Situating Gender in a Postnational Military: An Analysis of Changing Gender Attitudes in Peacekeeping Operations

University essay from Lunds universitet/Graduate School; Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen; Lunds universitet/Pedagogik

Abstract: This thesis looks at the Nordic Centre for Gender in Military Operations and sees how the centre constructs its own identity to align with the discourse of postna¬tional defense, and how it evaluates NATOs peacekeeping operation in Afghani¬stan. Through this, the thesis aims to analyse the hegemonic struggle between the discourses of traditional military structure and the cosmopolitan postnational de¬fense. The thesis identifies several points of contestation, including the themes of peace & conflict, and gender internally as well as externally in the organization. Through a feminist poststructural perspective, this study argues that while there has been some superficial and contemporary changes that may appear as a right way towards equality, there is a risk that the underlying structures in the military organizations that has been analyzed has not changed as much. Rather, the in¬crease in women in the armed forces and the deployment of what is seen as tradi¬tional feminine traits are strategic and of value to the operation, that may very well vanish as conflicts and the way peacekeeping operations are structured change. The hegemonic struggle between the two discourses is seen in this result, as any attempts to change the fundamental identity of armed forces are met with resistance and an unwillingness to change.

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