Gender, Agency and War

The Maternalized Body in US Foreign Policy

By Tina Managhan

© 2012 – Routledge

184 pages

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9780415781954
pub: 2012-01-26
US Dollars$145.00
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About the Book

This book traces practices of militarization and resistance that have emerged under the sign of motherhood in US Foreign Policy.

Gender, Agency and War examines this discourse against the background of three key moments of American foreign policy formation: the anti-nuclear movement of the 1980s, the Gulf War of the early 1990s, and the recent invasion of Iraq. For each of these moments the author explores the emergence of a historically specific and emblematic maternalized mode of female embodiment (ranging from the ‘hysterical’ antinuclear protester to the figure of ‘Supermom’), in order to shed light onto the various practices which define and enable expressions of American sovereignty. In so doing, the text argues that the emergence of particular raced, gendered, and maternalized bodies ought not to be read as merely tangential to affairs of state, but as instantiations of global politics. This work urges an approach that rereads the body as an ‘event’ – with significant implications for the ways in which international politics and gender are currently understood.

This book will be of much interest to students of gender politics, critical security studies, US foreign policy and IR in general.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Reading International Relations through Bodies, Reading the Maternal Body as Political Event 1. The Vicissitudes of Life: Women’s Complex Entanglement with Peace and War 2. Shifting the Gaze from Hysterical Mothers to ‘Deadly Dads’: Spectacle and the Antinuclear Movement 3. (M)others, Biopolitics and the Gulf War 4. Grieving Dead Soldiers, Disavowing Loss: Cindy Sheehan and the Im/possibility of the American Antiwar Movement Conclusion: The Maternal Body as Alibi: Understanding the Centrality of the Maternal Body to Sovereign Representation

About the Author

Tina Managhan is senior lecturer in International Relations at Oxford Brookes University, and has a Ph.D. in International Relations from York University, Canada.

About the Series

War, Politics and Experience

This series will publish interdisciplinary, single-authored and edited volumes that address the experiences of war and the everyday politics of war-making that shape and are shaped by those experiences. These works will push boundaries of knowledge and disciplinarity by offering new, theoretically sophisticated, and empirically rich approaches to understanding the experiential politics of war in the post-World War II period.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POL011000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POL035000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / General
SOC010000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Feminism & Feminist Theory