'Innocent Women and Children' Gender, Norms and the Protection of Civilians
Examining the influence of gender constructs on the international regime protecting war-affected civilians, R. Charli Carpenter examines how in practice belligerents, advocates and humanitarian players interpret civilian immunity so as to leave adult civilian men and older boys at grave risk in conflict zones. Providing a wealth of ground-breaking case studies, the author argues that in order to understand the way in which laws of war are implemented and promoted in international society we must understand how gender ideas affect the principle of civilian immunity. Each case study demonstrates the importance of assumptions about gender relations in shaping international politics, and in developing a framework for incorporating an attention to gender into the often gender-blind scholarship on international norms. As such, this book will be of interest to international relations theorists and to human rights scholars, students and activists alike.
’In this original and compelling study, R. Charli Carpenter shows that norms for the protection of civilians in warfare have become deeply gendered, leaving men invisible and often particularly vulnerable to murder. This practice persists because belligerents, advocacy groups, and protection organizations all draw on gendered cultural frames to justify their behaviour. Innocent Women and Children is that rare work creating an "ah-ha" feeling: "Of course this is right; why didn't I think of this?"’ Robert O. Keohane, Princeton University, USA 'Innocent Women and Children demonstrates why Charli Carpenter well deserves her reputation for being one of the most interesting international relations scholars publishing on international humanitarian norms today...Carpenter asks us to rethink commonly held beliefs about "innocence" in wartime. The stakes are exceedingly high, Carpenter explains, when stereotyped beliefs about the role of men and women in wartime prevail over a factual evaluation of lived realities...This book provides a powerful and provocative message to policymakers and scholars alike.' Julie Mertus, American University, USA 'This impressive study works on several levels. It provides further evidence for why international relations scholars must take gender seriously and how doing so will force a systematic reconsideration of how the world works. It represents an important contribution to our understanding of the meaning and practice of humanitarian action. It should be read by scholars and practitioners alike. Highly recommended.' Michael Barnett, University of Minnesota, USA 'Carpenter has a lot to bring to the mainstream feminist IR literature and to contemporary feminist literature in general. One of the ingenious aspects of her work is that she takes gender analyses seriously by focusing on both women and men. This is something that many feminist scholars claim as an aim yet frequently fail to accomplish...Carpenter's work therefore represen