Can gender come to the rescue of foreign policy? : an exploration into the ways in which the (mis)understanding of gender influences the making of foreign policy

Meyer, Christa (2002-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2002.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This paper attempts to provide a broad theoretical background of the ways in which gender has informed the making of foreign policy. It examines the various types of feminism in the zo" century and how they complement each other, criticize each other and have contributed to critical political debate. Realism as the dominant political paradigm of the zo" century comes under scrutiny and it is shown how it abets and supports male domination by cloaking it in neutral language and institutions that appear neutral. Foreign policy objectives are often linked to the national interest, which in itself is a problematic and contested concept. Foreign policy makers face new challenges today as the political landscape changes, often driven by multinational corporations who dictate the rules of political engagement. Not only has the international political arena changed drastically in the zo" century, but so has the domestic arena. Studies in foreign policy attitudes show marked differences along gender lines. Most studies focus on the pacifist attitudes of women, but this paper goes on to show how gendered theories of security, globalization, the environment and human rights could inform foreign policy makers and others who shape foreign policy agendas.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis poog om 'n bree teoretiese agtergrond te skep van die wyses waarin gender (geslag as 'n konstruksie) die skep van buitelandse beleid beinvloed. Dit bestudeer die verskeie tipes feminisme in die 20ste eeu en hoe hulle mekaar komplimenteer, mekaar kritiseer en bygedra het tot kritiese politieke debat. Realisme as die dominante paradigma van die 20ste eeu word noukeurig bestudeer en daar word gewys hoe hierdie paradigma manlike dominasie ondersteun deur dit te vermom in neutrale taal en instellings wat neutraal voorkom. Buitelandse beleid word dikwels gekoppel aan die nasionale belang wat op sigself 'n problematiese konsep is. Weens die veranderende internasionale politieke arena staar makers van buitelandse beleid nuwe uitdagings in die gesig, veral omdat multinasionale maatskappye dikwels die die reels van die spel bepaal. Studies toon dat gevoelens en houdings oor spesifieke buitelandse beleidskwessies dikwels verskillend vir mans en vrouens manifesteer. Meeste studies fokus op die ondersteuning van vrouens van vrede in kontras met geweld en oorlog. Hierdie tesis gaan verder deur te wys hoe 'gendered' teoriee van sekuriteit, globalisering, die omgewing en menseregte moontlik die skeppers van buitelandse beleid kan beinvloed.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52725
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