Foreign policy analysis and feminism

Karin Aggestam, Jacqui True

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


There are two contrary trends in contemporary global politics. There is a striking advancement of pro-gender norms in foreign policy where gender equality has become a salient issue. At the same time, there is a growing number of countries expressing a foreign policy that is characterized by misogyny and populism, which is eroding women’s rights globally. Yet, there are nearly no studies in foreign policy that seek to address and explain these gendered dynamics. This chapter forges a new direction in foreign policy analysis (FPA) by drawing on feminist theory to explain change and continuity in foreign policy. It advances a feminist approach to the agency-structure debate in FPA and elaborates on three mutually constitutive levels: (a) gendered leadership; (b) gendered institutions between and among states; and (c) gendered structures. The chapter concludes with suggesting three directions to be taken in research to advance scholarship on feminist theory and FPA.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Foreign Policy Analysis
EditorsJuliet Kaarbo, Cameron G. Thies
Place of PublicationOxford UK
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780191878961
ISBN (Print)9780198843061
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • feminist theory
  • pro-gender equality norms
  • foreign policy analysis
  • gendered multi-level games
  • transnational women movements

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