Toward Trans-gendering International Relations?

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This article addresses that claim in more detail by engaging with trans- gender theorizing, “the academic field that claims as its purview transsexuality and cross-dressing, some aspects of intersexuality and homosexuality, cross-cultural and historical investigations of human gender diversity,” and many other similar issues (Stryker 2006, 3). Much like feminist work in IR, trans- theorizing is not one single approach, but a diverse, vibrant, and contested collection of theories which shares an interest in the existence, meaning, and signification of the trans- in political and social life. This work, according to Stryker (2006, 2), “has helped foster a sea-change in the academic study of gender, sex, sexuality, identity, desire, and embodiment.” This article looks to translate those gains to the discourses of IR.
In order to do so, it asks what insights trans- theorizing might provide for the study of global politics generally, and for feminist theorizing about gender in global politics specifically. After a brief introduction of the terminology of trans- theorizing, this article addresses the potential for (and potential hazards for) an alliance between trans- theorizing and feminist theorizing in IR. The article then discusses several potential contributions of trans- theorizing, including hyper- and in-visibility, liminality, crossing, and disidentification, which provide explanatory leverage for IR. The article concludes with some suggestions for further collaboration between trans- theorizing and (feminist) IR to deepen and widen IR’s work on gender specifically and global politics generally.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-354
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Political Sociology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2012

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