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Men, Militarism, and UN Peacekeeping

A Gendered Analysis

Sandra Whitworth



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Lynne Rienner Publishers Inc
15 August 2007
In this important, controversial, and at times troubling book, Sandra Whitworth looks behind the rhetoric to investigate from a feminist perspective some of the realities of military intervention under the UN flag. Whitworth contends that there is a fundamental contradiction between portrayals of peacekeeping as altruistic and benign and the militarized masculinity that underpins the group identity of soldiers. Examining evidence from Cambodia and Somalia, she argues that sexual and other crimes can be seen as expressions of a violent hypermasculinity that is congruent with militarized identities, but entirely incongruent with missions aimed at maintaining peace. She also asserts that recent efforts within the UN to address gender issues in peacekeeping operations have failed because they fail to challenge traditional understandings of militaries, conflict, and women. This unsettling critique of UN operations, which also investigates the interplay between gender and racial stereotyping in peacekeeping, has the power to change conventional perceptions, with considerable policy implications.
By:   Sandra Whitworth
Imprint:   Lynne Rienner Publishers Inc
Country of Publication:   United States
Edition:   illustrated Edition
ISBN:   9781588265524
ISBN 10:   1588265528
Series:   Critical Security Studies
Pages:   225
Publication Date:   15 August 2007
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Reviews for Men, Militarism, and UN Peacekeeping: A Gendered Analysis

The critical questions [Whitworth] raises enrich the debate over how best to deal with threats to international peace. Margaret P. Karns, Perspectives on Politics An important contribution to our understanding of peace operations. Paul Williams, International Affairs A provocative and disturbing account of how soldiers and the military have responded to the sometimes contradictory requirements of peace operations. Whitworth's feminist analysis questions our assumption that warriors are able to bring or keep peace. Simon Chesterman, International Peace Academy Whitworth digs deep into the cultural politics of internationalized war, peace, and security. She asks and answers feminist questions about soldiering, about national myths, and about internal UN dynamics in graphic ways that make this compulsory and gripping reading. Cynthia Enloe, Clark University

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