Published online by Cambridge University Press: 19 July 2010
Why has English School theory, even as it has been re-imagined as critical international society theory, ignored the workings of gender in international politics? This article stages an encounter between the English School and feminists in International Relations (IR), first demonstrating the broad compatibility of the two approaches. I argue that to conduct a conversation between English School and IR feminist approaches, it is necessary to reconstruct the English School's three traditions – Realist, Rationalist, and Revolutionist – so as to allow a greater role for gender as a category of analysis. I then review the work of two key English School scholars, Hedley Bull and Barry Buzan with this reconstruction in mind. Finally, I argue that IR theorists who have participated in the recent English School revival should consider integrating gender into its theoretical and research agenda, and show several examples of how a hybrid approach can be brought to bear on the expansion of international society, diplomacy, and human rights.
2 Despite a recent proliferation of work developing English School theory, gender has been almost entirely ignored by this literature outside of passing mentions of women. Feminist IR theorists for their part, Sylvester, Christine, Feminist International Relations: An Unfinished Journey (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), p. 13Google Scholar , and Hooper, Charlotte, Manly States (New York: Columbia University Press, 2001)Google Scholar have made suggestive comments about the English School's silence on gender but not pursued them systematically. The exception is True, Jacqui, ‘Feminism’, inBellamy, Alex J. (ed.), International Society and its Critics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), pp. 151–162Google Scholar . While True's analysis focuses on expanding the underdeveloped concept of international society to incorporate gender, the analysis offered here aims to develop a conversational framework at a more general level of mutual theory building. The reformulated English School troika of James Der Derian's post-classical approach, sketched in Derian, Der, ‘Hedley Bull and the Case for a Post-Classical Approach’, in Bauer, Harry and Brighi, Elisabetta (eds), International Relations at LSA: A History of 75 Years (London: Millennium Publishing Group, 2003), pp. 61–93Google Scholar , includes an ‘Irenist’ tradition, which drawing heavily on Beauvoirian feminism, focuses on the links between patriarchy and war. These promising but brief interventions have not served to prompt any sea-change in English School thought.
5 Der Derian, James, On Diplomacy: A Genealogy of Western Estrangement (Oxford: Blackwell, 1987)Google Scholar as well as ‘Hedley Bull and the Idea of Diplomatic Culture’, in Fawn, Rick and Larkins, Jeremy (eds), International Society after the Cold War: Anarchy and Order Reconsidered (London: MacMillan, 1996), pp. 84–100Google Scholar , and ‘Hedley Bull and the Case for a Post-Classical Approach’, note 3 above.
7 Buzan, Barry, ‘From International System to International Society: Structural Realism and Regime Theory Meet the English School’, International Organization, 47:3 (1993), pp. 327–352Google Scholar ; Evans, Tony and Wilson, Peter, ‘Regime Theory and the English School of International Relations: A Comparison’, Millennium, 21:3 (1992), pp. 329–351Google Scholar .
12 Wight, Martin, in Wight, Gabriele and Porter, Brian (eds), International Theory: The Three Traditions (New York: Holmes and Meier/Royal Institute of International Affairs, 1992)Google Scholar .
16 Wæver, Ole, ‘Four Meanings of International Society’, in Roberson, B. A. (ed.), International Society and the Development of International Relations Theory (London: Continuum, 2002), pp. 80–144, p. 98Google Scholar .
17 Dunne, Inventing International Society, p. 183.
21 However, this is not an unqualified endorsement of Buzan's vision of the School's potential for ‘grand theory’ of the sort offered in Wendt, Alexander, Social Theory of International Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999)Google Scholar . For the argument that Wendt's brand of constructivism is problematic because its grand theory ‘remains committed to the ideal of a disciplinary unity that in fact no longer finds any correspondence in the subject matter it claims knowledge of’, see Behnke, Andreas, ‘Grand Theory in the Age of its Impossibility: Contemplations on Alexander Wendt’, Cooperation and Conflict, 36:1 (2001), pp. 121–134, 131Google Scholar .
22 Behnke, ‘Grand Theory’.
25 Peterson, V. Spike, ‘Introduction’, in Peterson, V. Spike (ed.), Gendered States: Feminist (Re)Visions of International Relations Theory (Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1992), pp. 1–29, 16Google Scholar .
26 Tickner, Ann, Gendering World Politics: Issues and Approaches in the Post-Cold War Era (New York: Columbia University Press, 2001)Google Scholar .
27 Epp, Roger, ‘Martin Wight: International Relations as a Realm of Persuasion’, in Beer, Francis A. and Hariman, Robert (eds), Post-Realism: The Rhetorical Turn in International Relations (East Lansing, Michigan: Michigan State University Press, 1996), pp. 121–142, 132, 137Google Scholar .
29 Little, Richard, ‘The English School's Contributions to the Study of International Relations’, European Journal of International Relations, 6:3 (2000), pp. 395–422Google Scholar ; cf. Buzan, Barry, From International to World Society? English School Theory and the Social Structure of Globalization (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), p. 23Google Scholar .
30 Bull, ‘International Theory’.
32 Keller, Evelyn Fox, Reflections on Gender and Science (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985), p. 7Google Scholar .
34 Peterson, ‘Introduction’, p. 12.
37 Dunne, Inventing International Society, p. 187–89.
38 Buzan, From International to World Society?, pp. 3, 95.
40 Tickner, J. Ann, Gender in International Relations: Feminist Perspectives on Achieving International Security (New York: Columbia University Press, 1992), ch. 3Google Scholar .
41 Bull, ‘Martin Wight’, p. 104, emphasis added.
42 Di Stephano, Christine, Configurations of Masculinity: A Feminist Perspective on Modern Political Theory (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991)Google Scholar .
43 Bull, Anarchical Society, p. 25.
44 Wight, International Theory, p. 40.
45 Bethke Elshtain, Jean, Public Man, Private Woman: Women in Social and Political Thought (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981), p. 98Google Scholar .
46 Sylvester, Christine, Feminist Theory and International Relations in a Postmodern Era (Great Britain: Cambridge University Press, 1994), p. 80Google Scholar .
47 Grant, Rebecca, ‘The Sources of Gender Bias in International Relations Theory’, in Grant, Rebecca and Newland, K. (eds), Gender and International Relations (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991), pp. 8–26, 10Google Scholar .
48 Di Stephano, who interprets Hobbes as a ‘modern masculine thinker’, argues that masculinity ‘inhabits his work across a remarkably broad range of levels’, see Di Stephano, Configurations, pp. 102–3.
49 Bull, Anarchical Society, p. 25.
50 Tickner, Gendering World Politics, p. 48.
51 Okin, Susan Moller, Women in Western Political Thought (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1979), pp. 112–113Google Scholar .
52 Elshtain, Jean Bethke, Mediations on Modern Political Thought: Masculine/Feminine Themes from Luther to Arendt (University Park, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press), pp. 26–27Google Scholar .
53 Wight, International Theory, p. 8.
55 Tetrault, Mary Ann, ‘Women and Revolution’, in Peterson, V. Spike (ed.), Gendered States: Feminist (Re)Visions of International Relations Theory (Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1992), pp. 99–121, 111Google Scholar .
56 Connell, R. W., Masculinities (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1995)Google Scholar .
57 Bull, Anarchical Society, p. 140.
58 Peterson, V. Spike, ‘Whose Rights? A Critique of the “Givens” in Human Rights Discourse’, Alternatives, 15 (1990), pp. 303–344Google Scholar , see also Charlesworth, Hilary, ‘What are “Women's International Human Rights”?’, in Cook, Rebecca (ed.), Human Rights of Women: National and International Perspectives (USA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994), pp. 58–84Google Scholar .
59 Tickner, Gendering World Politics, pp. 115–6.
60 Bull, Anarchical Society, p. 5.
61 Ibid., p. 4–6.
62 Linklater and Suganami, The English School, pp. 58–9.
63 Bull, Anarchical Society, p. 68.
64 Ibid., pp. 13–4.
65 Ibid., p. 46.
67 Bull, ‘International Theory’, p. 35.
68 V. Spike Peterson, ‘Security and Sovereign States: What Is at Stake in Taking Feminism Seriously?’, in V. Spike Peterson (ed.), Gendered States, pp. 31–64, 46.
69 Mona Harrington, ‘What Exactly Is Wrong with the Liberal State as an Agent of Change?’, in Peterson (ed.), Gendered States, pp. 65–82, 66.
70 Bull, ‘Society and Anarchy’, p. 93.
71 Bull quoted by Hurrell, Andrew, ‘Society and Anarchy in International Relations’, in Robertson, B. A. (ed.), International Society and the Development of International Relations Theory (New York: Continuum, 2002), pp. 37–42, 37Google Scholar .
72 Bull, Anarchical Society, p. 14.
73 Ibid., pp. 67–71.
74 Buzan, From International to World Society?, p. 167.
75 Ibid., pp. 28, 97, 226.
76 Ibid., p. 23.
77 Ibid., pp. 106–7.
78 Ibid., p. 109.
79 Ibid., p. 117.
80 Reus-Smit, ‘Imagining Society’, p. 491.
81 Buzan, From International to World Society?, p. 176.
82 Ibid., p. 230.
83 Ibid., p. 250.
85 Buzan, From International to World Society?, pp. 183–4.
86 Many feminists have come to see patriarchy as an overused and imprecise concept, finding that gender has more general connotations suitable for treating the ‘social relations that separate people into differentiated gendered statues’. See Lorber, Judith, Paradoxes of Gender (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994), p. 3Google Scholar . However, Cynthia Enloe argues for the continued use of the term on grounds that continues to provoke thought in a way that less inflammatory terms, such as gender and gender system, do not, while it ‘reminds us that we're investigating power.’ Cohn, Carol and Enloe, Cynthia, ‘A Conversation with Cynthia Enloe: Feminists Look at Masculinity and Men Who Wage War’, Signs: Journal of Women and Culture in Society, 28:4 (2003), pp. 1187–1207, 1193Google Scholar .
88 Bull, Hedley and Watson, Adam (eds), The Expansion of International Society (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984), p. 32Google Scholar .
89 Bull, Hedley, ‘The Revolt Against the West’, in Bull, Hedley and Watson, Adam (eds), The Expansion of International Society (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984), pp. 217–228, 220–222Google Scholar .
90 Bull, and Watson, , ‘Conclusion’, in Bull, and Watson, , The Expansion of International Society, pp. 425–435, 433Google Scholar .
94 Linklater and Suganami, The English School of International Relations, p. 134.
95 Jacqui True, ‘Feminism’, p. 157, see n. 3.
96 Mohanty, Chandra Talpade, ‘Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses’, in Mohanty, Chandra Talpade, Russo, Ann, and Torres, Lourdes (eds), Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1991), pp. 51–80, 55Google Scholar .
97 Ibid., p. 70.
98 Connell, R. W., Masculinities (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1995), p. 199Google Scholar .
99 Ibid., p. 200.
100 Ibid., p. 201.
101 For an excellent review and assessment, see Neumann, Iver B., ‘The English School on Diplomacy’, in Jönsson, Christer and Langhorne, Richard (eds), Diplomacy Volume I: Theory of Diplomacy (London: Sage, 2004), pp. 92–116Google Scholar . See also Der Derian, James, On Diplomacy: A Genealogy of Western Estrangement (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1987)Google Scholar .
104 Clark, Ian, ‘Traditions of Thought and Classical Theories of International Relations’, in Clark, Ian and Neumann, Iver B. (eds), Classical Theories of International Relations (New York: St. Martin's Press), pp. 1–19, 5Google Scholar .
105 Bull, Anarchical Society, p. 172.
106 Ibid., p. 183.
107 Ibid., p. 169.
109 Sylvester, Christine, Feminist Theory and International Relations in a Postmodern Era (Great Britain: Cambridge University Press, 1994), p. 82Google Scholar .
110 Albright, Madeline, Madame Secretary: A Memoir (New York: Miramax Books, 2003), p. 340Google Scholar .
111 Séphocle, Marilyn, Then, They Were Twelve: The Women of Washington's Embassy Row (Westport, Connecticut: Praeger, 2000)Google Scholar .
112 See Dunn, Lynne K., ‘Joining the Boys’ Club: The Diplomatic Career of Eleanor Lansing Dulles’, and Judith Ewell, ‘Barely in the Inner Circle: Jeane Kirkpatrick’, both in Crapol, Edward (ed.), Women and American Foreign Policy: Lobbyists, Critics, and Insiders. 2nd edition (Wilmington, Delaware: Scholarly Resources Inc., 1992), pp. 119–135 and pp. 153–171Google Scholar ; Morin, Ann Miller, Her Excellency: An Oral History of American Women Ambassadors (New York: Twayne Publishers, 1995)Google Scholar ; see also Herz, Martin F. (ed.), Diplomacy: The Role of the Wife A Symposium (Washington DC: Georgetown University Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, 1981)Google Scholar and Séphocle, Then, They Were Twelve (see note 112 above).
113 Enloe, Cynthia, Bananas, Beaches, and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1989)Google Scholar .
114 Ibid., p. 97.
115 Wiseman, Geoffrey, ‘“Polylateralism” and New Modes of Global Dialogue’, in Jönsson, Christer and Langhorne, Richard (eds), Diplomacy Vol. III: Problems and Issues in Contemporary Diplomacy (Sage Library of International Relations), (London: Sage 2004), pp. 36–57Google Scholar .
116 Burt, Richard et al. , Reinventing Diplomacy in the Information Age: A Report of the CSIS Advisory Panel on Diplomacy in the Information Age (Washington, DC: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1998)Google Scholar .
117 Dizard, Wilson Jr., Digital Diplomacy: US Foreign Policy in the Information Age (Westport, Connecticut: Praeger, 2001), pp. 4–5Google Scholar .
118 Keck, Margaret E. and Sikkink, Kathryn, Activists Beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1998), ch. 5Google Scholar .
119 Svedberg, Erica, ‘Academics, Practitioners, and Diplomacy: An ISP Symposium on the Theory and Practice of Diplomacy – Feminist Theory and International Negotiations’, International Studies Perspectives, 3 (2002), pp. 139–175Google Scholar .
120 Reus-Smit, p. 490. On the strength and weaknesses of the classical English School in regards to normative theory, see Linklater and Suganami, pp. 107–13.
121 Bull, Hedley, ‘The Grotian Conception of International Society’, in Butterfield, Herbert and Wight, Martin (eds), Diplomatic Investigations: Essays in the Theory of International Politics (London: Allen & Unwin, 1966), pp. 51–73Google Scholar .
122 I am grateful to an anonymous reviewer for this point. For an account of Bull's shift towards sceptical solidarism, see Wheeler, Nicholas J. and Dunne, Timothy, ‘Hedley Bull's Pluralism of the Intellect and Solidarism of the Will’, International Affairs, 72:1 (1996), pp. 91–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar .
123 Linklater and Suganami, The English School of International Relations; for an overview pp. 59–74.
124 Wheeler, Nicholas J., Saving Strangers: Humanitarian Intervention in International Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), p. 295Google Scholar . For contrasting views on this debate, see also Wheeler, Nicholas J., ‘Pluralist or Solidarist Conceptions of International Society: Bull and Vincent on Humanitarian Intervention’, Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 21:3 (1992), pp. 463–487Google Scholar ; Wheeler, and Dunne, , ‘Hedley Bull's Pluralism’; Jackson, Robert, The Global Covenant: Human Conduct in a World of States (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000)Google Scholar , and Williams, John, ‘Pluralism, Solidarism and the Emergence of World Society in English School Theory’, International Relations, 19:1 (2005), pp. 19–38Google Scholar .
125 Wheeler, ‘Pluralist or Solidarist Conceptions’, p. 471.
126 Dunne's account of the post-9/11 period focuses on the threat that hierarchy, exacerbated by American preponderance, poses to international society, arguing that international relations is currently characterised by ‘revolt’ against international society on the part of the US, see Dunne, Tim, ‘Society and Hierarchy in International Relations’, International Relations, 17:3 (2003), pp. 303–320Google Scholar . Wheeler finds that the War on Terrorism has not affected the underlying solidarist-pluralist dynamic, see Wheeler, Nicholas J., ‘Humanitarian Intervention After September 11, 2001’, in Lang, Anthony F. (ed.), Just Intervention (Washington DC: Georgetown University Press, 2003), pp. 192–216Google Scholar .
127 As suggested by Linklater and Suganami, p. 60.
128 Peterson, ‘Whose Rights?’, p. 305.
129 Hurrell, Andrew, ‘Society and Anarchy in International Relations’, in Robertson, B. A. (ed.), International Society and the Development of International Relations Theory (New York: Continuum, 2002), pp. 37–42, 37Google Scholar .
130 Wheeler, Saving Strangers, p. 34.
131 Ibid., p. 250.
132 D'Amico, Francine, ‘Critical Feminism: Deconstructing Gender, Nationalism, and War’, in Sterling-Folker, Jenifer (ed.), Making Sense of International Relations Theory (Boulder: Lynne Rienner), 2006, pp. 268–281Google Scholar . Further, feminists argue that it is discourses of gender that produce the very distinction between combatant and civilian that the laws of war are predicated on. See Kinsella, Helen M., ‘Gendering Grotius: Sex and Sex Difference in the Laws of War’, Poltical Theory, 34:2 (2006), pp. 161–191Google Scholar .
133 Wheeler, Saving Strangers, p. 284.
134 Kennedy-Pipe, Caroline and Stanley, Penny, ‘Rape in War: Lessons of the Balkan Conflicts in the 1990s’, in Booth, Ken (ed.), The Kosovo Tragedy: The Human Rights Dimensions (Portland, OR: Frank Cass, 2001), pp. 67–84, 79Google Scholar . The gender-analytical literature on wartime sexual violence is too vast to note here; on gender and the former Yugoslavia, see Stiglmayer, Alexandra (ed.), Mass Rape: The War Against Women in Bosnia-Herzegovina (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1994)Google Scholar ; Allen, Beverly, Rape Warfare: The Hidden Genocide in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996)Google Scholar ; Hansen, Lene, ‘Gender, Nation, Rape: Bosnia and the Construction of Security’, International Feminist Journal of Politics, 3:1 (2001), pp. 55–75Google Scholar ; Carpenter, R. Charli, ‘Women and Children First: Gender, Norms, and Humanitarian Evacuation in the Balkans 1991–5’, International Organization, 57:4 (2003), pp. 661–694Google Scholar .
135 Wheeler, Saving Strangers, p. 12.
136 Ibid., p. 299.
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