'Innocent Women and Children': Gender, Norms and the Protection of Civilians, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

'Innocent Women and Children'

Gender, Norms and the Protection of Civilians, 1st Edition

By R. Charli Carpenter


230 pages

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Hardback: 9780754647454
pub: 2006-05-28
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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

About the Author

R. Charli Carpenter is Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, and a faculty affiliate of the University of Pittsburgh's Ford Institute of Human Security, both in the USA. She has published extensively on gender, children's rights, and humanitarian action, and is the recipient of awards from the National Science Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Professor Carpenter teaches courses on human rights and humanitarian law and is currently directing a research initiative on children and armed conflict.

About the Series

Gender in a Global/Local World

Gender in a Global/Local World

Gender in a Global/Local World critically explores the uneven and often contradictory ways in which global processes and local identities come together. Much has been and is being written about globalization and responses to it but rarely from a critical, historical, gendered perspective. Yet, these processes are profoundly gendered albeit in different ways in particular contexts and times. The changes in social, cultural, economic and political institutions and practices alter the conditions under which women and men make and remake their lives. New spaces have been created - economic, political, social - and previously silent voices are being heard. North-South dichotomies are being undermined as increasing numbers of people and communities are exposed to international processes through migration, travel, and communication, even as marginalization and poverty intensify for many in all parts of the world. The series features monographs and collections which explore the tensions in a ’global/local world’, and includes contributions from all disciplines in recognition that no single approach can capture these complex processes.

Please contact one of the editors if you have a proposal for consideration:

Jane Parpart: [email protected]

Marianne H. Marchand: [email protected]

Rirhandu Mageza-Barthel: [email protected]

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Gender & the Law