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Feminist Perspectives on International Relations, Article Critique Example

Pages: 2

Words: 519

Article Critique

In this article Tickner discusses the question about why international politics and relations has largely been the purview of men and how this has affected both the development of the sphere and the recommendations it offers for achieving security. In the reading Tickner reveals a lively discussion between two literatures, feminism and international relations, that used to be fairly separate. Tickner builds her analysis and assessment on a survey of the development of the subject of international relations and its dominant approaches, focusing on the rise of realist and neorealist theories, as well as on alternatives to realism, like liberal interdependence. Tickner emphasizes that characteristics stereotyped by society as male, like courage, power, toughness, independence, are images that often can be discovered in international politics. Thus, state characteristics that are determined by international relations scholars as necessary, match those that are referred to by society as masculine and highly rated. Consequently, the following characterization of appropriate state behaviors comes out to be a hierarchy of values in international relations that concerns the gender lines.

In the reading, Tickner stresses the point with this privileging of masculine characteristics in both society and international relations, arguing that the dichotomy implemented to divide the world into male and female attributes. Furthermore, she brings up a question of whether the male characteristics, which form the basis for prescriptions of statecraft in most international relations theory, are the only suitable ones for global piece economy fulfillment. However, Tickner outlines the exclusion of non-masculine characteristics both to the very small number of women writing about and putting into practice international relations, and to the wider gender inequalities. When examining national security theories more closely, Tickner concentrates on realist theories of security to demonstrate the way in which gender inequalities are articulated theoretically. However, some of her critiques of realism cannot be considered new, thus they originate from the same base as non-feminist critiques that argue that traditional realism ignores the fact that states are organized of social and historical institutions and cannot be perceived as regular unitary and rational actors. Consequently, the author overtakes such critiques in her gender-based analysis, thus offering certain suggestions of what a gender-neutral theory of international security could incorporate. As an example, Tickner makes use of women’s experience to challenge the claim of realist scholars that the international and domestic spheres can be unhesitatingly distinguished by respectively order and anarchy. Tickner refers to statistics that illustrates the widespread occurrence of domestic violence against women, and emphasizes such violence has pretty often been treated as uncontrolled by the state law, for it occurs in the private sphere. Furthermore, the author debates that such violence occurs in a context similar to the realist conception of the international system, when power makes right without any kind of law recourse. The author brings up the question whether the distinction between international anarchy and domestic order is so start. Consequently, Tickner argues for a more theory, which recognizes that anarchy and order both appear to occur within and between nations.

Works Cited

Tickner, Ann. Gender in international relations: feminist perspectives on achieving global security. Columbia University Press, 1992.

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