Gender, Sex, And The Postnational Defense

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Militarism and Peacekeeping
Annica Kronsell New York: Oxford University Press, 2012,

In the book Gender, Sex, and the Postnational Defense Annica Kronsell is “interested in exploring the potential defense and its gender implications” (3). Looking at cases in the European Union and Sweden through a constructivist approach to gender she challenges the mainstream perspectives of masculinity and militarism. In questioning “whether the broader recognition of human security, and in particular gender and security, has influenced the way defense and military is organized” and “ to what extent gender relations have been transformed in the postnational security and defense context” (4-5) Kronsell challenged the assumptions of the status quo of male and female depicted roles in military organizations and the assumption that gender parity is not realistically achievable. In the first chapter “Mothers, Soldiers, and National in the ‘Neutral’ Defense” Kronsell draws from Sweden’s military structure, focusing in particular on the conscription and voluntary defense organizations. She outlines how it is that these organizations have constructed a so-called gendered nationality as well as how “Swedish military defense and practice was founded on gendered ideas about the processes of collective identity formation and nation-making and notions of citizenship” (19). The gender dichotomy of Sweden and its defense is further emphasized when stating,
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