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Feminist Security Studies

Laura J. Shepherd


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Comment on this article   This essay maps what might loosely be termed feminist security studies (FSS) in an effort to provide an overview of the most influential works and the most compelling and crucial research at this historical juncture, a time at which the intellectual endeavors are so energized and represent such vital interjections to dominant understandings of the issues at hand. The essay first discusses those canonical texts in the field of FSS without reference to which any such review would be incomplete. This leads to a systematic discussion of the topics with which FSS is currently engaged, to demonstrate the varied and at times transgressive approaches within what is here identified as feminist security studies. Finally, it characterizes FSS at this time in terms of the metaphor of silence that permeates some contemporary FSS scholarship and reflects on the politics of a claim to marginality. To paraphrase Simone de Beauvoir (1949/1997) , one is not born a feminist security studies scholar, but becomes one. The texts and debates referenced below, while obviously not reflecting in its entirety the experience of “becoming,” are those that shaped the terrain of feminist security studies and that continue to shape my intellectual engagement with the subject. Eric Blanchard's 2003 article entitled “Gender, International Relations and the Development of Feminist Security ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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