Laura McEnaney

Although historians have been studying gender for several decades, the study of gender in American foreign policy is a relatively new phenomenon. Indeed, the proliferation of scholarship on this topic in the 1990s suggests that gender has become a permanent and theoretically significant category of analysis for the historian of American foreign relations. It is important to note, however, that this approach has generated lively debate among many historians. In journals and on-line forums and at conferences, scholars at the beginning of the twenty-first century continued to argue about the degree to which gender has affected the creation, conduct, and outcomes of international diplomacy.


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Cohn, Carol. "Sex and Death in the Rational World of Defense Intellectuals." Signs 12 (winter 1987): 687โ€“718. A gender analysis of nuclear strategy debates.

Cooke, Miriam, and Angela Woollacott, eds. Gendering War Talk. Princeton, N.J., 1993. An interdisciplinary collection on gender and war.

Costigliola, Frank. "'Unceasing Pressure for Penetration': Gender, Pathology, and Emotion in George Kennan's Formation of the Cold War." Journal of American History 83 (March 1997): 1309โ€“1339.

โ€”โ€”. "The Nuclear Family: Tropes of Gender and Pathology in the Western Alliance." Diplomatic History 21 (spring 1997): 163โ€“183.

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D'Emilio, John. "Bonds of Oppression: Gay Life in the 1950s." In his Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities. Chicago, 1983. Discusses links between anticommunism and containment of sexuality.

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โ€”โ€”. Bananas, Beaches, and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics. Berkeley, Calif., 1989. A useful primer on gender and foreign relations.

Goedde, Petra. "From Villains to Victims: Fraternization and the Feminization of Germany, 1945โ€“1947." Diplomatic History 23 (winter 1999): 1โ€“20.

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โ€”โ€”. "Revisiting Dollar Diplomacy: Narratives of Money and Manliness." Diplomatic History 22 (spring 1998): 155โ€“176. A useful discussion of gender, critical theory, and diplomatic history.

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Swerdlow, Amy. Women Strike for Peace: Traditional Motherhood and Radical Politics in the 1960s. Chicago, 1993.

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Wexler, Laura. Tender Violence: Domestic Visions in an Age of U.S. Imperialism. Chapel Hill, N.C., 2000. A study of female photojournalists and the gendered representations of war and foreign relations.

See also Cold War Evolution and Interpretations ; Pacifism ; Peace Movements .

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