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By J. Hoffman

Gender and Sovereignty seeks to reconstruct the thought of sovereignty in post-patriarchal society. Sovereignty is associated with emancipation, and an try is made to loose either ideas from the static features which derive from the Enlightenment and an uncritical view of the country. To reconstruct sovereignty, we needs to glance past the kingdom. Sovereignty, analysed in relational phrases, turns into aligned with autonomy and self-determination in an international within which women and men can basically be sovereign after they empower each other.

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Extra info for Gender and Sovereignty: Feminism, the State and International Relations

Sample text

However like hunger, sexuality is not wholly divorced from nature. Sex is also linked to bodily structures ± and men and women are obviously differentiated physiologically. In this sense sex is not an activity but a manifestation of biological difference, and therefore is natural in character. Of course our biologies are influenced by the way we live ± either positively or negatively ± and men can become women and women men through surgical operations which change their sexual organs. Our social activities impact upon nature in general (hence understandable concerns about the way we relate to the `environment').

The concept of the individual as unique and yet socially connected, requires an emphasis upon relationships which challenges the abstract character of liberalism and patriarchal modes of thought. But the distinctions between force and coercion, government and the state, which I will seek to develop, can only be rooted in a relational argument, if feminism, emancipation and of course sovereignty itself are reconstructed as momentum concepts. Conclusion Feminist theory must explicitly reconstruct.

But this assumes that the distinction can only be of an absolute kind, and it implies that those making the distinction must adopt an empiricist methodology. Not so! There is a link between ontology and epistemology (our material being and how we view it) (Prokhovnik, 1999, p. 6). It is precisely because the distinction between sex and gender is both absolute and relative, that it points to an inter-penetration between the social and the biological, so that our notion of the body is itself constructed as well as natural.

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