PLS 370-A01

Constructivism

  • norms & identities intersubjectively (socially) determined
  • Wendt: anarchy = conflict (Hobbes)
  • agency & structure are co-determined (mutually shape each other)
    • Neorealism: anarchic structure shapes agency
    • Liberals/Neoliberals:  agents can gradually shape structure
    • Constuctivist: structurationism (Wendt: agency & structure co-determined)
  • structure = material distribution of capabilities (world capit. econ.) + normative variables
  • state sovereignty
    • norm, not material
    • leads to anarchy
    • socially determined/constructed
    • governance, non-interference
  • norms are independent variables
  • Finnemore & Sikkink
    • “norm entrepreneurs”
    • idea platforms

Feminism

  • as an understanding of IR
  • range of theories
  • gender relations integral to IR
  • explores how our understanding of IR is “gendered”
  • 1st gen fem. scholars challenged trad. epistemological & ontological focus of intl relations
    • (meaning positivism)
    • questioned state-centric positivist/exclusionary nature of discipline
    • tries to deconstruct/subvert realism (dominant image of IR)
  • 2d gen scholars
    • tried to make gender as central analytical category to IR
    • often, gender identities treated as natural, not constituted
    • study of IR based on hegemonic western conception of masculinity
    • key concepts:
      • autonomy v. networks
        • atomistic/individualist
      • sovereignty v. dependence
      • objectivity v. emotions & values
  • first challenges to IR
    • gender is ignored variable in IR
    • study of IR has excluded womens lives/experiences, fem. scholars marginalized
    • women absent from IR theory
    • resultant study is from male perspective, research reflects this
    • IR focuses upon anarchy/conflict/competition/fears & rivalries
    • domestic politics ignored
      • how state system is perpetuated
      • relations of production, not reproduction
    • Johann Galtung
    • structural violence gives way to direct violence
      • inequitable structures leading to needs not being met
    • policymakers predominantly male
    • women not generally part of IR policy community
    • women have been significant non-state actors on intl stage
      • land mines
      • peace
      • nuclear disarmament
      • rape as war crime
    • gendered assumptions about:
      • rationality
      • national interests
    • women are used to promote:
      • services for militarization
    • gendered construction of IO’s
      • often dominated by elite men
      • org priorities reflect construction
        • ex: global econ. growth v. human devel./social well-being
    • tries to mainstream gender discussions
    • women in UN ghettoized
    • theories must recognize women as important players
    • research  becomes sensitive to gender issues
      • empirical studies claimed to ignore women/gender rels.
    • 70s/80s:
      • men’s labor for cash crops in ag.
      • women’s labor for subsistence
      • globalization increased gender inequalities
        • income, work hours, etc.
      • SAP’s shifts goals from social welfare to export earnings, finance
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