The Law on the Use of Force: A Feminist Analysis, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Law on the Use of Force

A Feminist Analysis, 1st Edition

By Gina Heathcote


230 pages

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The book presents the international laws on the use of force whilst demonstrating the unique insight a feminist analysis offers this central area of international law. The book highlights key conceptual barriers to the enhanced application of the law of the use of force, and develops international feminist method through rigorous engagement with the key writers in the field

The book looks at the key aspects of the UN Charter relevant to the use of force – Article 2(4), Article 51 and Chapter VII powers – as well as engaging with contemporary debates on the possibility of justified force to meet self-determination or humanitarian goals. The text also discusses the arguments in favour of the use of pre-emptive force and reflects on the role feminist legal theories can play in exposing the inconsistencies of contemporary arguments for justified force under the banner of the war on terror. Throughout the text state practice and institutional documentation are analysed, alongside key instances of the use of force.

The book makes a genuine, urgently needed contribution to a central area of international law, demonstrating the capacity of feminist legal theories to enlarge our understanding of key international legal dilemmas.


‘The importance of this study strikes the reader at once’ - Loveday Hodson, University of Leicester, UK for Global Law Books

Table of Contents

1. Feminist Legal Approaches and International Law on the Use of Force 2. Collective Security 3. Justifying Force: Self-Defence 4. Justifying Force: Self-Determination 5. Justifying Force: Humanitarian Intervention 6. Justifying Force in the Era of Global Terrorism

About the Author

Dr. Gina Heathcote is a Senior Teaching Fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies where she lectures on Public International Law and the International Law on the Use of Force.

About the Series

Routledge Research in International Law

The series offers a space for new and emerging scholars of international law to publish original arguments, as well as presenting alternative perspectives from more established names in international legal research.  Works cover both the theory and practice of international law, presenting innovative analyses of the nature and state of international law itself as well as more specific studies within particular disciplines. The series will explore topics such as the changes to the international legal order, the processes of law-making and law-enforcement, as well as the range of actors in public international law. The books will take a variety of different methodological approaches to the subject including interdisciplinary, critical legal studies, feminist, and Third World approaches, as well as the sociology of international law. Looking at the past, present and future of international law the series reflects the current vitality and diversity of international legal scholarship.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / International
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Diplomacy