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Gender Matters in Politics and International Studies

Programme overview

This module is for students who wish to learn more about feminist approaches and gender studies and to see how 'gender matters' to all areas of study in politics and international studies.

Module aims

The aim of this module is to provide you with an introduction to feminist and gender studies approaches to the study of politics and international studies. Specifically, the module will ask you to consider what a ‘gender lens’ brings to the four key areas of teaching and research expertise in PAIS – namely, political theory, comparative politics, international security and international political economy.

The module thus aims to provide a comprehensive introduction to feminist theory and gender studies in PAIS. There is growing interest amongst young people in feminism and gender studies with certain commentators claiming that we are entering a ‘fourth wave’ of feminism witnessed in online spaces such as the ‘everyday sexism project’ or recent campaigns around sexual violence, austerity and women’s rights.

There is also a growing recognition of the significance of gender within key international political institutions such as the UN Security Council, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund.

This module is therefore timely and will seek to situate contemporary feminist debates and arguments within a longer history of feminist theory and gender studies in politics and international studies.

The module provides an opportunity for you to gain exposure to a growing body of scholarly research on gender and PAIS. A growth that is witnessed in the department’s own expanding research strengths in gender studies and feminism.

Module objectives

By the end of the module you will:

  • Understand how to relate feminist theories and gender studies to their studies in PAIS as a whole.
  • Have an advanced knowledge of empirical examples of how gender matters in politics and international studies
  • Have developed their critical thinking skills in order to evaluate competing feminist theoretical perspectives
  • Have developed written and verbal presentation skills, and research skills.

Module Director:

Juanita Elias