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date: 04 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter addresses how different theories of war from the discipline of international relations (IR) neglect a gender analysis and explores why gender analysis is key to understanding war. The chapter illustrates how a gender analysis accounts for a more nuanced and empirically accurate understanding of what war involves, what its causes are, who fights wars, and how to end war. Traditional IR theory focuses on international systems (system level war theory), the state (state-level war theory), and individual leaders, while feminist scholarship goes further and recognizes the interdependence of the personal and the political. Feminist scholars account for the ways in which traditional security mechanisms might paradoxically make the women in these states less secure. Furthermore, the chapter points out that little attention has been paid to gender dynamics and how men and women are differently socially situated, which is important to understanding conflict among political groups, states, and international organizations.

Keywords: feminism, security, gender, international relations (IR) theory, system level war theory, state level war theory

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