IR323      Half Unit
Gendered/ing and International Politics

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Katharine Millar CBG.8.13


This course is available on the BSc in International Relations, BSc in International Relations and Chinese, 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, and NGOs and transnational social movements.  These overarching topics are balanced with issue-specific case studies (e.g. 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, epistemology and the study of international politics
  4. Gender, the economy, and hierarchy
  5. Intersectionality: gender, race, empire
  6. Queer theory and sexuality in IR
  7. Femininity, masculinity and security
  8. Gender and poverty/development
  9. Feminist activism, NGOs and transnational social movements
  10. Conclusion: Where do we go from here?


This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures totalling a minimum of 20 hours across Lent Term. This year, some or all of this teaching will be delivered through a combination of online lectures and in-person classes/classes delivered online. Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

An essay question and outline due in LT

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)


Coursework (35%) and essay (65%, 3000 words) in the LT.

The coursework is comprisd of:

- One (500 word max) blog posts, to a Moodle forum on a week assigned by the instructor (marked with grade, 20%).

- Two (250 word max) response to colleagues’ blog posts and two (for two different weeks) questions posed for discussion in seminar (completion/participation grade, 15%)


The essay is 3000 words delivered in LT (65%)

Student performance results

(2017/18 - 2019/20 combined)

Classification % of students
First 43.9
2:1 51.2
2:2 4.9
Third 0
Fail 0

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2019/20: 15

Average class size 2019/20: 15

Capped 2019/20: Yes (15)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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