Feminist Reflections on Political Violence

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Feminist research on the making and fighting of wars has urged students of security to broaden the definition of “war” and to explore women’s multiple roles in conflict with an eye for the complex relationships between gender, gender-based stereotypes, and political violence. This chapter begins by chronicling some important components of feminist work on the meaning of political violence, the people who commit political violence, and the people who are impacted by political violence. It then argues that political violence is constituted by gender “all the way down,” that is, that political violence is gendered, its actors are gendered, and its impacts are gendered. Looking theoretically at women who commit terrorist violence, this chapter contends that a broader understanding of both what gender is and what counts as “political” violence is essential to a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter of political violence. The chapter concludes with a proposed feminist reading of political violence as a gendered concept.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Ashgate Research Companion to Political Violence
EditorsMarie Breen-Smyth
Place of PublicationAldershot
PublisherAshgate Press
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781315613413
ISBN (Print)9780754677529
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2012


  • gender
  • feminism
  • feminist IR
  • political violence
  • war
  • security

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