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Back to Panel Details
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Critical Friends and De(con)structive Critics: How Should Feminist Academics Engage with Institutions?

Institutions
Political Methodology
Feminism
P006
Rianne Mahon
Balsillie School of International Affairs, Wilfrid Laurier University
Conny Roggeband
University of Amsterdam

Thursday 13:00 - 14:45 (11/06/2015)

Building: University Building Room: XI

Abstract

This panel brings together “engaged” feminist academics who are “entangled” in, and have normative commitments to, institutions of governance, security, justice, development (or, more precisely, to those rules, structures and actors which promote gender equality and gender justice). Whilst there is considerable feminist scepticism about the extent to which local and global institutions can be sites of potential reform and positive change, many also argue that they are too important as arbiters, players and norm entrepreneurs to ignore. The concept of “critical friend” neatly captures the aspirations and dilemmas for many feminist researchers and the feminist bureaucrats, legislators and jurists working on the inside as “outsiders within” to regender powerful social, economic, military, judicial and political institutions. How do feminist academics – some of whom have also been insider practitioners -- achieve a position of being engaged and critical? How do they avoid co-option – even collusion? When do they speak Truth to Power? Panel contributions from political scientists and academic practitioners address these dilemmas. The panel also interrogates the concept of ‘governance feminism’ (e.g. Halley et al 2006) and feminist critiques of IOs (like UN Women, the ICC etc) and global rules (such as UNSCR1325 and the Rome Statute), which sometimes lack institutional knowledge and context, or adequate consideration of possible impact of such critiques on feminists working on the inside in difficult conditions.

Title Details
Representing Gender/Diversity in Disaster Politics and Policy: The Critical Mass/Critical Acts of the "Japan Women's Network on Disaster Risk Reduction" View Paper Details
Critical Friends and De(con)structive Critics: Dilemmas of Feminist Engagement with Global Governance and Gender Reform Agendas View Paper Details
Engaging with Militaries: Strategies, Sanctions and Implications View Paper Details
CEDAW and Global Feminism – Good Reasons for a Sober Friendship View Paper Details