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Gender and Diplomacy (Hardcover)
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This volume provides a detailed discussion of the role of women in diplomacy and crafts a global narrative of understanding relating to their current and historical role within it.
Over the last century alone, the majority of Ministries of Foreign Affairs (MFAs) have experienced seismic shifts in their policies concerning the entry, role and power positions of women within their diplomatic institutions at large. Yet despite this metamorphosis, the role of women in the diplomatic sphere continues to remain overlooked, and placed on the fringes of diplomatic scholarship. This book seeks to change this. This volume moves beyond the simple acknowledgment of women entering the diplomatic corps, and seeks to begin a much needed discussion and analysis regarding the type of role women have played and continue to play within the diplomatic sphere, the individual and collective power they hold, their agency for change and the obstacles which continue to remain within diplomacy’s institutions at large. To achieve this aim, the volume chooses to view and frame the experiences of women, and the institutions they served and serve, through a number of timely, relevant, and inter-related concepts; agency, gender, institutional power, and leadership. These concepts provide a set of unique analytical lenses in which the reader can view and examine the historical and present experiences of women in the diplomatic sphere, and do so in a manner, which is structured and conceptual. Furthermore by examining these concepts across time, this volume has the power to then assess how women have sought to reconcile their experiences and understanding within them, and across varying time frames. Consequently, each chapter has a focus, or a link to, at least one of these conceptual lenses, with their chapter discussion contributing to the overall dialogue on these concepts, which is continuously taking place throughout the work.
The work brings together established scholars and experienced diplomatic practitioners in an attempt to tell some of this unfinished story of women in diplomacy, in a context which is historical, theoretical and empirical. The contributors are varied in their style of writing, expression of form and professional experiences, with this variation reflecting the diversity of contributions as a whole. This diversity is a highly important aspect of seeking to bridge the academic-practitioner divide, so often an obstacle to coherent and connected discussion within the realm of diplomatic studies. Indeed, it is only by bringing together the global and diverse voices of women within the diplomatic sphere, voices which have different cultural perspectives, diverse national priorities and individual challenges, can we then begin to fully appreciate and reimagine women as equal participants in the structures, processes and outcomes of 21st century diplomatic practice.