Men, Militarism, and UN Peacekeeping: A Gendered Analysis

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Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2004 - Political Science - 225 pages
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In this important, controversial, and at times troubling book, Sandra Whitworth looks behind the rhetoric to investigate from a feminist perspective some of the realities of military intervention under the UN flag. Whitworth contends that there is a fundamental contradiction between portrayals of peacekeeping as altruistic and benign and the militarized masculinity that underpins the group identity of soldiers. Examining evidence from Cambodia and Somalia, she argues that sexual and other crimes can be seen as expressions of a violent hypermasculinity that is congruent with militarized identities, but entirely incongruent with missions aimed at maintaining peace. She also asserts that recent efforts within the UN to address gender issues in peacekeeping operations have failed because they fail to challenge traditional understandings of militaries, conflict, and women. This unsettling critique of UN operations, which also investigates the interplay between gender and racial stereotyping in peacekeeping, has the power to change conventional perceptions, with considerable policy implications.
  

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Contents

Narratives of Peacekeeping Past and Present
23
The Case of Cambodia
53
Peacekeeping Country Par Excellence?
85
Militarized Masculinities and Blue Berets
151
Do Warriors Make the Best Peacekeepers?
183
List of Acronyms
189
Index
215
About the Book
225
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Sandra Whitworth is associate professor of political science and women's studies at York University and deputy director of the York Centre for International and Security Studies.

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