Reevaluating Gender and IR Scholarship: Moving Beyond Reiter's Dichotomies to Effective Synergies

Laura Sjoberg, Kelly Kadera, Cameron Thies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Downloads (Pure)


We seek a more accurate review of, and reflection on the gender and international relations (IR) literature than that offered by Reiter. Our evaluation corrects misunderstandings related to key dichotomies (mis)used in analyzing scholarship: sex/gender, positivism/nonpositivism, and epistemology/ontology. It also underscores the comparative strengths and weaknesses of different types of research in order to identify more fruitful possibilities for synthesis. We make the pluralist case that gender and IR research is at its best when it is multimethod, epistemologically pluralist, multisited, and carefully navigates the differences between feminist analyses and large-n statistical studies. The potential payoff of careful, synergistic engagement is worth any risks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)848-870
Number of pages23
JournalThe Journal of Conflict Resolution
Issue number4
Early online date23 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • gender
  • international relations
  • feminist IR
  • feminist security studies
  • positivism
  • post-positivism

Cite this