Watermelons and weddings: Making women, peace and security ‘relevant’ at NATO through (re)telling stories of success

HURLEY, Matthew (2018). Watermelons and weddings: Making women, peace and security ‘relevant’ at NATO through (re)telling stories of success. Global Society.

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Official URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13600...
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1080/13600826.2018.1440195


This article analyses how the Women, Peace and Security agenda is made ‘relevant’ at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) through the (re)telling of stories of success: one concerning watermelon and the other, the preparation for a wedding. The article provides a critical examination of how 'new' gender norms, in particular a 'gender perspective', are normalised within NATO, through narratives and storytelling, in ways that are political and problematic. The article highlights the lack of detailed gender analysis within official accounts, showing how the stories are used to communicate an understanding of success and progress that is less concerned with the detail of the actual events, but serves to develop a string of signifiers around ‘gender’, ‘women’ and ‘security’ which are familiar and relatable to their intended audience. The article offers a cautionary tale of how an organisation in the early stages of developing a ‘gender agenda’ can reinforce an essentialised and reductive understanding of the role and place of women within the military.

Item Type: Article
Departments - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities > Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/13600826.2018.1440195
Depositing User: Matthew Hurley
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2018 15:53
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 03:36
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/18823

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