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Militarized masculinities beyond methodological nationalism: charting the multiple masculinities of an Indonesian jihadi

  • David Duriesmith (a1) and Noor Huda Ismail (a2) (a3)


Studies of masculinity and armed conflict have struggled to capture the complex interaction between globalized militarized masculinities and local gender formations. Particularly in conflicts characterized by a high degree of combatant mobility (in the form of foreign fighters, massed displacement, or significant diaspora involvement) locating the relevant gender dynamics can prove to be a difficult step in understanding the character of armed groups. Based on fieldwork with Indonesian former foreign fighters, we make the case that feminist international relations have tended to unreflectively default to the nation when locating gender hierarchies. Exploring the multiple articulations of masculinity present in former fighters’ lives, we suggest that efforts must be made to resist methodological nationalism in understanding the relationship between gender hierarchies and armed conflict. Charting how foreign fighters traverse local constructions of gender, national gender hierarchies, and transnational social structures to participate in the conflict, we argue that adopting a conscious consideration of scale in our research method is needed to move beyond methodological nationalism.

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