The Power and Politics of Gender in Global Affairs

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
WED, THU 6:00 - 9:00 pm SRH 3.124


This one-credit course examines select issues in national security and global affairs through the lens of power and gender, placing emphasis on the role of women in leadership, governance, and armed conflict. After grounding gender analysis in international relations theory and discussing gender relations in hyper-masculine national security organizations, the class proceeds with three sections. The first section focuses on women in warfare. In this section, two characterizations tend to rise to the forefront: a) women as combatants during conflict, including in the armed forces, intelligence services, resistance movements, and terrorist organizations; and b) women as victims during conflict, including from displacement, sexual violence, and the disruption of everyday life. We also examine women as builders of peace in the aftermath of armed conflict. The class then moves from women in warfare to women in governance. In this second section, we focus on women leaders, including those who have served as heads of state or heads of government (including during times of war), as well as in parliaments around the world. What are some of the stereotypes of women leaders and the challenges they confront in rising to the top? Do women differ from men in such leadership positions? Would state interactions be more peaceful and our lives more secure if women ran the world? The final section of the class examines men as agents of change for equality and the day-to-day practical realities confronting women with “extreme” careers in national security and global affairs.