• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Feminist approaches to the study of international relations theory

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Aqeel Hussain - P03171280 Ian Jackson - POLI 2004 - Themes & Debates in International Relations Theory Explain the relatively late arrival of feminist approaches to the study of international relations theory. What can we learn from feminist theories of world politics? In this essay, I will be attempting to explain the relatively late arrival of feminist approaches to the study of international relations theory. In addition I will be answering the question of what can be learnt from feminist theories. I believe that there is a lot to be learnt from feminist theories because in international relations, I have not come across another theory which has covered the issues which have been covered by feminism. This essay will not only consist of my thoughts as to what can be learnt but certain facts and thoughts from other people. I will be attempting to provide you with an insight into the history of feminist; outlining when it arrived in IR. In addition, I will be providing a brief summary of the several types of feminist approaches; Liberal feminism, Marxist feminism and Radical feminism. The history of feminism in accordance with actual events will be provided to explain the late arrival of feminist approaches and several reasons will be explained to help me provide an adequate answer as to what can be learnt from feminist approaches. It is perhaps necessary to begin this essay with an insight to the introduction of feminism to IR. International relations has been one of the last fields to open up to feminisms, which offer unique contributions to any field of research. Indeed, compared with other disciplines, the arrival of feminist perspectives in IR occurred relatively late. It was only in the late 1980's and early 1990's that several conferences and the published books created momentum for a feminist study of IR. Among the early books, now classics of the field, are Jean Bethke Eishtain's Women and War (1987) ...read more.

Middle

As the name implies the influence here is Marxism, with its insistence on the role of material, primarily economic, forces in determining the lives of women. For Marxist feminism, the cause of women's inequality is to be found in the capitalist system; overthrowing capitalism is the necessary route for the achievement of the equal treatment of women. For Marxist feminists, the focus of a theory of world politics would be on the patterns by which the world capitalist system and patriarchal system of power lead to women being systematically disadvantaged compared to men. Hierarchical class relations are seen as the source of coercive power and oppression, of all inequalities ultimately. Sexual oppression is seen as a dimension of class power.8 A third strand of feminist thought is radical feminism. Radical feminism, unlike Liberal and Marxist feminisms, is not drawn directly from previous bodies of 'malestream' thought. It offers a real challenge to and rejection of the liberal orientation towards the public world of men. Indeed it it gives a positive value to womanhood rather than supporting a notion of assimilating women into arenas of activity associated with men.9 Radical feminists argue that relations of subordination and domination between women and men constitute one of the most fundamental forms of oppression. Men seek to control women through controlling their sexuality, their roles in reproduction, and their roles in society more generally. Moreover, much of the way in which society is organised supports patriarchy, and this affects not only the ways in which the world actually operates, but even the ways in which we think about the world. In contrast to liberal feminists, then, radical feminists argue that all views are biased, and that the social sciences have been dominated by one particularly biased view, that of men. According to radical feminists, the social sciences cannot be 'cleaned up' simply by enlarging the categories of inquiry to include the activities of women, because the very norms and rules of social scientific inquiry used to construct even these expanded categories have been inspired by masculine thinking. ...read more.

Conclusion

In addition, this essay has looked at several different types of feminism and how feminism has helped to give a better understanding of world politics and contribute to the study of IR. Because there is not theory like feminism, it is hard to say that feminism as a theory is not beneficial. Giving a personal opinion, feminism as well as other IR theories, are just theories to help us make sense out of complex situations. As previously said no one theory can capture the complexity of world politics, but they all help. Reference Baylis, J., The Globalization of World Politics, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1997 Goldstein, J., International Relations, New York, Longman, 2003 Burchill, S., Theories of International Relations, London, Macmillan, 1996 Heywood, A., Political Ideologies: an introduction, Basingstoke, Macmillan, 1998 Beasley, C., What is feminism?: an introduction to feminist theory, London, Sage, 1999 Whitworth, S., Feminism and international relations: towards a political economy of gender, Basingstoke, Macmillan, 1994 Carter, A., The Politics of women's rights, London, Longman, 1988 Scruton, R., The Dictionary of Political Thought, London, Macmillan, 1983 Groom, A., Contemporary international relations: a guide to theory, London, Pinter Publishers, 1994 http://artsandscience.concordia.ca./poli205ah/lectures/lectures15_txt.html http://www.leeds.ac.uk/gender-studies/epapers/rodgers.htm http://www.watsoninstitute.org/bjwa/archive/10.2/Feminist%20Theory/Wibben.pdf http://www.cornercollege.edu/womens _studies/resources/theory/liberal.html Steans, J., (2003)Engaging from the margins: feminist encounters with the 'mainstream' of International Relations, British Journal of Politics and IR, 5 (3), pp. 428-454 Lecture notes from POLI 2004 1 www.watsoninstitute.org/bjwa/archive/10.2/Feminist%20Theory/Wibben.pdf 2 www.leeds.ac.uk/gender-studies/epaper/rodgers.htm 3 www.leeds.ac.uk/gender-studies/epaper/rodgers.htm 4 Baylis, J., The Globalization of World Politics, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1997, pg 174 5 Heywood, A., Political Ideologies: an introduction, Basingstoke, Macmillan, 1998, 6 Carter, A., The Politics of women's rights, London, Longman, pg 52 7 Heywood, A., Political Ideologies: an introduction, Basingstoke, Macmillan, 1998, pg 252 8 Baylis, J., The Globalization of World Politics, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1997, pg 174 9 Beasley, C., What is feminism?; an introduction to feminist theory, London, Sage, 1999, pg 54 10 Whitworth, S., Feminism and international relations: towards a political economy of gender, Basingstoke, Macmillan, pg 17 11 www.leeds.ac.uk/gender-studies/epaper/rodgers.htm 12 www.leeds.ac.uk/gender-studies/epaper/rodgers.htm 13 Burchill, S., Theories of International Relations, London, Macmillan, 1996 pg 243 ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level UK, European & Global Economics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level UK, European & Global Economics essays

  1. Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye have described international relations as exhibiting 'complex interdependence'. What ...

    This is particularly prevalent in view of the events of September 11 2001. On a broader scale however increased information has led to increased power for stronger states and a lesser need for strategic interdependence. For example the spy satellites that America has been able to utilise in space has

  2. A study of Patent system in India in the light of Patent Cooperation Treaty.

    No doubt, this is one of the advantages of the PCT. While process the application, PCT has to follow their own procedures, meaning thereby, the application which has been filed will be subject to 'Mandatory International Search' and if the applicants has enough capable from their pocket, then they opted

  1. Where does the World Trade Organisation fit in the overall scheme of international public ...

    The gradual liberalisation of trade and capital flows in the OECD countries spurred West European reconstruction, recovery and catch-up growth. The outward-orientation of Japan and other East Asian countries played an important role in their catch-up growth. The gradual liberalisation of foreign trade and inward investment in China, in tandem

  2. In this report, we shall explore the reasons for the shift from multilateralism to ...

    78.73 (162) 58.16 (26) 34.57 (348) 34.22 (275) 27.54 (213) 67.51 (664) 28.50 (1) 40.66 (6) 15.36 (50) 59.26 (545) 40.46 (732) 84.62 (831) 29.81 (603) 14.94 (304) -46.26 (-46) 25.81 (115) 20.11 (894) 23.14 (735) 37.47 (598) 35.03 (35) 42.02 (2) 71.70 (18) 12.60 (2) 32.95 (244) 68.97 (2,351) 143.53 (831) 27.92 (1,727) 33.57 (1,900) 124.78 (4,097)

  1. Globalization is creating rapid and worldwide changes in communication, politics, and patterns of human ...

    Things have changed over time only because people are being introduced more and more to new things that are not apart of their normal way of living. The steady transitions from the usage of the telephone, radio systems, and the television, to computers, the Internet, cable TV, and cellular phones

  2. What as the impact of China's re-engagement with the international community been on its ...

    It can be proven by this statement: ' On contrast to the United States and Europe, ASEAN countries - with the notable exception of Singapore ( besides Japan the only country in Asia) - neither criticised China for the Tiananmen killing in 1989 nor did they impose sanctions.'

  1. Free essay

    Globalisation and changing career patterns

    Globalisation is seen by many as a process. In fact, one of the first key writings about the subject was by Marx & Engels in 1848. In their paper, The Communist Manifesto, they defined globalisation processes as: This is a lengthy description of the globalisation process, but it's amazing how accurate it still is today.

  2. To What Extent Did Imperial Concerns Guide British Foreign Policy Between 1890- 1907?

    In what is known to the French as the 'Beautiful Age'. Germany on the other had did not have an 'extensive' empire. It is important to note that 1815 Germany had not been a single country but a geographical expression, with the thirty-nine states of the German confederation established by the Vienna settlement of 1815.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work