AuthorKim, Suzy

THE ARTICLES IN THIS SPECIALISSUE CONTRIBUTETO A BROAD ANALYSIS of women's engagement with militarism, war, and peace, focusing on intersecting forms of inequality and violence based on gender, race, class, and nation, as well as environmental destruction. The eight authors conceptualize peace not as the absence of war or conflict, but as requiring a transformation of social relations toward a being-in-common informed by justice, ethical solidarity, sustainable development, restoration of the physical environment, and genuine security.

Despite our engagement in and celebration of incremental, often piecemeal successes, including, for example, United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolutions 1325, 1820, and 1888, as feminists we critically debate the limitations of such efforts and the challenges still before us. We seek to de-essentialize constructions of women as peacemakers toward a more complex understanding of intersectional identities and emphasize the importance of attending to local, regional, national, and transnational contexts in our theory and praxis. Importantly, despite their contextual diversity, the articles included here all focus on disrupting the idea of peace as a static condition and engage demilitarization as a process that is grounded in very different realities. The specialissue emphasizes interpersonal and group relations developed in specific contexts, addressing women's actions in Britain, China, Guatemala, Korea, and the United States, as well as transnational efforts that go beyond nation-states. It practices Gloria Andalzua's (2002) affirmation of nos-otras (we-others), arguing that the synergy among us reflects our diversities while telling a wider story of women's initiatives and actions toward generating and sustaining everyday security.

In this work, we revisited some of the unresolved theoretical and political debates circulating among women seeking peace, including, for example, freedom versus peace; women as essentially peaceable; women as victims rather than actors and perpetrators; etc. Contributors are activists, advocates, organizers, and scholars who live in or accompany local communities in various settings of conflict, demilitarization, and/or peacemaking. Together we elucidate how social movements, grassroots organizations, and/or political campaigns oppose specific practices as well as broad systems of militarism and processes of militarization. As editors, we draw on Urie Bronfenbrenner's (1994) ecological model of human development, which incorporates macro-, meso-, and microlevel systems. Any or all of these levels may serve as a point of entry toward understanding and/or transformative action. Each author demonstrates how theory and praxis toward genuine security and peacemaking travel across these three systems.

Expanding on everyday definitions of war as armed conflict, Rebecca Johnson emphasizes the "slow violence" of environmental degradation, demonstrating how petrocapitalist, transnational corporations--supported and enabled by nation-states and local governments--wreak havoc on environmental and human health in many nations. By focusing on the corrosive practices of such companies both locally and transnationally, Johnson argues that peace can only be achieved through environmental, economic, gender, and racial justice. She illuminates gaps in current conversations, coalitions, and alliances concerned with peacemaking that often fail to center issues of racism, environmental injustice, and Indigenous struggles for the earth within their discourses and praxes. Margo Okazawa-Rey unpacks her journey of self-discovery with regard to nationality and its importance for her identity as a mixed-race woman of color. She draws on her own and her students' experiences of working "in the belly of the beast" to illustrate the risks of failing to think about nation and bridge domestic and foreign policies and practices in working for peace with justice. Suzy Kim revisits a longstanding and polarized tension between the East's prioritizing of peace and the West's prioritizing of freedom. Drawing on the ideas of British historian Edward Palmer Thompson, she highlights the neglected history of women practicing peace as method to resituate peace as a verb rather than an object. Also, she draws on the South Korean feminist anthropologist Cho Haejoang's idea of survival politics to urge us to engage in peacemaking processes by striving to realize our full humanity through being-in-common.

Women's creativity in resisting nuclear arms and in forging antimilitarist coalitions grounded in...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT