Masculinities, Gender and International Relations

Internationale Beziehungen / Männerbild / Geschlechterrolle / Gender / Queer / Sexualität / Waffenhandel / Militarismus / Krieg / Costa Rica

This book addresses great-power politics through the gender ‘lens’ of both masculinity and femininity. It adapts current theorisations within a novel conceptual framework. That framework presents gender as an asymmetrical binary. Moreover gender is theorised as an ordered and ordering hierarchy. In that way the foundational concepts of International Relations are gendered as ‘nested’ hierarchies of domination and subordination. This empirical formation is understood intersectionally as hierarchies of race, class, gender, (dis)ability and similar categories of superiority and inferiority. These processes and institutions operate within complex hierarchies maintained by complicity and consent. Weapons industries, the arms trade, and nation-state militaries have a common legitimacy deficit, since injury and death require justification. Concepts of warrior-protector and bourgeois-rational masculinity are crucial to understanding how the most destructive forms of militarisation are auto-legitimated. To explore these processes in detail, this book takes readers behind closed doors and into international arms ‘fairs’. Ethnographic and performative analysis work together to expose rarely seen physical, affective and political-economic relationships. At these exhibitions masculinities and femininities are deployed to sanitise and thus erase any suggestion of death and destruction. Protestors against militarism are excluded and marginalised. The gender ‘lens’ also exposes critical issues of divergence and conflict in activist politics. Rather than typologising ‘alternative’ masculinities this book addresses queer protests that target the gender-order hierarchy itself. In that way they attempt to destabilise the weapons trade through which great-power politics is crucially defined.