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Hedström, J. (2022). Militarized social reproduction: women’s labour and parastate armed conflict. Critical Military Studies, 8(1), 58-76
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Militarized social reproduction: women’s labour and parastate armed conflict
2022 (English)In: Critical Military Studies, ISSN 2333-7486, E-ISSN 2333-7494, Vol. 8, no 1, p. 58-76Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article brings together research on civil wars and militarization with feminist scholarship on the household in order to push theorization on civil wars in new directions. By introducing the concept of militarized social reproduction to capture the multiple ways in which women's everyday labour in both the household and the army underpins militarization processes, this article proposes that parastate armed conflict is enabled, at least in part, through women's everyday gendered activities. It suggests that this labour is particularly important in parastates experiencing long-term civil wars. In these settings, public funds, to the extent that they exist, are diverted from social welfare services to enable the expansion, or simply survival, of military power. Under these circumstances, the duty to reproduce both the individual soldier and the army writ-large is placed disproportionally on the shoulders of women. Several general types of this gendered labour, though interrelated, can be distinguished from one another through a typology of militarized social reproduction. This typology considers not only physical labour, but also the emotional and symbolic labour used to resource and legitimize armed conflict in non-material ways. It is therefore not only the physical effects of the labour that have consequences for the war, but also the ways in which women are called upon to symbolize and legitimize warfare. Such a focus enables important insights into the nexus formed between the everyday space of the gendered household and conflict, and furthers knowledge about the relationship of gender to different modalities of militarization.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxfordshire: Taylor & Francis Group, 2022
Keywords
Social reproduction, civil war, feminist political economy, parastates, militarization
National Category
Gender Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-79577 (URN)10.1080/23337486.2020.1715056 (DOI)2-s2.0-85078627323 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2020-01-30 Created: 2020-01-30 Last updated: 2023-12-08Bibliographically approved
Hedström, J. & Cardenas, M. (2021). Armed Resistance and Feminist Activism. In: Tarja Väyrynen, Swati Parashar, Élise Féron, Catia Cecilia Confortini (Ed.), Routledge Handbook of Feminist Peace Research: (pp. 148-156). Routledge
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Armed Resistance and Feminist Activism
2021 (English)In: Routledge Handbook of Feminist Peace Research / [ed] Tarja Väyrynen, Swati Parashar, Élise Féron, Catia Cecilia Confortini, Routledge, 2021, p. 148-156Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This chapter introduces readers to women’s activism within the context of conflict. Drawing on feminist literature and case studies detailing women’s activism, we show how an awareness of unequal gender dynamics in the context of conflict has propelled women from diverse backgrounds and with different aims to collaborate. We use the example of a multiethnic women’s movement in Myanmar to illustrate how both the rejection of, as well as support for, war can be understood as manifestations of feminist activism.  Structural and systematic gender inequalities have compelled a cross-section of actors, sharing similar objectives but differing in their approaches, to challenge militarized patriarchal institutions and norms. This suggests that under some circumstances, women-led pacifist activism and armed resistance co-exist, warranting further research on this topic. We therefore urge feminist research on women’s activism to expand their research agenda to analyse under what circumstances and in what ways women-led coalitions for peace and in armed resistance add to, rather than detract from each other’s aims and objectives. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2021
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-81115 (URN)9780367109844 (ISBN)
Available from: 2020-04-12 Created: 2020-04-12 Last updated: 2021-01-07Bibliographically approved
Hedström, J. (2021). On Violence, the Everyday, and Social Reproduction: Agnes and Myanmar’s Transition Peacebuilding. Peacebuilding, 9(4), 371-386
Open this publication in new window or tab >>On Violence, the Everyday, and Social Reproduction: Agnes and Myanmar’s Transition Peacebuilding
2021 (English)In: Peacebuilding, ISSN 2164-7259, E-ISSN 2164-7267, Vol. 9, no 4, p. 371-386Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article brings into conversation feminist political economy with critical studies in peace and conflict to examine how Myanmar’s transition is experienced though everyday gendered sites and with what consequences for women living in rural areas of the country, where lives are shaped as much by the actuality as the possibility of violence. The everyday is where these insecurities are felt, feared and negotiated. To illustrate this, I draw on the experiences of Agnes, a woman growing up within the context of prolonged conflict in rural Myanmar.  I demonstrate how Agnes’s home, and her bodily labour and vulnerability, is at the locus of a gendered political economy (re)produced both within the home and at the national level. I show how the transition has for women like Agnes resulted in a continuation of insecurity, challenging the legitimacy of Myanmar’s neoliberal reform initiatives as a meaningful pathway towards sustainable peace and security. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2021
Keywords
Social Reproduction, Feminist Political Economy, Myanmar, Peace & Conflict, Transition, Kayah/Karenni State
National Category
Gender Studies
Research subject
Gender Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-82042 (URN)10.1080/21647259.2021.1881329 (DOI)000733625800001 ()2-s2.0-85100923133 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, M16-0297:1_RJSwedish Research Council, 2015-01756
Available from: 2020-05-27 Created: 2020-05-27 Last updated: 2022-01-13Bibliographically approved
Hedström, J. & Phyo, Z. M. (2020). Friendship and Intimacy in Research on Conflict: Implications for Feminist Ethics. In: : . Paper presented at 9th Annual IFJP conference: Subversions and Solidarities through Feminist Collaborations and Crossings, Vanderbilt University, Tennessee, USA, March 6-7, 2020.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Friendship and Intimacy in Research on Conflict: Implications for Feminist Ethics
2020 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

What does it mean to do research imbued with a feminist commitment to justice in contexts of long-lasting conflicts? Drawing on the authors’ experience of researching everyday peace in conflict-affected parts of Myanmar, this paper explores issues around trust, obligation, and ethics arising from the relationship between researcher, research brokers, and research participants. Taking the form of a conversation between the principal researcher (an academic from and based in the Global North) and the research-broker (an activist from and based in the Global South), we together reflect on what obligations a commitment to feminist struggles impose on research and how, and in what ways, previous relationships affect research ethics and the production of knowledge. We suggest that intimacy and trust can generate new knowledge about gender and war and aid a feminist research practice attentive to positionality, power, and ethics, particularly in communities with lasting experiences of war-time trauma and insecurity.

Keywords
Methodology, Feminist Ethics, Friendship, Conflict, Myanmar, Empathy
National Category
Gender Studies Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Gender Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-80268 (URN)
Conference
9th Annual IFJP conference: Subversions and Solidarities through Feminist Collaborations and Crossings, Vanderbilt University, Tennessee, USA, March 6-7, 2020
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2015-01756
Available from: 2020-02-28 Created: 2020-02-28 Last updated: 2020-08-10Bibliographically approved
Hedström, J. & Phyo, Z. M. (2020). Friendship, intimacy, and power in research on conflict: implications for feminist ethics. International feminist journal of politics, 22(5), 765-777
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Friendship, intimacy, and power in research on conflict: implications for feminist ethics
2020 (English)In: International feminist journal of politics, ISSN 1461-6742, E-ISSN 1468-4470, Vol. 22, no 5, p. 765-777Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2020
Keywords
Feminist ethics, conflict, friendship, empathy, methodology
National Category
Gender Studies Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-88784 (URN)10.1080/14616742.2020.1846579 (DOI)000596859500010 ()2-s2.0-85097366794 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, M16-0297: 1Swedish Research Council, 2015-01756
Available from: 2021-01-22 Created: 2021-01-22 Last updated: 2021-01-22Bibliographically approved
Hedström, J. & Olivius, E. (2020). Insecurity, Dispossession, Depletion: Women’s Experiences of Post‐War Development in Myanmar. European Journal of Development Research, 32(2), 379-403
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Insecurity, Dispossession, Depletion: Women’s Experiences of Post‐War Development in Myanmar
2020 (English)In: European Journal of Development Research, ISSN 0957-8811, E-ISSN 1743-9728, Vol. 32, no 2, p. 379-403Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article explores the gendered dynamics of Myanmar’s post-war economic reforms through an analysis of women’s experiences of development in Kayah (Karenni) state. In Myanmar, ceasefires and a reduction of armed violence combined with state-driven economic liberalization reforms are conditioned by, but also contribute to remake, gendered relations of power, privilege and marginalization. While new land legislation and development projects have contributed to loss of land and livelihoods among rural populations in general, our study demonstrates that women living in conflict-affected border areas are disproportionally affected. Drawing on interviews and participant observation, we show how this is directly related to an overarching gendered politi- cal economy defined by legacies of conflict, discrimination and uneven processes of development, which positions women as particularly vulnerable to new forms of inse- curity, dispossession and depletion generated by post-war economic transformations. We argue that the political and economic legacies of war in the state has produced a gendered division of labor that positions women as responsible for unpaid and under- paid informal and social reproductive labor, weakens women’s access to land, and results in physical, material, and emotional depletion. Through this focus, our study adds to research on development and economic restructuring in post-war contexts in general, and to emergent scholarship on Myanmar’s economic reforms in particular.

Abstract [fr]

Cet article explore la dynamique de genre des réformes économiques de l’après-guerre au Myanmar à travers une analyse des expériences de développement des femmes dans l’État de Kayah (Karenni). Au Myanmar, les cessez-le-feu et la réduction de la violence armée, combinés à des réformes de libéralisation économique impulsées par l’État, sont conditionnés par les relations de pouvoir fondées sur le sexe, par les privilèges et la marginalisation, mais ils y contribuent également. Alors que la nouvelle législation foncière et les projets de développement ont contribué de façon générale à la perte de terres et de moyens de subsistance de la part des populations rurales, notre étude montre que les femmes vivant dans les zones frontalières touchées par les conflits sont affectées de manière disproportionnée. À partir d’entretiens et d’observations émanant des participants, nous montrons comment cela s’inscrit directement dans le cadre d’une économie politique globale basée sur le genre, qui tire son héritage du conflit, de la discrimination et des processus de développement inégaux, et qui rend les femmes particulièrement vulnérables aux nouvelles formes d’insécurité, d’expropriation et d’appauvrissement produites par les transformations économiques d’après-guerre. Nous soutenons que les héritages politiques et économiques de la guerre dans l’État ont produit une division du travail fondée sur le sexe qui rend les femmes responsables du travail informel reproductif et social, non rémunéré et sous-payé, qui affaiblit l’accès des femmes à la terre et qui se traduit par un appauvrissement physique, matériel et émotionnel. Grâce à cet objectif, notre étude vient s’ajouter à l’ensemble de la recherche sur le développement et la restructuration économique dans les contextes d’après-guerre en général, et à la connaissance émergente sur les réformes économiques du Myanmar en particulier.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Palgrave Macmillan, 2020
Keywords
Post-war economic development, Gender, Feminist political economy, Informal labor, Land rights, Myanmar, Kayah/Karenni state
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies) Gender Studies
Research subject
Gender Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-80895 (URN)10.1057/s41287-020-00255-2 (DOI)000521910700001 ()2-s2.0-85082817217 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2020-03-28 Created: 2020-03-28 Last updated: 2021-01-15Bibliographically approved
Hedström, J. (2020). Rebel Politics: A Political Sociology of Armed Struggle in Myanmar’s Borderlands [Review]. Perspectives on Politics, 18(3), 1003-1004
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Rebel Politics: A Political Sociology of Armed Struggle in Myanmar’s Borderlands
2020 (English)In: Perspectives on Politics, ISSN 1537-5927, E-ISSN 1541-0986, Vol. 18, no 3, p. 1003-1004Article, book review (Other academic) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge University Press, 2020
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-82041 (URN)10.1017/S1537592720001966 (DOI)000566984800096 ()
Note

Brenner, David, 1986-. - Rebel politics : a political sociology of armed struggle in Myanmar's borderlands / David Brenner.. - 2019[2019]. - ISBN: 9781501740084

Available from: 2020-05-27 Created: 2020-05-27 Last updated: 2020-09-28Bibliographically approved
Olivius, E. & Hedström, J. (2020). Young women’s leadership in conflict: Crossing borders in Myanmar (1ed.). In: Katrina Lee-Koo, Lesley Pruitt (Ed.), Young Women and Leadership: . London & New York: Routledge
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Young women’s leadership in conflict: Crossing borders in Myanmar
2020 (English)In: Young Women and Leadership / [ed] Katrina Lee-Koo, Lesley Pruitt, London & New York: Routledge, 2020, 1Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Multiple armed conflicts in Myanmar have resulted in long-term, large-scale forced displacement, humanitarian crises, and immense human suffering. However, the borderlands of Myanmar’s neighbouring countries have also provided political space for the mobilization of diverse forms of oppositional politics, including armed resistance, human rights documentation, alternative news reporting on the situation in Myanmar, and international networking and lobbying.1 In particular, since the 1990s these borderlands, most notably the Thai-Myanmar border areas, have seen the emergence of a vibrant and outspoken multi-ethnic women’s movement.

In this chapter, we explore how young women activists from Myanmar have been able to carve out new spaces and forms of leadership while in exile in Thailand. From its inception, the border-based women’s movement made leadership training – specifically targeting young women – a key feature. We examine the impact of these training programmes on the lives of women activists, and trace how graduates of these programmes have moved on to lead in ways that have created social and political change within exiled oppositional politics and diaspora communities in Thailand. We analyse how the recent return of exiled activists and oppositional groups to Myanmar reshapes the conditions for young women’s leadership, presenting formerly exiled activists with new challenges as well as new avenues for leadership.

Our analysis illustrates the political potential of border-crossing in several senses. In a spatial sense, we demonstrate how the diasporic, transnational political space in Thailand enabled young women to challenge age and gender norms and hierarchies to a degree previously unimagined, making young women leaders a significant force in Burmese diasporic politics. We note the importance of international advocacy and transnational networking to the growing recognition of young women as effective leaders, understanding this as another form of border-crossing. However, on returning to Myanmar the political space for young women’s leadership is (again) reconfigured; accord- ingly, the effectiveness of leadership strategies and styles established in exile are reconsidered. In a conceptual sense, our analysis illuminates how young women activists have moved across boundaries between public and private leadership and formal and informal leadership. We highlight how the strategic deployment of women’s reproductive duties in the private sphere have created opportunities for women’s participation in the public sphere, for example in refugee camps and ethnic minority armed organizations. In the nationwide ceasefire process, women have combined informal advocacy with formal positions as leaders of women’s groups with formal positions as leaders of women’s groups. We argue that in skilfully moving across these conceptual boundaries, young women activists affect social and political change. Situating border-crossing as a key feature of young women’s leader- ship in this context, we thus contribute to theorizing the character and impact of young women’s leadership.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London & New York: Routledge, 2020 Edition: 1
Series
Routledge Studies in Gender and Global Politics
National Category
Gender Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-81114 (URN)978-0-367-20435-8 (ISBN)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2015-01756
Available from: 2020-04-08 Created: 2020-04-08 Last updated: 2020-04-23Bibliographically approved
Hedström, J. (2019). Confusion, Seduction, Failure: Emotions as Reflexive Knowledge in Conflict Settings. International Studies Review, 21(4), 662-677
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Confusion, Seduction, Failure: Emotions as Reflexive Knowledge in Conflict Settings
2019 (English)In: International Studies Review, ISSN 1521-9488, E-ISSN 1468-2486, Vol. 21, no 4, p. 662-677Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article highlights the influence of emotions, affective experiences, and rumors on the construction of knowledge within research on conflict and in international politics, as well as within the research process itself. Drawing from fieldwork undertaken in a conflict zone in Myanmar, it suggests that academic knowledge production practices are informed both by the (violent) context in which research is undertaken and by the demands of the discipline to produce a scientifically accepted piece of research. It proposes that attention to emotions may facilitate strong objectivity (Harding 1992) by foregrounding the relationship between research participants, researchers, and the broader research (institutional and immediate) contexts. It introduces the term “rumors-as-affect” as a means to discuss how affective atmospheres or events in the research environments inform research. Three interview situations are presented, in which different emotional reactions are highlighted, focusing on “confusion and guilt”; “seduction”; and finally, “failure and ignorance.” These events illustrate how, in recognizing the role emotions and affective atmospheres play in research on conflict and in international politics (cf. Crawford 2014; Hutchison and Bleiker 2014; Ross 2013), researchers may begin to do justice to our representations of what is encountered in the field and how knowledge is constructed within the discipline.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford University Press, 2019
Keywords
affect, conflict, emotions, Kachin, methodology, Myanmar
National Category
Political Science Gender Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-79579 (URN)10.1093/isr/viy063 (DOI)000510474200006 ()2-s2.0-85070525050 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2020-01-30 Created: 2020-01-30 Last updated: 2023-12-08Bibliographically approved
(2019). Gender in the transition: Feminist Politics, Resistance and Intersectionality in Myanmar. Paper presented at 10th EuroSEAS conference, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany, September 10-13, 2019.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gender in the transition: Feminist Politics, Resistance and Intersectionality in Myanmar
2019 (English)Other (Other academic)
National Category
Gender Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-81757 (URN)
Conference
10th EuroSEAS conference, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany, September 10-13, 2019
Note

Elisabeht Olivius och Jenny Hedström är panelmedlemmar vid en session med presentation av papers.

Available from: 2020-05-08 Created: 2020-05-08 Last updated: 2021-03-25Bibliographically approved
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ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-9535-3276

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