Women in World Politics: An Introduction

Women in World Politics: An Introduction

Women in World Politics: An Introduction

Women in World Politics: An Introduction

Synopsis

What roles do women play in world politics? Who are these women, and what impact do they have on international relations? D'Amico and Beckman have assembled a diverse array of contributors who provide a variety of answers. Some contributors consider women as national leaders and profile Chamorro, Gandhi, Thatcher, and Aquino as examples. Autobiographical essays and interviews describe the experiences of Margaret Anstee, Benazir Bhutto, Jeane Kirkpatrick, and Golda Meir. Other contributors analyze international women's movements, the roles of women in the Green Movement and in the revolutionary movements in Cuba and Nicaragua, and the work of Jane Addams in the peace movement. Some analyze the attitudes and beliefs of America's leading opinion makers on the subject of women and men in leadership roles. Written for beginning students in comparative politics and international relations, their work is both fundamental as an introductory text and pioneering in scope and conception.

Excerpt

This project started in a classroom many years ago when a student in an introductory course on world politics asked her instructor what role women played in world politics and why there was no discussion of gender in the textbook. The perplexed teacher, after tossing out the names of several women policy makers, allowed that it was a good question. A dialogue began and developed as the student went on to become a teacher in the same field. A decade later, the two of us found ourselves in conversation, regretting the fact that while some academics had begun to work with this "good question," there were no books on the subject written explicitly for "beginners," that is, people who were new both to the study of world politics and to gender analysis, as were the students in our courses. So we decided to write our own.

We talked with dozens of individuals interested in this question, asking them to take part in the project. Eventually, the project grew to two volumes, with chapters by academics, journalists, diplomats, and political activists from six nations. We asked them to write with three groups of people in mind: beginning students of world politics, teachers new to gender analysis, and general readers interested in the question, Where are the women in world politics?

The contributors to this volume and to its companion, Women, Gender, and World Politics: Perspectives, Policies, and Prospects, bring a diversity of perspectives to their subjects. Some of the authors write from feminist perspectives, but this book is not exclusively a feminist treatment of the issues. We leave it to you to decide which perspectives seem most valuable in helping to raise and to answer three questions that inform this book: (1) How have women participated in world politics? (2) How has women's partici-

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