IR323      Half Unit
Gender and International Politics

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Katharine Millar - CLM 4.10


This course is available on the BSc in International Relations, BSc in International Relations and History and BSc in Politics and International Relations. This course is not available as an outside option. This course is available with permission to General Course students.


Students must have completed International Political Theory (IR200).

Course content

The course examines the gendering of both the practices/events studies as international politics and the discipline/study of international relations.  The course is grounded in feminist theory, and provides students with an introduction to feminist epistemologies and methods.  Students will discover how 'gender matters' to the study and conduct of international politics through an examination of several substantive areas of international politics, including security, development, NGOs and transnational social movements, and international law/organisations.  These overarching topics are balanced with issue-specific case studies (eg sexual/sexualised violence in conflict; gendering of informal economy) to be discussed in class.  Particular thematic attention will be paid to the on-going construction of global/transnational hierarchies that are gendered and gendering.

Indicative topics to be covered:

1. Where (and why) is gender in international politics?

2. Introduction to feminist theory and its relation to the 'international'

3. Gender, hierarchy and the international system

4. Intersectionality: gender, race, empire

5. Gender, epistemology and the study of international politics

6. Femininity, masculinity and security

7. Gendered mobilities: queer theory, security and migration

8. Gender and poverty/development

9. Feminist activism, NGOs and transnational social movements

10. Gender and global governance.


10 hours of lectures and 15 hours of classes in the MT.

In line with departmental policy, students on the course will have a reading week in in Week 6.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay and 1 other piece of coursework in the MT.

Indicative reading

C Enloe, Bananas, beaches and bases: making feminist sense of international politics, rev'd 2nd ed (University of California Press, 2014)

C Weber, Queer International Relations: sovereignty, sexuality and the will to knowledge (OUP, 2016)

A Sisson Runyan and S Peterson, Global Gender Issues in the New Millennium 4th ed (Westview Press, 2013)

L Sjoberg, Gender, War and Conflict (Polity, 2014)

B Ackerly, J True and M Stern (eds), Feminist Methodologies for International Relations (CUP, 2006)

C Mohanty, Feminism without Borders: Decolonising Theory; Practicsing Solidarity (Duke University Press, 2003)

C Sylvester, Feminist International Relations: An Unfinished Journey (CUP, 2001)

G Caglar, L Prugl and S Zwingel, Feminist Strategies in International Governance (Routledge, 2013)

M Yenenoglu, Colonial Fantasies: Towards a Feminist Reading of Orientalism (CUP, 2008)


Coursework (10%) and essay (90%, 3000 words) in the MT.

The coursework entails weekly short reaction pieces (300 words maximum) engaging with the week's topic/readings to be submitted in advance of each class.  These will prepare students to fully engage with the class discussions.  Most importantly, they will familiarise students with the feminist epistemological commitments to critique and self-reflection.

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2016/17: 14

Average class size 2016/17: 14

Capped 2016/17: Yes (15)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication