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date: 24 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the feminist debates about state and nation, naming them “feminist theories of the state” and “gender and nation” debates. It shows how feminists have moved away from essentialist notions of women and men and state and nation. Instead of seeing state and nation being real essentialized objects, feminist theories tend to explore them as relational entities that perpetually need to be reproduced through discourses, practices, or material circuits. Feminist scholars explore the power relations behind these constructions, the femininities and masculinities they rely on and reproduce, and their differentiated gender impacts—concepts now theorized as highly context specific rather than universal. A cross-cutting theme in current feminist research is the manifold impacts of neoliberalism in states and nations, and in feminist engagements with them. Feminist scholars explore how neoliberalism is combined with other ideologies, such as conservatism, radical-right populism, or homonationalism, and the gendered outcomes of this.

Keywords: feminist theories of the state, nation, nationalism, neoliberalism, homonationalism

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