International Handbooks on Gender series
Edited by Jill Steans and Daniela Tepe
Chapter 2: Still engaging from the margins?
In the 25 years since feminist theorizing entered the field of international relations (IR), feminist scholarship has proliferated in creative and exciting ways. The wide-ranging topics with which it has engaged across a variety of disciplines and methodological approaches provide striking evidence of this. Journal articles, books and other scholarly outputs reflect considerable interest in gender issues. In 1999 the first IR feminist journal, the International Feminist Journal of Politics, began publication. Indicators that IR has come to take feminism seriously can be found in the recognition of feminist scholarship as a paradigmatic approach (Maliniak et al., 2008), inclusion of feminist scholarship in certain IR introductory texts, and the publication of a feminist special issue of the journal Security Studies in 2009. Feminist IR dates back to the end of the Cold War, a time when the IR discipline opened up to new issues and new methodological perspectives. When this happened, it was remarkable the extent to which feminist scholars in different parts of the world, and in different disciplines, began thinking along the same lines at about the same time. In 1988 the British journal Millennium published its first special issue on ‘Women and International Relations’, and in 1993 Jan Jindy Pettman published an article in Australia’s leading international affairs journal entitled ‘Gendering International Relations’ (Pettman, 1993). Two years earlier Hilary Charlesworth, in a co-authored article in the American Journal of International Law, had drawn attention to the gendered foundations of international law (Charlesworth et al., 1991).
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