Feminist experiences of 'studying up': encounters with international institutions

Holmes, Georgina; Wright, Katharine A. M.; Basu, Soumita; Hurley, Matthew; de Almagro, Maria Martin; Guerrina, Roberta and Cheng, Christine (2019). Feminist experiences of 'studying up': encounters with international institutions. Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 47(2) pp. 210–230.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0305829818806429


This article makes the case for feminist IR to build knowledge of international institutions. It emerges from a roundtable titled ?Challenges and Opportunities for Feminist IR: Researching Gendered Institutions? which took place at the International Studies Association Annual Convention in Baltimore in 2017. Here, we engage in self-reflexivity, drawing upon our discussion to consider what it means for feminist scholars to ?study up?. We argue that feminist IR conceptions of narratives and the everyday make a valuable contribution to feminist institutionalist understandings of the formal and informal. We also draw attention to the value of postcolonial approaches, and multi-site analysis of international institutions for creating a counter-narrative to hegemonic accounts emerging from both the institutions themselves, and scholars studying them without a critical feminist perspective. In so doing, we draw attention to the salience of considering not just what we study as feminist International Relations scholars but how we study it.

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