Table of Contents

Handbook on Gender and War

Handbook on Gender and War

International Handbooks on Gender series

Edited by Simona Sharoni, Julia Welland, Linda Steiner and Jennifer Pedersen

Gender and war are in many ways inextricably linked, and this path-breaking Handbook systematically examines the major issues surrounding this relationship. Each of its four sections covers a distinct phase of war: gender and opposition to war; gender and the conduct of war; gender and the impact of war; and gender and the aftermath of war. Original contributions from an international group of leading experts make use of a range of historical and contemporary examples to interrogate the multi-faceted connection between gender and war.

Chapter 23: Gender and post-conflict security

Megan MacKenzie

Subjects: politics and public policy, international politics, terrorism and security


With relatively recent discussions of the security/development nexus and the potential role of ‘failed’ states in spoiling international security, scholars in International Relations (IR) have paid greater attention to post-conflict security and development over the past decade. All too often, considerations of post-conflict security have largely ignored or overlooked gender. This chapter examines the relationship between gender and post-conflict security. It begins by raising questions about key concepts associated with post-conflict security, including ‘security’, ‘peace’, ‘reintegration’ and ‘the return to normal’. The chapter encourages readers to ask critical questions about the forms of gendered ordering that may take place in the name of ‘reconstruction’ and ‘rehabilitation’ as well as the types of gendered security issues that might arise during the post-conflict period. The chapter considers how gender is constructed both in war and in the post-war period and how this may impact the security of men, women, boys and girls. The chapter is grounded in the argument that a gendered approach to post-conflict security does not mean simply ‘looking for women’; rather, it requires an examination of how security itself is defined in relation to gender norms and identities.

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