Historical Social Research

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Eva Herschinger: Political Science, Terrorism and Gender [Abstract]

This contribution aims to give an overview on the state of the art of research on terrorism and gender in the field of Political Science and International Relations (IR). Contemporary analyses of terrorism have begun integrating gender aspects into their frameworks. This article supports the call for a much more coherent use of gender as an analytical category as this is beneficial for the analysis of terrorism in a threefold manner. First, gender as an analytical category in the study of terrorism exposes the gender blindness of the term terrorism; second, gender challenges the political myth of protection central to international politics, i.e. that states can legitimately fight wars to protect the vulnerable – vulgo women and children. Third, gender also challenges the myth of an intrinsic peacefulness/vulnerability of women. The paper closes with the plea to integrate a coherent historical dimension into a gendered analysis of terrorism in order to potentially achieve a more empirically attuned theoretical understanding of terrorism and political violence in current times.

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