued: “Our commitment in Afghanistan is based on our steadfast determination to help the Afghan people build up a functioning state” (9). the notion is that solidarity is not only with other states in Europe but with other people in faraway places. the development toward a postnational defense should be understood in the broader context of changed security relations.

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