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Why a Feminist Theorist Studies Methods

  • Brooke Ackerly (a1)


What are the injustices of the world? What causes them? How might we mitigate them? Feminism needs empirical inquiry in all subfields to inform our understanding of the world and our normative reflections on it. Feminist theorists do not necessarily need to do it ourselves, but we do need it. Because we need empirical research, we need to be able to evaluate its methodology. In international relations, feminist scholars adopt and develop methods previously developed in other fields for nonfeminist questions. Feminist theorists need to evaluate this adoption and development by feminist IR in order to learn all we can and should from feminist IR scholarship.



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Ackerly, Brooke A., Stern, Maria, and True, Jacqui, eds. 2006. Feminist Methodologies for International Relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Ackerly, Brooke A., and True, Jacqui. 2008. “An Intersectional Analysis of International Relations: Recasting the Discipline.” Politics & Gender 4 (March): 156–73.
Agathangelou, Anna M., and Turcotte, Heather. 2008. Review of Feminist Methodologies for International Relations, ed. Ackerly, Brooke, Stern, Maria, and True, Jacqui, 2006. Politics & Gender 4 (March): 184–87.
Caprioli, Mary. 2000. “Gendered Conflict.” Journal of Peace Research 37 (1): 51.
Caprioli, Mary, Hudson, Valerie M., McDermott, Rose, Ballif-Spanvill, Bonnie, Emmett, Chad F., and Matthew Stearmer, S.. 2008. “The WomanStats Project Database: Advancing an Empirical Research Agenda.” On file with the author.
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Maliniak, Daniel, Oakes, Amy, Petereson, Susan, and Tierney, Michael. 2007. The View from the Ivory Tower: Trip Survey of International Relations Faculty in the United States and Canada. On file with the author.
McClintock, Anne. 1995. Imperial Leather: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Colonial Conquest. New York: Routledge.
Peterson, V. Spike. 1992. Gendered States: Feminist (Re)Visions of International Relations Theory. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.
Peterson, V. Spike.. 2003. A Critical Rewriting of Global Political Economy: Integrating Reproductive, Productive, and Virtual Economies. London: Routledge.
Tickner, J. Ann. 1997. “You Just Don't Understand: Troubled Engagements between Feminists and IR Theorists.” International Studies Quarterly 41 (4): 611–32.
Tickner, J. Ann.. 2001. Gendering World Politics: Issues and Approaches in the Post-Cold War Era. New York: Columbia University Press.
True, Jacqui, and Mintrom, Michael. 2001. “Transnational Networks and Policy Diffusion: The Case of Gender Mainstreaming.” International Studies Quarterly 45 (1): 2757.

Why a Feminist Theorist Studies Methods

  • Brooke Ackerly (a1)


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