Introduction: International Relations through Feminist Lenses

Laura Sjoberg, J. Ann Tickner

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This book was compiled as feminist research in IR enters its third decade. Conferences in the late 1980s and one in 1990, together with a special issue of the journal Millennium titled “Women in International Relations,” published in 1988, are generally seen to have played a significant role in founding the subfield, which has drawn inspiration from feminist work in women’s studies, sociology, psychology, history, and the philosophy of science. Feminist IR scholars applied feminist thinking in these disciplines, (as well as other new feminist theorizing), to the problems of interest to IR theorists while at the same time, by demonstrating the relevance (and indeed necessity) of gender theorizing they tried to broaden the spectrum of problems IR finds interesting. Recently, as feminist IR “turned 20,” a number of events, panels, and discussions were held to celebrate and discuss the contributions that feminist IR has made to thinking about global politics generally as well as the contributions that it could, as a research program, make in the future. As IR feminists reflect on the past twenty years, they are asking questions such as: what have we learned about how women are a part of global politics and how they impact global politics? What have we learned about gendered expectations with respect to people, states, and organizations in the global political arena, and how are political processes dependent on these expectations?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFeminism and International Relations
Subtitle of host publicationConversations about the Past, Present, and Future
EditorsJ. Ann Tickner, Laura Sjoberg
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780203816813
ISBN (Print)9780415584579, 9780415584609
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2011


  • feminist theory
  • gender studies
  • feminist IR
  • international relations
  • international relations theory

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