Intelligent Compassion: Feminist Clinical Methodology in the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom


The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) has a unique role in post-war peace activism. It is the longest-surviving international women's peace organization and one of the oldest peace organizations in the West. It was founded in 1915, when a group of women from countriesfighting in World War I met at The Hague to formulate proposals for ending the war. The organization sent delegations of women to several countries to plead for peace, and their final resolutions are credited with influencing Woodrow Wilson's 14 Points. Today, the organization counts severalthousand members in 36 countries, on five continents. Since 1948, it has enjoyed consultative status with the UN, and it was instrumental in bringing about recent United Nations Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security. Beginning in 1945, WILPF began identifying the limitations of its ideological foundations in relation to the international liberal order. Confortini argues that this period ushered in a turn in the organization's policies and activism, one that lasted until the mid-70s and served as an importantantecedent to feminist activism that continues today. By tracing the organization's changing strategies and ideas over a thirty-year period, Intelligent Compassion seeks to answer to what extent activists can transcend the prevailing practices of their eras. Confortini argues that this history isimportant theoretically because it inspires the development of a critical constructivist theory of agency that advances the agent-structure debate in International Relations theory.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 2012


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.