International Relations is a vibrant field of significant growth and change. This book guides students through the complexities of over 40 central concepts and core theories, relating them at all times to contemporary issues and debates.

Each concept is divided into five sections to allow rapid familiarization with the topic and provide signposts for further exploration:

Core questions to address; Definition; Theoretical perspectives; Empirical problems; Core reading and useful websites

In addition the major theories are covered by six-part entries that give a 360 degree view of the strengths, weaknesses, applications and methodologies of each one:

An introduction to the core questions; Overview and background; Methodologies; Empirical application; Central criticism; Core reading and useful websites

Clear and highly readable, Key Concepts in International Relations is an essential guide for students on politics and international relations courses.

Theory Concept: Feminism and Gender

Theory concept: Feminism and gender

1. Core Questions Addressed

  • What are the three different generations of feminist International Relations?
  • Why is the personal political?
  • What makes gender an important analytical category in international politics?

2. Overview and Background

Feminism only began to properly engage in International Relations from the mid-1980s onwards when the context of the postpositivism, or fourth debate, opened up space for feminist works. Feminist International Relations is commonly distinguished into three waves or generations that build on, yet go beyond, other theories in the field (Sylvester 1994).

Preceding the fourth debate, the first wave of liberal feminism followed a decidedly empirical focus in calling attention to the under-representation and subordination of women in international relations in general and in positions of power and influence ...

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