Gender, Agency and War: The Maternalized Body in US Foreign Policy

1st Edition

Tina Managhan

Published June 16, 2017
Reference - 184 Pages
ISBN 9781138111134 - CAT# Y337274
Series: War, Politics and Experience

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This book traces practices of militarization and resistance that have emerged under the sign of motherhood in US Foreign Policy.

Gender, Agency and War examines this discourse against the background of three key moments of American foreign policy formation: the anti-nuclear movement of the 1980s, the Gulf War of the early 1990s, and the recent invasion of Iraq. For each of these moments the author explores the emergence of a historically specific and emblematic maternalized mode of female embodiment (ranging from the ‘hysterical’ antinuclear protester to the figure of ‘Supermom’), in order to shed light onto the various practices which define and enable expressions of American sovereignty. In so doing, the text argues that the emergence of particular raced, gendered, and maternalized bodies ought not to be read as merely tangential to affairs of state, but as instantiations of global politics. This work urges an approach that rereads the body as an ‘event’ – with significant implications for the ways in which international politics and gender are currently understood.

This book will be of much interest to students of gender politics, critical security studies, US foreign policy and IR in general.



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