Table of Contents

Research Handbook on International Law and Terrorism

Research Handbook on International Law and Terrorism

Research Handbooks in International Law series

Edited by Ben Saul

This Handbook brings together leading scholars and practitioners to examine the prolific body of international laws governing terrorism. It exhaustively covers the global response to terrorism in transnational criminal law, the international law on the use of force, international humanitarian law, international human rights law, the law of State responsibility, the United Nations Security Council, General Assembly, UN specialised bodies, and regional organisations. It also addresses special legal issues in dealing with terrorism such as gender, religion, victims of terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and customary law.

Chapter 10: Gender, counter-terrorism and international law

Jayne Huckerby

Subjects: law - academic, human rights, public international law, terrorism and security law, politics and public policy, human rights, terrorism and security


International law’s doctrinal and institutional responses to terrorism are rarely canvassed for their gendered character and impacts. Gender analyses of international law on terrorism tend to aggregate at two ends of the spectrum: the evaluation of underlying gender narratives in meta-concepts such as the ‘War on Terror’, or of specific instances of gender performativity, such as the use of gendered interrogation techniques against terrorist suspects in detention facilities. The failure to talk about the spaces in-between, or to trace the trajectory of developments in how gender features in international law’s response to terrorism, renders existing accounts of gender, terrorism and international law incomplete. This forecloses important insights not just into the role of gender in international law on terrorism, but also into how the gender narratives that underpin international law on terrorism migrate to intersect with, and impact on, other international law doctrines, such as those on gender equality. This chapter is divided into three sections. The first outlines and charts the shifts in how gender has featured in international law responses to terrorism. The second draws upon feminist critiques of international law to provide an account of the erasures and manifestations of gender in both the practice and discourse of counter-terrorism and national security at the international level. The third examines more closely recent developments in international responses to terrorism that seek to integrate the promotion of gender equality as a component of such responses.

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