In Deploying Feminism, Stefanie von Hlatky tells the story of how the military has been delegated authority to advance gender equality as part of their activities, while simultaneously tackling increasingly complex threats. Drawing upon fieldwork and interviews, she illustrates how NATO, the world’s foremost alliance, has even embedded these ideas in the planning and execution of its missions. For troops deployed on NATO missions, this often means seeking out women in their operating area to improve intelligence gathering activities. While this helps the mission, does it help women and conflict-affected communities? Because of the military’s focus on operational effectiveness above all else, von Hlatky argues that there is a distortion of Women, Peace and Security norms, as gender equality concerns fade into the background. Looking at NATO’s ongoing operations in Iraq, Kosovo, and the Baltics, Deploying Feminism details the process by which Women, Peace and Security norms are militarized and put at the service of operational effectiveness. Further, it shows why an adjustment is necessary for gender equality to become a true planning priority.
About the speaker
Stéfanie von Hlatky is the Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Gender, Security, and the Armed Force and the Associate Dean (research) of the Faculty of Arts and Science at Queen’s University. Prior to joining Queen’s, she held positions at Georgetown University, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., Dartmouth College and ETH Zurich. Her research focuses on alliance politics, multinational operations and the Women, Peace and Security agenda. She has published two books with Oxford University Press, four edited volumes and over 40 articles and chapters on topics such as why and how democracies fight wars, how global norms affect military practices, and Canadian defence policy. Her latest book is titled Deploying Feminism: The Role of Gender in NATO Military Operations (Oxford University Press 2023).