Feminist work in International Relations, Security Studies, and Peace Studies has encouraged us to see war as fought through and in the lives of ordinary people, and to understand that those experiences differ on the basis of sex. As I have stated elsewhere, “gender analysis is necessary, conceptually, for understanding international security, important for analyzing causes and predicting outcomes, and essential to thinking about solutions and promoting positive change in the security realm. In this essay I argue that feminist theorizing of peace suggests a number of transformative observations. First, feminist perspectives focus a critical lens on the meaning of peace, often making invisible violence visible. Second, feminist perspectives help to critically interrogate the role of the United States in furthering “peace” in the international arena. Finally, feminist perspectives make different theoretical and policy prescriptions than perspectives that omit gender from their analyses.
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