IR323      Half Unit
Gendered/ing and International Politics

This information is for the 2022/23 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.

This course has a limited number of places (it is capped).


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. Gender, the Environment and Climate Change
  10. Feminist activism, NGOs and transnational social movements


This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures totalling a minimum of 20 hours across Lent Term. 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 (25%) in the LT.
Essay (75%, 3000 words) in the ST.

The coursework is comprised of:

- One (500 word max) blog posts, to a Moodle forum on a week assigned by the instructor (marked with grade, 15%).

- Two (250 word max) response to colleagues’ blog posts (completion/participation grade, 10%, for 5% each)

Marks are docked for late submission

Student performance results

(2019/20 - 2021/22 combined)

Classification % of students
First 46.6
2:1 43.1
2:2 10.3
Third 0
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2021/22: 25

Average class size 2021/22: 13

Capped 2021/22: Yes (24)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

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