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Feminist Security Theorizing

Laura Sjoberg and Jillian Martin


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Comment on this article   The April–June 2009 issue of the journal Security Studies is a special issue entitled “Security Studies: Feminist Contributions,” and includes six substantive articles and an introduction in a growing field identified as Feminist Security Studies (FSS), ranging in topic from human trafficking to peace building, from offense–defense theory to environmental security. This special issue is particularly meaningful, because it represents the first time in its 18-year history that Security Studies , a ranking journal in the security subfield in IR in the US, has published the word gender even incidentally, much less published gender-themed research articles. Security Studies is an area where feminist scholarship and the IR “mainstream” in the US have largely failed to engage in productive conversation until very recently. Much gender-analytic work in the field is published by gender studies journals ( Hansen 2001 ; Blanchard 2003 ; Basch 2004 ), and many ranking security journals neglect work that addresses security issues from gender-based perspectives. As Steve Walt (1991 :212) defined it, Security Studies is “the study of the threat, use, and control of military force,” including exploring “the conditions that make the use of force more likely, the ways that the use of force affects individuals, states, and societies, and the specific politics that ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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