Sex and World Peace

Sex and World Peace


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Sex and World Peace unsettles a variety of assumptions in political and security discourse, demonstrating that the security of women is a vital factor in the security of the state and its incidence of conflict and war.

The authors compare micro-level gender violence and macro-level state peacefulness in global settings, supporting their findings with detailed analyses and color maps. Harnessing an immense amount of data, they call attention to discrepancies between national laws protecting women and the enforcement of those laws, and they note the adverse effects on state security of abnormal sex ratios favoring males, the practice of polygamy, and inequitable realities in family law, among other gendered aggressions.

The authors find that the treatment of women informs human interaction at all levels of society. Their research challenges conventional definitions of security and democracy and shows that the treatment of gender, played out on the world stage, informs the true clash of civilizations. In terms of resolving these injustices, the authors examine top-down and bottom-up approaches to healing wounds of violence against women, as well as ways to rectify inequalities in family law and the lack of parity in decision-making councils. Emphasizing the importance of an R2PW, or state responsibility to protect women, they mount a solid campaign against women's systemic insecurity, which effectively unravels the security of all.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231131834
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 02/03/2014
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 233,537
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Valerie M. Hudson is professor and George H.W. Bush Chair at The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. Her research concerns foreign policy analysis, security studies, gender and international relations, and methodology, and her articles have appeared in such journals as International Security, Journal of Peace Research, Political Psychology, and Foreign Policy Analysis. She is the author or editor of several books, including, with Andrea Den Boer, Bare Branches: The Security Implications of Asia's Surplus Male Population, which won the American Association of Publishers Award for Best Book in Political Science and the Otis Dudley Duncan Award for Best Book in Social Demography. She was named one of Foreign Policy's Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2009.

Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill is professor emeritus of psychology at Brigham Young University and the last director of its Women's Research Institute. She is a fellow in both the Association for Psychological Science and the American Psychological Association. Her research focuses on interpersonal violence and peace. She is a coauthor of Peaceabilities: Compelling Stories and Activities That Develop Abilities of Children to Live Peacefully with Others and coeditor of A Chorus for Peace: A Global Anthology of Poetry by Women.

Mary Caprioli is associate professor and director of international studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth. She pioneered a new line of scholarly inquiry between the security of women and the national and international behavior of states and confirmed the link using quantitative methodology. She is an associate editor for Foreign Policy Analysis, an editorial board member for the Peace and Conflict Report, and an advisory board member for the Minorities at Risk Project. She is also a member of the International Group of Experts for the UNSCR 1325 Research Group of the government of Sweden.

Chad F. Emmett is an associate professor of geography at Brigham Young University focused on researching the peaceful sharing of space between Israelis and Palestinians, Christians and Muslims, men and women, and other supposedly opposing groups. He is the author of Beyond the Basilica: Christians and Muslims in Nazareth.

Table of Contents

List of Maps
Preface and Acknowledgments
1. Roots of National and International Relations
2. What Is There to See
3. When We Do See the Global Picture
4. The Heart of the Matter: The Security of Women and the Security of States
5. Wings of National and International Relations
6. Wings of National and International Relations
7. Taking Wing
Appendix A. Operationalizations for Data Analysis in Chapter 4
Appendix B. Data Analysis Results for Chapter 4

What People are Saying About This

Ann Crittenden

An eye-opening contribution to our understanding of the powerful misogynist forces that still contribute to violence and war. This volume should be required reading for all students of international relations and those who make policy.

Rose McDermott

Valerie M. Hudson and her colleagues take a monumental stride forward in providing a clear theoretical and empirical case for linking important outcomes in international politics, such as security, to the treatment of women. Their tour de force book connects micro-level incidents of violence against women—instantiated in such phenomena as inequity in family law, polygamy, and imbalanced sex ratios—to macro-level occurrences such as conflict and war. In this approach, they highlight the way in which legal institutions in particular serve to perpetuate patterns of violence within the family and larger society. The authors argue that the true clash of civilizations is not taking place between East and West, Christian and Muslim, but rather occurs in the chasm between men and women and in the discrepancy between attitudes, expectations, responsibilities, and opportunities playing out on the world stage. They provide an important theoretical link locating the origins of the mechanisms individuals use to establish and sustain hierarchies of dominance in international relations through the use of violence within the family. This learning then generalizes out into other domains, unconsciously but pervasively aligning dominance in the family to power between states that threaten or use violence to maintain control over groups constructed as a weaker "other." The implicit and ubiquitous nature of these patterns, in turn, provides unquestioned justification for the repression and protest spawning conflict around the globe.

David G. Winter

Sex and World Peace is unprecedented. While there have been books on gender and international relations and books exploring the causes of war with statistical analyses of archival data, to my knowledge no other book does both. This is therefore a germinal contribution to the emerging field of gender and international relations. It will also add to the ongoing American debate between realism and idealism in foreign policy. Of course this book will appeal to researchers and advanced graduate students, yet the accessible writing—leading the reader into the central argument by vivid 'case studies'—will also make it useful to advanced undergraduates. Finally, practitioners and activists in diplomacy, international aid NGOs, enlightened multinational corporations, and women's and men's organizations aimed at transforming gender relations will find much here that is instructive and useful.

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