Questions such as “what does it take for a state like Brazil to be taken seriously as a ‘strong’ and ‘responsible’ political actor?” and “what are the obstacles to the making of a world in which solidarity can be ranked as a strong quality of those who seek recognition, voice and power?” are intrinsically connected. An exploration of those questions may help us to tackle the limitations in our vocabulary for the recognition of broader feminist agendas in political spaces, especially when we define as feminist any agendas that challenge the alleged neutrality of concepts and/or norms that so often favors the classification of a particular set of qualities as superior and more ‘appropriate’ for the performance of a given role.Read More
If you are interested in the role of women or gender in international relations, you should have no trouble finding a recent book on the topic. But what if your interest is simply the history of international relations? Pick up a recent account of the Cold War or the biography of a famous diplomat and chances are you will not find a single reference to the role of gender.
In spite of much evidence to the contrary, many diplomatic historians still seem to believe that if they are dealing with the political history of international relations, gender is irrelevant. True, many feminist scholars focus on women’s historical exclusion from politics (and their fight for inclusion), which – viewed superficially – might seem like support for that stance. If the political arena excluded women, there are simply no women to consider when writing political history, right?