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Week 3- Feminism and Postcolonialism
Terms in this set (11)
What is the idea of seeing through different lenses in feminist IR theory? How does the book Global Gender Issues relate to this?
Feminist IR theory suggests that in order to have a more complete understanding of the international system, we should try to see through a feminist/ gendered lens in order to understand the problems which directly relate to women as people who are usually overlooked in the international system. In the book GGI there is an illustration of a cleaning woman who is cleaning the glasses of two giant sized business men, allowing a change in the lenses they use to see to literally allow them to see women and the issues they face.
Why does feminist IR theory as "Where are the women?"
Feminist theory asks this question because women largely seem to be absent from both the practice and theory of international relations. In fact, IR can be described as not being gender neutral but gender blind in that it completely disregards the position of women and this disregard also allows the continuation of the absence of women in key positions of political power on an equal scale. E.g women make up only 22.5% of members of global parliaments
What was the 'Cook-Stove Initiative'?
The Cook Stove Initiative was an inititiative created to stop women cooking with stoves that were both polluting and dangerous for them. However, the men who designed the stoves ovens didn't properly consider how their maintenance would add to women's domestics labour and as they didn't actually consult any women about this, the stoves gradually fell into disuse and the project was essentially a waste of wast amounts of money
What does feminism in IR discuss in relation to masculinity?
Feminism in IR is not exclusively the study of women, it is instead the study of how notions about gender impact the political system. This means that feminist IR really considers the role of masculinity in the political system as according to Berger. "masculinity inflects, engages and shapes everyone" and thus the international system.
Masculinity certainly seems to shape realist ideas about the international system being inherently violent, with the idea of a constant threat of force clearly relating to hypermasculine ideas about how conflicts can be resolved.
What is the idea that the "personal is the international"?
The idea that the personal is the international is an expansion of the second wave feminist idea that the personal is political. This essentially means that women's personal lives are affected by, and affect international politics for example as the wives of key political figures they influence policy and decision making, or as victims of sexual war crimes they are affected by changes on an international scale in a way that relates directly to their status as women.
What are the key features of postcolonialism in international relations?
-The main focus is on the idea that ideas about race are a major factor determining how the international political structure is run.
-Knowledge always serves some kind of purpose and isn't objective. This includes historical knowledge
-The world system isn't determined by anarchy but is instead determined by ideas about racial hierarchies
-The main cause of global inequality is the idea that that Western civilisations are superior to other ones
-Continued inequality in the international system is not accidental, and is instead purposefully continued by states who are currently powerful and wealthy
In what way do the ideas of the philosophers whose ideas contributed to the foundations of IR theory relate to its racism?
Many of the key philosophers whose ideas were foundational in IR, especially social contract theorists, and Kant whose ideas created DPT, had very racist views. In fact this has led the postcolonial scholar Henderson to suggest that a separate racial contract theory exists in IR, which depends on the race of people in the state of nature. For theorists like Hobbes and Rousseau, the state of nature was only something hypothetical or extremely rare (Rousseau's wild children example) for white people, but was something that supposedly actually existed among their contemporaries in the Americas. Also Kant held horribly racist views about black people as unintelligent and subhuman, needing to be viciously beaten in order to be "trained".
What were the ideas of Reinsch, and what does this represent about eraly IR theory?
Reisch was a key scholar in early international relations theory, and his focus in the early 1900s within IR was on the maintenance of the colonies, writing works such as 'Colonial Administration' in 1905. The focus on race, the colonies, and preventing the idea of a 'race war' was so strong in IR that the scholar Dubois suggesed that it would be more accurately called interracial relations. Also Reinsch held ideas that relate to the scientific racism that existed in this period, which suggested that black people were physically inferior to whites, with him suggesting that "organic development of the faculties seems to cease at puberty" among black people.
To which journal is Foreign Affairs the successor?
The IR journal FA is a successor to the Journal of Race Development, which ran from 1911-1919. This shows the centrality of race within IR in its beginnings
What is Henderson's idea about anarchy as a postcolonial scholar?
Henderson holds a strange view that states are so obsessed with the ideas of anarchy because they believe that exists outside of the Western world, and they are worried that it will spread to the West. This suggests that people believe that there is still some kind of state of nature outside of the West, which may well correctly interpret some people's views but anarchy in IR is usually less domestic than this, and instead focuses on the idea that states are free to act as they will on an international scale. It seems to me that this is a misinterpretation of anarchy in IR in general.
What is the scholar Said's Orientalism? How does this link to Tannerwald's idea of the nuclear taboo?
Said's Orientalism is the idea that the false and stereotypical ideas states have of the people and leaders of other states determine action on an international scale and that these stereotypes are perpetuated by the West as a cultural hegemon. For example, they present Arab men as irrational, easily led and compulsive, whilst Asian people are seen as scheming and suspicious. These stereotypes allow the West to maintain its dominant position as it is seen as the most moral and rational area of the world. Tannerwald's work highlights that somehow America is seen as rational enough to possess nuclear weapons without putting the rest of the world at danger, while Iraq cannot have such weapons, even though the US is the only country to have ever actually used nucelar weapons in war
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