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Cover US Foreign Policy

20. Gender  

Sylvia Bashevkin

This chapter examines how gender shapes US foreign policy. It first considers key perspectives that can be drawn from the work of Cynthia Enloe and other feminist writers before discussing a series of empirical questions that follow from this background; for example, when and how women entered the main institutions of American foreign policy; how female diplomats responded to discriminatory attitudes and practices; in what ways women leaders have influenced the directions of US foreign policy; and how sexual orientation politics figure in State Department actions. The chapter goes on to highlight strong resistance to efforts to integrate women’s rights and gay rights claims in the content of US foreign policy.