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Ann Tickner

Gendering a Discipline: Some Feminist Methodological Contributions to International Relations

of international relations (IR) from outside, Ole Wver, a leading European IR scholar, observed that what he called American IR denes itself in methodological terms (Wver 1998).1 Indeed, many IR scholars in the United States are identied in terms of their methodological preferences rather than the subject matter of their research. The eld tends to judge scholarship on how well it operationalizes and tests existing theories rather than in terms of its theoretical or methodological innovations. Since positivist research philosophies have held the highest prestige in the discipline since the 1970s, this may help explain why feminism came so late to the eld. Entering the discipline in the late 1980s, feminism has, for the most part, resisted these positivist approaches, preferring postpositivist orientations. Given the centrality of methodological issues, I believe that this is one of the most important reasons why feminism remains on the margins of the discipline and why feminist IR has generated so much resistance from the mainstream.2 Were the discipline to take gender seriously, it would present a fundamental challenge to the epistemological foundations of the eld.3
iewing the U.S. discipline I should like to thank Sandra Harding for her encouragement and advice. 1 I shall use the term IR, since it is the one most frequently used in labeling the discipline. Many scholars, including many feminists, have some discomfort with the term since it signies relations among states rather than the multiplicity of issues and actors that constitute world politics. 2 I have developed this argument further in Tickner 1997. I dene the mainstream as IR scholars who adhere to positivist approaches broadly dened. I dene positivism as a belief that the same methodologies can be used to study the natural and social worlds, that the social world has regularities like the natural world, that there is a distinction between facts and values, and that the way to determine the truth of statements about the external world is by appeal to neutral facts. 3 There is an important exception. Certain scholars use conventional social scientic methodology to study the effects of gender on foreign policy and on violence. In such cases gender is used as a variable to explain state behavior rather than as a constitutive category of analysis. See, e.g., Gallagher 1993; Caprioli 2000; Eichenberg 2003.
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This article will rst briey outline the development of IR in the United States, including the introduction of feminist perspectives. I focus on the United States because it is where the methodological debates are the most intense and also because U.S. IR has exercised a dominant inuence on the discipline worldwide.4 Then I will review some recent IR feminist scholarship, focusing on its methodological choices.5 The texts I have chosen are exemplars of a growing body of IR feminist empirical scholarship that is grounded in methodologies used by postpositivist IR scholars more generally, scholars who are also challenging the dominance of social scientic approaches. By introducing gender as a central category of analysis, IR feminist scholarship builds on but goes beyond these approaches, most of which have been as gender blind as the mainstream. This article is intended to show how the discipline might be different were it to take gender seriously.

The development of IR in the United States

In the United States, the discipline of international relations emerged at the beginning of the twentieth century, in most cases but not always as a subdiscipline of political science. Following World War II, IR developed its own disciplinary identity, although it generally remained within political science departments.6 Supported by a uniquely American conviction that most problems can be resolved by science, and largely abandoning its historical, sociological, and legal foundations, IR became increasingly committed to social scientic research. Methodologies from the natural sciences and economics were employed in theory building, the goal of which was to discover laws and regularities of states international behavior, particularly with respect to matters of international conict and war,

This may be changing as Europeans become more assertive in reacting against U.S. rational choice and game theoretic models (Wver 1998). Interestingly, this is happening at the same time as the rest of the world is taking a more assertive stance against the unilateralism of U.S. foreign policy. 5 Following Sandra Harding (1987, 23), I dene methodology as a theory and analysis of how research does or should proceed. 6 There are some exceptions. Many of the Washington, DCbased universities that primarily train students for policy positions such as the foreign service have schools or departments of international relations separate from political science. These departments, along with some other schools of international relations, such as the one at the University of Southern California, are generally less committed to teaching only social scientic methodologies than are political science departments. For a historical account of the development of IR and its different paths in the United States and Europe, see Wver 1998.


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a phenomenon that had dominated the rst half of the twentieth century.7 Many IR theorists believed that the search for systematic inquiry and causal explanation might contribute to efforts toward diminishing the likelihood of future conict. Many of the early postwar international theorists were European intellectuals eeing from Nazi persecution. Motivated by the goal of defending the autonomy of rational inquiry against totalitarian ideologies, these theorists made efforts to put the discipline on a scientic footing that also seemed appropriate for a great power leading the ght against another dangerous ideology, global communism. As the United States rose to a hegemonic position in the world, so U.S. IR came to dominate the discipline as a whole. Beginning in the 1970s, economics, judged the most scientic of the social sciences, played an increasingly inuential role in IRs methodological choices. Rational choice theories and noncooperative game theoretic models became popular means of explaining the optimizing behavior of self-interested power-seeking states. These positivist methodological preferences went hand in hand with certain assumptions or worldviews. Realism, the most inuential IR theory in the United States since 1945, portrays a world of anarchy where there is no sovereign power above states with the ability to sanction their actions. The result is an international system in which each state must act to provide its own security and survival through self-help and the accumulation of power. At best this security dilemma, the tension that results when states build their own capabilities in order to be secure and thereby appear threatening to others, results in a balance of power between states; at worst it results in the outbreak of conict, which realists see as an ever-recurring phenomenon. Realists distinguish this dangerous anarchical international system from a domestic space within states where law and order, backed by legal sanctions, prevail. Realists portray states as unitary rational actors whose behavior can be understood in terms of the imperatives of the system of anarchy. This worldview resonated with the foreign policy interests and concerns of the United States during the cold war. Liberalism, which assumes a more benign view of the international system, provided a challenge to realism in terms of its worldview but not in terms of its methodologies. Most liberal IR theorists also see states behavior as amenable to explanations based on rational choice and game theoretic models. Cooperation is explained in terms of rational self-interest. Since the 1970s both realism
7 For a critical, more European account of why IR evolved in the United States in this scientic form, see Hoffmann 1977. Subliteratures on international cooperation and conict resolution also developed during that time.



and liberalism have shared a methodological commitment to putting IR on an ever rmer scientic footing. An anarchical world, in which the behavior of states is explained in terms of system-level-determined rational choice models, is closer to the models found in economics and physics than to those in other social sciences such as sociology or history. Indeed, the sociological tradition, more prevalent in European IR, nearly disappeared from U.S. IR as rational choice methodologies became predominant. While Marxist theories gained some recognition in the 1970s, when economic issues and the war in Vietnam began to dominate the global agenda, the anticommunism of the cold war put them at a severe disadvantage. Since the end of the cold war and the demise of socialism in Russia and Eastern and Central Europe, together with the dominance of a consensus about neoliberal economics in Western governments and in international nancial and trade institutions, Marxism and related critical theorizing approaches have receded even further from the mainstream of U.S. IR. The preference for rational choice and positivist methodologies has not been without challenge, however. In the late 1980s certain IR scholars, many of whom were located in the United States but whose work emerged out of methodological traditions more prevalent in Europe and Canada, mounted what has been called IRs third debate. Scholars divided along epistemological and methodological lines broadly dened as positivist and postpostivist (Lapid 1989).8 While debate is something of a misnomer since the mainstream has, with certain exceptions, largely ignored such challenges, scholars based in a variety of theoretical approaches and methodological orientations, including critical theory, historical sociology, discourse and linguistic analysis, and postmodernism, began to challenge the positivist foundations of the eld. While these newer approaches are by no means united in terms of their worldviews or their methodological preferences, they do agree on a skepticism about the ability of social scientic theories to offer us an adequate understanding of world politics.

Feminism enters IR

Feminist scholarship entered IR at the end of the 1980s at about the same time as the third debate.9 Most IR feminists have rejected positivist methPositivism and postpositivism are labels generally used by critics rather than by mainstream scholars, who rightly disavow being labeled positivists in the strict sense of the term, although they are close to the denition in n. 2. See Keohane 1998. It is generally postpositivists who have undertaken critical reections on epistemology and methodology. 9 I dene IR feminists as a group of scholars who read and refer to one anothers work


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odologies in the sense I have dened them, preferring hermeneutic, historically contingent, sociological, and/or ethnographically based methodologies to those inuenced by the natural sciences and economics. Like feminists in other disciplines, IR feminists have claimed that instrumental rationality, based on rational choice theory, is a model extrapolated from the highly individualistic competitive behavior of Western men in the marketplace, which IR theorists have generalized to the behavior of states. Rather than uncritically assume the state as a given unit of analysis, IR feminists have investigated the constitutive features and identities of gendered states and their implications for womens and mens lives (Peterson 1992). Feminists have asked whether it makes a difference that most foreign policy leaders in the world are men and why women remain so fundamentally disempowered in matters of foreign and military policy. They have questioned why states foreign policies are so often legitimated in terms of typically hegemonic masculine characteristics and why wars have been fought mostly by men. These constitutive questions have rarely been asked in IR; they are questions that probably could not be asked within the epistemological and methodological boundaries of positivist social science. Like feminists in other disciplines, IR feminists have expressed skepticism toward a body of knowledge that, while it claims to be universal and objective, is in reality based on knowledge primarily from mens lives. An ontology based on unitary states operating in an asocial, anarchical international environment does not provide an entry point for feminist theories grounded in an epistemology that takes social relations, particularly gender relations, as its central category of analysis. Feminist ontology is based on social relations that are constituted by historically contingent unequal political, economic, and social structures. Unlike practitioners of conventional social science IR, IR feminists generally prefer historical or sociological analyses that begin with individuals and the hierarchical social relations in which their lives are situated. Whereas much of IR is focused on explaining the behavior of states,
and whose disciplinary home is IR. Many of them are members of the Feminist Theory and Gender Studies section of the International Studies Association or its equivalent in the British International Studies Association. Their work covers an array of topics and approaches to which I cannot do justice in the space of this article. There are also many other feminist scholars from different disciplines who have made important contributions to our understanding of international politics, international conict, and the global economy, many of them before the 1980s. The International Studies Association, an interdisciplinary professional association of international relations scholars, has been a more methodologically pluralistic environment for international relations than the American Political Science Association.



feminists are motivated by emancipatory goalsinvestigating the often disadvantaged lives of women within states or international institutions and structures in order to change them. Starting its investigations from the perspective of the lives of individuals on the margins who have never been the subject matter of IR, feminist analysis is often bottom-up rather than top-down. Feminists in IR are linking the everyday lived experiences of women with the constitution and exercise of political and economic power at state and global levels. They have focused on the effects of international politics and the world economy on relational and distributional gender inequality and on how gender inequalities serve to support these same structures. Identity issues, including race and culture as well as gender, have been at the core of feminist investigations. Feminists in IR are demonstrating how gender is a pervasive feature of international life and international politics, the implications of which go well beyond its effects on women.

Some feminist methodological contributions

In the early 1990s, rst generation IR feminists challenged the masculinist biases of the core assumptions and concepts of the eld and demonstrated how the theory and practice of international relations is gendered.10 Second generation scholarship has investigated a variety of empirical cases, making gender and womens lives visible.11 For the purpose of this article I discuss three feminist empirical case studies that are grounded in methodological orientations used by postpositivist IR scholars.12 Each of them rejects positivism in the sense in which I have dened it. They share a concern for sociological, identity-based, interpretive, or linguistic methodologies. They are unique, however, in making womens lives visible and in using gender as a central category of analysis. Christine Chins In Service and Servitude: Foreign Female Domestic Workers and the Malaysian Modernity Project (1998) builds on Marxist/Gramscian critical theory introduced into IR by Canadian scholar Robert Cox and re-

Enloe 1989; Peterson 1992; Tickner 1992; Sylvester 1994. Of course, there is considerable overlap. New work on reframing IR in gendered terms continues. See Tickner 2001 and Peterson 2003. And the same scholars may do both kinds of research. 12 I chose these three because each represents a different postpositivist methodological perspective and because all three explicitly engage the IR approach out of which they construct their own feminist perspective.



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formulated in a feminist framework by Sandra Whitworth (1994).13 Elisabeth Pru gls The Global Construction of Gender: Home-Based Work in the Political Economy of the 20th Century (1999) is grounded in linguistic constructivism, associated in IR with the work of international theorist Nicholas Greenwood Onuf (1989). Charlotte Hoopers Manly States: Masculinities, International Relations, and Gender Politics (2001) is based in political theory and textual analysis.14 Each of these scholars texts illustrates the ways in which gender analysis deepens these postpositivist methodological frameworks and supports feminists claims that gender is a constitutive feature of international politics and the global economy as well as of the discipline of international relations.
Gendering critical theory

Critical international relations theory has been inuenced by two strands of critical thoughtthe Frankfurt School, most notably through the work of Ju rgen Habermas, and the Marxist theory of Italian theorist Antonio Gramsci. Scholars who write about political economy tend to be Gramscians, while those associated with the Frankfurt School tend to be rooted in political and normative theory. Both schools share an interest in human emancipation in the study of world politics (Wyn Jones 2001, 59). Gramsci reformulated Marxist materialism, emphasizing the importance of the cultural dimensions of politics. He is well known for his claim that a hegemony of ideas denes the limits of historical possibilities. In the contemporary world, a hegemony of ideas legitimizes the state and capitalism and helps ensure support for these institutions even from those whose interests they do not serve.
Cox is an emeritus professor at York University in Canada. Deborah Stienstra (1994) and Sandra Whitworth (1994) both use but go beyond a Coxian framework in their studies of the gendering of social movements and international institutions. Jacqui True (2003), also a PhD from York University, also uses a Coxian framework in her research on women in the postcommunist Czech Republic. Chin acknowledges her intellectual debt to the YorkMUNS (Multilateralism and the United Nations System) Symposium at York University in 1994 in her preface (Chin 1998, xviii). For a useful summary of Coxs theoretical contribution, see Cox 1981. 14 Pru gl received her PhD at American Universitys School of International Service, which is located in an interdisciplinary school rather than a political science department. V. Spike Peterson (1992, 2003) and Anne Sisson Runyan (Peterson and Runyan 1999) are also graduates of this program; all three were students of Onuf, the scholar who rst introduced linguistic constructivism into international relations. Hooper received her PhD from the University of Bristol, UK. Judith Squires, a political theorist, was one of her principal advisors. Catherine Eschle (2001), another British IR feminist, also grounds her study of social movements in political theory.



Cox (1981) is the IR scholar best known for introducing Gramscian thought into international relations. Cox portrays the world in terms of historical structures made up of three categories of reciprocal interacting forces: material conditions, ideas, and institutions. These forces interact at three different levels: production relations, the state-society complex, and historically dened world orders. While ideas are important in legitimating certain institutions, ideas are the product of human agents in particular historical and material circumstances; therefore, there is always a potential for human emancipation. Cox emphasized this emancipatory possibility in his distinction between critical theories and what he calls problem-solving theories, theories that are similar to those advocated by methodologically conventional IR theorists. Cox claims that critical theory stands apart from the prevailing order of the world and asks how that order came about and how it might be changed, while problem-solving theory takes the world as it nds it and implicitly accepts the prevailing order as its framework (Cox 1981, 12930). Coxs historically contingent class analysis, the importance he attaches to ideas, and his commitment to theorys emancipatory potential parallel IR feminists methodological sensitivities. Whitworth, a feminist scholar who builds on but goes beyond Coxs framework, claims that understandings about gender depend in part on the real, material, lived conditions of women and men in particular times, circumstances, and places. However, gender depends on more than material conditions, for it is the meanings given to reality that constitute genderideas that men and women have about their relationships to one another. Whitworth suggests that to use this framework to study international politics we must ask how particular material conditions and ideas are taken up in particular states and international institutions (Whitworth 1994, 6871). Her research examines the different ways gender was understood in the International Planned Parenthood Federation from its inception after World War II and in the International Labor Organization since it began in 1919, and the effect these understandings had on both institutions population policies at various times in their history. More recently, Chin has used a similar framework in her 1998 case study of foreign female domestic labor in Malaysia. The basic research question of Chins text, In Service and Servitude, is, why is unlegislated low-paying domestic service, peopled mostly by female domestic workers from the Philippines and Indonesia, increasingly prevalent in the context of constructing a modern, developed Malaysian society by way of export-oriented development (Chin 1998, 4)? Chin suggests that a conventional answer to this question would explain this phenomenon in


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terms of transnational wage differentials that encourage migration for employment. She rejects this answer on the grounds that it fails to explain why states have become actively involved in facilitating labor migration. Describing her research method as a nonpositivist manner of recovering and generating knowledge (1998, 5), Chin adopts a critically oriented approach that examines the relationship between domestic service and the developmental state and the involvement of the state in all levels of society from the household to the transnational. Chins emancipatory goals are similar to those of critical theoryto expose existing power relations with the intention of changing them (Chin 1998, 5). Using a Gramscian framework but elaborating on it in gendered terms, Chin asks how is it that paid domestic reproductive labor, usually performed by women, supports, shapes, and legitimizes the late twentiethcentury developmental state. As she notes, there has been much work on the Asian developmental state and its mechanisms of coercive power but little on how the state has used policies that regulate transnational migrant domestic labor as part of this coercive strategy. Chin claims that the developmental state is not neutral but is an expression of class, ethnic, racial, and gender-based power, which it exercises through both coercion and the cooptation of forces that could challenge it. Chin goes beyond critical analysis by introducing gender, class, and race as relationships of identity and power. She claims that the state, which is controlled mainly by elite men, is a protector and perpetrator of capitalist-patriarchal ideologies. The states involvement in regulating domestic service and policing foreign domestic workers in the name of maintaining social order is not just a personal, private issue, or one to be understood solely in terms of relations between employers and their servants, but one that serves the states goal of providing the good life for certain middle-class citizens through repressing others. Winning the support of middle-class families by promoting policies that support materialist consumption, including the paid labor of domestic servants, has helped lessen ethnic divisions in Malaysia and has increased loyalty to the state and hence its security. Support of certain groups is won at the expense of poor womens lives and security. Chin questions the assumption, implicit in economic theory, that capitalism is the natural order of life. In contrast to Coxs denition of problem-solving theory and positivisms acceptance of neutral facts, she claims that her critical analysis is designed to deconstruct this seemingly natural objective world and reveal the unequal distribution and exercise of power that inheres in and continues to constitute social relations, institutions, and structures that are shaped by and that shape human beliefs



(Chin 1998, 1718). She seeks to understand these global processes from the bottom up, and she demonstrates that domestic service is not just a private issue but an institution in which the state is actively involved and one that has regional and international implications.
Gendering IR constructivism

Constructivism entered IR during the late 1980s along with other postpositivist theories. Constructivism focuses on the ideational processes that construct the world rather than on given agents and material structures typical of conventional IR (Wyn Jones 2001, 1215). Constructivist approaches range broadly, from positivist versions that treat ideas as causes to a postpositivist focus on language. While there are many different versions of constructivism, all agree that international life is social and that agents and structures are coconstituted. Unlike conventional analysis discussed earlier, constructivist analysis posits that agents such as states and international institutions cannot be unproblematically assumed as given entities when building theories of international politics; rather, actors identities, the identities they ascribe to others, and how these identities are mutually constituted are in need of explanation before we can understand their behavior. Pru gls text, The Global Construction of Gender (1999), is grounded in IR constructivism. Pru gl takes as her starting point Onufs (1989) Wittgensteinian language-based constructivism, which focuses on rules. Onuf identies rules as a pervasive presence that give political society its meaning. When rules distribute advantage unequally, the result is rule that leads to the persistence of asymmetric social relations (Onuf 1989, 22). Institutions, including international institutions, are patterns of rules and related practices. International relations are constructed when people talk, follow rules, and engage in various social practices. Onuf does not draw a sharp distinction between material and social realities; people and societies coconstruct each other (Onuf 1989, 41). Since most feminists see gender as a social construction, Pru gl claims that Onufs constructivism can provide a useful methodological entry point for feminist IR. She proposes a feminist constructivism that puts language at its center. Her feminist elaboration portrays gender as an institution that codies powera constellation of rules and related practices that distribute privilege and create patterns of subordination that cut across other institutions, from the household to the state and the economy (Pru gl 1999, 13). She distinguishes her feminist constructivism from other forms of IR constructivism, not only because hers takes gender as a central category of analysis but also because of its concern with the ways in which


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social practice carries codes of power that are intersubjectively constituted with categories such as gender, race, and class. Rather than assuming an anarchical international system, Pru gl posits a global social space inhabited by social movements and international organizations. This allows her to talk about gender relations. Pru gl claims that the purpose of her study is to show how gender politics pervade world politics; international politics is one set of practices engaged in gender construction, which it enacts through international institutions. Pru gls case study examines the debates over the rules that regulated home-based work throughout the twentieth century. The climax of this debate was the adoption of the International Labor Organizations (ILO) Homework Convention in 1996, when certain rules were adopted that signaled a step toward the institutionalization of rights for home-based workers. Pru gls evidence came from tracking the efforts of the Self-Employed Womens Association of India (SEWA) and HomeNet International, an international network of home-based workers. She also used evidence from documents relating to debates within the ILO. Since the majority of home-based workers are women, this was an important debate from a feminist perspective; low wages and poor working conditions have been justied on the grounds that home-based work is not real work since it takes place in the private reproductive sphere of the household rather than in the more valued public sphere of production. Pru gl examines how social movements and the ILO engaged in conversations with a diverse set of agents such as states, private companies, and trade unions to bring about a change in the way these various institutions dened work, thus leading to a change in the gender rules governing home-based employment. Pru gl is conscious that her choice to focus on global movements and international organizations removes her study from the experiences of individual home-based workers. She is aware that this may open her up to criticisms by contemporary feminists who argue for situated knowledge based on the cultural, racial, and class-based particularities of womens lives, an epistemological position that has also been evident in IR feminist empirical research (Moon 1997; Chin 1998; True 2003). She defends her focus on global politics by suggesting that certain feminists have confused the universal and the global, tending to see them as synonymous. Pru gl contends that whereas universal refers to theories that claim logical universality, implying that sources of oppression are the same for all women, the global is a social space that emerges from diverse interactions of inuentials across state boundaries (1999, 14849). Global networks create historically specic rules, and international organizations are sites where



global processes resulting from intense negotiation among a variety of actors become visible. Since these are political spaces that provide openings for alternative interpretations, Pru gl sees them as sites for emancipation.
Gendering textual analysis

Hoopers text, Manly States (2001), is grounded in feminist theory, mens studies, IR theory, and cultural studies. Her central question is, what role does international relations theory and practice have in shaping, dening, and legitimating masculinities? How, she asks, might international relations discipline men as much as men shape international relations (Hooper 2001, 2)? Hooper rightly claims that, although masculinity is a topic of central importance in international relations and one to which many IR feminists have alluded, it has not received much systematic attention.15 Hooper defends her focus on masculinity on the grounds that IR theory and practice is a mans world.16 She aims to show that gender politics pervades world politics and that gender is a social construct that results from practices that connect arguments at all levels of politics and society, including the international. Her primary concern is with the role played by the discipline itself in shaping, dening, and legitimating masculinities (Hooper 2001, 34). Hooper sets about demonstrating the validity of these claims through an analysis of theories of masculinity and a textual analysis of the Economist, a prestigious British weekly newspaper that covers business and politics. She discusses various historically and culturally contingent theories of hegemonic masculinities, which she relates to the theoretical constructs of IR. Hooper claims that we cannot understand international relations unless we understand the implications of the fact that it is conducted by men; masculinities are not just domestic cultural variables but the products of mens participation in international relations. Military combat and colonial administration are some examples on which she draws to show how international relations shape men. Hoopers analysis of the Economist, looking at issues dated 1989 to 1996, is a textual reading that follows the practice of intertextuality used in cultural studiesthe process by which meanings are circulated between texts through the use of various visual and literary codes and conventions (Hooper 2001, 122). She includes graphs, layout, photos, and
For an IR study that does focus on masculinity, see Zalewski and Parpart 1998. There is some controversy about this. Some IR feminists see a danger in losing sight of women when they have only just become the subject matter of international relations. See, e.g., Zalewski 1998.
16 15


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advertising material in her analysis, which claims that the newspaper is saturated with signiers of elitist hegemonic masculinities and that gendered messages are encoded in the paper regardless of the intentions of its publishers or authors. According to Hooper, the Economist is a booster for neoliberal economic globalization; its readership includes international business and political elites from around the world. She links the newspaper to IR by suggesting that it is a frequently cited secondary source for academics in economics and international relations, and she compares the newspapers worldview with that of mainstream IR. Its aggressive business style, in which the business world is portrayed as a Darwinian struggle, and its description of states as rational competitive masculine actors t the models of both realism and liberalism described above. Hooper suggests that these business and academic worldviews are mutually reinforcing and act to reproduce forms of hegemonic masculinities. Indeed, Hoopers central concern is with her claim that IR as a discipline is heavily implicated in the construction and promotion of hegemonic masculinities. Her normative goal is to uncover and challenge these gendered constructions to make the discipline reective of its gendered foundations as a rst step toward changing them.


In this article I have suggested some reasons why most IR feminists have chosen to conduct their research outside positivist methodological frameworks. The boundary that divides an asocial world of international relations from a domestic political space makes analyses that deal with social relations, including race and class as well as gender, difcult. Feminists in IR have also challenged another boundary between the public sphere of politics and economics and the private sphere of families, domestic labor, and reproduction: many of the questions IR feminists are asking intersect and challenge these boundaries. They are questions that probably could not be asked within the methodological frameworks of conventional social science. Feminists in IR are concerned with the linkages between the everyday lived experiences of women and the constitution and exercise of political and economic power at the state and global levels. They are investigating how gender and other hierarchies of power affect those at the margins of the system. They are demonstrating how gendered structures of power inhere in political and economic institutions and structures and what effect this has on the lives of individuals. Claiming that the discipline that an-



alyzes global politics is itself gendered, they are showing how IR is implicated in the reproduction of masculinist international politics and economics. Whereas existing theories tend to focus on public lifeeither formal institutions or the market, both of which are associated with men and male political behaviora focus that includes the private sphere provides a new vantage point from which to analyze the gendered micro/ macro linkages that constitute international politics and economics. Through my examination of three representative texts I have shown how the postpositivist interpretive methodologies on which they draw provide more conducive frameworks for investigating these issues. The methodological frameworks that I have discussed, those based in critical theory, linguistic constructivism, and textual analysis, are more amenable than positivist approaches to incorporating gender as a category of analysis. Critical theorys commitment to emancipation accords with feminist sensibilities, and identity-based theories allow for the investigation of gender as a socially constructed category of analysis. But postpositivist methodologies have, for the most part, been as gender blind as the mainstream. Therefore, as I have demonstrated, IR feminist research has built on but gone beyond them to construct gender-sensitive methodological frameworks within which to conduct their investigations. Nevertheless, as V. Spike Peterson has claimed, despite fteen years of explication, IR feminists most signicant theoretical insights remain largely invisible to the discipline (Peterson 2004, 44).17 As I noted in my introduction, U.S. IR has been dened by its methodological debates, and, given the continued predominance of social scientic methodologies, those whose work falls outside these approaches are already at considerable disadvantage professionally. Including gender analysis in ones research carries added personal and professional risks.18 Methodologies preferred by feminists are not normally part of an IR graduate curriculum in the United States, and academic reward structures are skewed in favor of those who use conventional methodologies. For these reasons, many IR feminists are moving beyond the discipline. Yet I believe that it is important for feminists to stay connected; the discipline of IR is where many future international policy makers and activists will learn about international politics and other global issues. And, as I have demonstrated, IR feminists

Most of the issue of the Brown Journal of International Affairs in which Petersons article appears is devoted to the future of feminist theory in IR. 18 The Zalewski and Parpart volume (1998) includes chapters by male IR scholars who reect on these risks.



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are contributing in unique and important ways to our understanding of global issues. School of International Relations University of Southern California


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