Gender, security and war

This course focuses on the field of Feminist Security Studies, which explores the relationships between gender (and other intersecting oppressions, such as race) and security. It asks questions about the gendered nature of security and war, both in terms of how gender norms shape war and security as well as how war and security in turn reshape gender norms.

To introduce students to this body of feminist literature, the course focuses on four main areas:

  • How have feminists and other critical scholars challenged what security means or should mean?
  • What happens when we study political violence
    while also paying attention to femininities and masculinities?
  • What do we find out about conscription, privatization, or civilmilitary relations when we ask feminist questions about soldiers and militaries?
  • How has feminist activism, exemplified in the adoption of the so-called women, peace & security agenda at the United Nations, changed global security environments?

Students will learn the tools to carry out their own analyses of security and war from a gender perspective. The course illustrates the theoretical discussion through practical examples taken from feminist research on current violent conflicts around the world.


Prof. Annick Wibben is the Anna Lindh Professor for Gender, Peace and Security at the Swedish Defence University. Her research straddles critical security and military studies, peace studies, international theory, and feminist international relations. She has published articles and books on these issues, most notably, Feminist Security Studies: A Narrative Approach (2011) and Researching War: Feminist Methods, Ethics and Politics (2016).
Currently she is involved in research on (Swedish) Feminist Foreign Policy, gender
relations in the U.S. military and feminist peace research.