Gendering counterinsurgency: performativity, experience and embodiment in the Afghan 'theatre of war'

Dyvik, Synne L (2017) Gendering counterinsurgency: performativity, experience and embodiment in the Afghan 'theatre of war'. War, politics and experience . Routledge, London and New York. ISBN 9781138909250

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This book advances the feminist analysis of contemporary forms of warfare through its framing of counterinsurgency in Afghanistan as working through a logic of ‘killing and caring’.

Focusing on the US military operation in Afghanistan, and on the US Army and the US Marine Corps in particular, the purpose of this book is to show how a gendered analysis helps explain the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the practice of counterinsurgency warfare and stabilization since then, and the current ‘exit strategy’ of the US and NATO forces. Gendering Counterinsurgency offers therefore a feminist analysis of this war and its specific forms of warfare from its beginnings in 2001 to the exit strategy of 2014.

While feminists have written about the war in Afghanistan, much of it has been centred on the gendered discourse that legitimated the invasion of Afghanistan. This book engages with the main insights and findings of this literature, but pushes these further to also analyse how gendered bodies are crucial in the practice of warfare. In addition to its long-term focus from invasion to exit strategy, the book marries a feminist analysis with a critical war studies and security studies approaches through its rethinking of biopolitical explorations of counterinsurgency. The book therefore fills a gap in existing gender studies and feminist literature on the war in Afghanistan and contributes to recent critical readings of counterinsurgency warfare. It argues that ‘population-centric counterinsurgency’, of the kind fought in Afghanistan, sits within a gendered dynamic named as ‘killing and caring’ – seeking to be a combination of humanitarianism and violence. The book shows how this combination cannot be fully understood without a gendered analysis.

This book will be of much interest to students of counterinsurgency warfare, gender politics, governmentality, biopolitics, and critical security studies in general.

Item Type: Book
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Relations
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The Family. Marriage. Women > HQ1088 Men
H Social Sciences > HQ The Family. Marriage. Women > HQ1101 Women. Feminism
J Political Science > JZ International relations
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Depositing User: Synne Dyvik
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2015 12:07
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2017 10:56
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