Revealing International Hierarchy through Gendered Lenses

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This chapter explores the utility of the terminology of “gender hierarchy” for thinking about Daesh/ISIS in Iraq and Syria while using that situation as an example to demonstrate the different ways in which it is important to use gender lenses to study hierarchy in global politics. The central contention of this chapter is that gender is implicated in and implicates all hierarchies in global politics. To substantiate this claim, the chapter explores three key relationships between gender and hierarchy in global politics. First, it explores gender hierarchies that explicitly order actors on the basis of associations with sex and gender, which are hierarchies. Second, it engages hierarchies as gendered that deploy associations with sex and gender to signify organization of actors along other distinctions, including, but not limited to, race, class, religion, culture, and nationality. Third, it investigates hierarchies in global politics as gendered institutions.
In deploying the typologies of gender hierarchies, hierarchies as gendered, and hierarchies as gendered institutions, this chapter looks to make the argument that a deep structure of gender stratification manifests and is manifest in other kinds of hierarchical systems in global politics. In so doing, it uses a broad, structural understanding of hierarchy to explore gender as a foundation for hierarchies in global politics, which are, through gendered power, productive of both outcomes and significations in the global political arena. This chapter looks to make this contribution through explicative sections dealing with gender hierarchies, hierarchies as gendered, and hierarchies as gendered institutions, concluding with an exploration of what a feminist approach to hierarchy in global politics might look like.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHierarchy in World Politics
EditorsAyse Zarakol
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781108241588
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • gender
  • hierarchy
  • international relations
  • feminist IR

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