Gender, Violence, and Human Security: Critical Feminist Perspectives

Gender, Violence, and Human Security: Critical Feminist Perspectives

Gender, Violence, and Human Security: Critical Feminist Perspectives

Gender, Violence, and Human Security: Critical Feminist Perspectives

Synopsis

The nature of human security is changing globally: interstate conflict and even intrastate conflict may be diminishing worldwide, yet threats to individuals and communities persist. Large-scale violence by formal and informal armed forces intersects with interpersonal and domestic forms of violence in mutually reinforcing ways. Gender, Violence, and Human Security takes a critical look at notions of human security and violence through a feminist lens, drawing on both theoretical perspectives and empirical examinations through case studies from a variety of contexts around the globe. This fascinating volume goes beyond existing feminist international relations engagements with security studies to identify not only limitations of the human security approach, but also possible synergies between feminist and human security approaches. Noted scholars Aili Mari Tripp, Myra Marx Ferree, and Christina Ewig, along with their distinguished group of contributors, analyze specific case studies from around the globe, ranging from post-conflict security in Croatia to the relationship between state policy and gender-based crime in the United States. Shifting the focus of the term "human security" from its defensive emphasis to a more proactive notion of peace, the book ultimately calls for addressing the structural issues that give rise to violence. A hard-hitting critique of the ways in which global inequalities are often overlooked by human security theorists, Gender, Violence, and Human Security presents a much-needed intervention into the study of power relations throughout the world.

Excerpt

Aili Mari Tripp

One of the major successes of international feminism in the mid-1990s was to transform the human rights discourse from a gender-neutral frame into one that acknowledged that “women’s rights are human rights” (Agosin 2001; Cook 1994; Peters and Wolper 1994). Today, the United Nations and many other international actors and national governments around the globe, including Canada, Norway, Japan, and the United States, have adopted the concept of “human security” in their policymaking. in fact, human security has become the dominant frame for international regulation today. It allows diverse actors from the North and South, governmental and nongovernmental sectors, and conservatives as well as progressives to talk about security in ways that were not possible when the only frame available was that of the nation-state (Christie 2010, 170). Human security shifts the focus away from state security to threats to security that affect people, for example, threats emerging from famine, epidemics, economic decline, environmental degradation, migration, and other such crises. It focuses on human agency in confronting these challenges, rather than simply state agency.

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