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<em>Gender, Justice, and the Wars in Iraq: A Feminist Reformulation of Just War Theory</em>

Gender, Justice, and the Wars in Iraq: A Feminist Reformulation of Just War Theory

Book, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

May 2006

Author: Laura E. Sjoberg, Former Joint Research Fellow, International Security Program and the Women and Public Policy Program, 2005–2006

Ordering Information for this publication

Belfer Center Programs or Projects: International Security



Gender, Justice, and the Wars in Iraq offers a feminist critique and reconstruction of just war theory. It points out gender biases in the just war tradition and suggests alternative jus ad bellum and jus in bello standards that emphasize women, political marginality, and empathy. Laura Sjoberg applies this feminist just war theory to analyze the wars in Iraq since the end of the Cold War—the First Gulf War, the war of sanctions, and the Second Gulf War. By examining international political discourse from and about Iraq, it shows where war generally and just war specifically are gendered. Through the stories of key just war characters like Jessica Lynch, this book reveals where women are omitted and subordinated in global politics. Sjoberg suggests that dialogue and empathy replace righteousness in just war thinking for the good of human safety everywhere and concludes with alternative visions of Gulf War policies, inspired by feminist just war theory.

Dr. Laura Sjoberg was a postdoctoral research fellow at the International Security Program and the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

Praise for Gender, Justice, and the Wars in Iraq :

"Sjoberg has developed her dissertation, a feminist analysis of the Iraq wars, into a vibrant addition to the just war literature. . . . Recommended."—Choice

"A new and distinctive feminist voice on war! Sjoberg grabs hold of the trickiest issues of justice and war making, as well as war avoiding, and shakes everything up. I especially welcome her use of empathetic cooperation to re-frame feminist thinking on war. This rigorous and reflective study will be a benchmark work for years to come."
Christine Sylvester, Lancaster University

"What greater challenge for feminists than justifying war and the (gendered) violence it entails? Sjoberg bravely goes where others fear to tread and in this timely book delivers a persuasive account of the Iraqi wars and how feminisms enable more adequate and applicable just war theory."
Spike Peterson, University of Arizona


For more information about this publication please contact the ISP Program Coordinator at 617-496-1981.

For Academic Citation:

Sjoberg, Laura. Gender, Justice, and the Wars in Iraq: A Feminist Reformulation of Just War Theory. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., May 2006.

Document Length: 278 pp.

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