Theorising feminist foreign policy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A growing number of states including Canada, Norway and Sweden have adopted gender and feminist-informed approaches to their foreign and security policies. The overarching aim of this article is to advance a theoretical framework that can enable a thoroughgoing study of these developments. Through a feminist lens, we theorise feminist foreign policy arguing that it is, to all intents and purposes, ethical and argue that existing studies of ethical foreign policy and international conduct are by and large gender-blind. We draw upon feminist international relations (IR) theory and the ethics of care to theorise feminist foreign policy and to advance an ethical framework that builds on a relational ontology, which embraces the stories and lived experiences of women and other marginalised groups at the receiving end of foreign policy conduct. By way of conclusion, the article highlights the novel features of the emergent framework and investigates in what ways it might be useful for future analyses of feminist foreign policy. Moreover, we discuss its potential to generate new forms of theoretical insight, empirical knowledge and policy relevance for the refinement of feminist foreign policy practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-39
JournalInternational Relations
Issue number1
Early online date2018 Nov 27
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
  • Gender Studies

Free keywords

  • dialogue
  • ethics of care
  • feminist foreign policy
  • feminist theory
  • gender
  • inclusion
  • international ethics


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