Gender and Sovereignty: Feminism, the State and by J. Hoffman

By J. Hoffman

Gender and Sovereignty seeks to reconstruct the suggestion of sovereignty in post-patriarchal society. Sovereignty is associated with emancipation, and an try out is made to unfastened either suggestions from the static features which derive from the Enlightenment and an uncritical view of the country. To reconstruct sovereignty, we needs to glance past the country. Sovereignty, analysed in relational phrases, turns into aligned with autonomy and self-determination in a global within which women and men can merely be sovereign after they empower each other.

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Without the idea of a momentum concept, my analysis of gender and sovereignty could not really present itself as a work of conceptual reconstruction. 2 What Is Feminism? In order to identify what we mean by `feminism', the first question we need to explore is the relationship between feminism and gender. Much of the feminist literature on international relations treats the two as synonyms, so that taking gender seriously involves explicitly developing a feminist voice (Peterson, 1992, pp. 1, 13).

18). However, she says nothing about how sovereignty might be reformulated or freed from its masculinist assumptions, and sovereignty is frequently regarded by feminists 22 Gender and Sovereignty as a concept which is inherently and intrinsically patriarchal in character. Thus Sylvester, to take the example of an otherwise critical feminist theorist, speaks of `sovereign leviathans' (1994, p. 24), and she appears to take it for granted that sovereignty can only express itself in the institutions of the state (pp.

1, 13). A concern with gender is seen as necessarily and automatically involving the development of a feminist critique. We will tackle the relationship not only of gender and feminism, but between sex and gender. The notion of a gender-free IR (even in the post-patriarchal future) is naõÈve, because sex and gender although different, are also linked. Sexual difference is (in an evolutionary± historical sense) natural, where gender is socially constructed. But despite these important differences, they are still connected, and therefore all the social sciences (IR included) are gendered.

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