Thursday, January 19, 2012

Men and Military: A new book from former WAPPP fellow Maya Eichler

Last year, Maya Eichler, a former joint WAPPP and Belfer Center Fellow spent her fellowship working on a book manuscript looking at the links between masculinity and a state's militarization, in the case of Post-Soviet Russia. Her new book entitled, "Militarizing Men: Gender, Conscription, and War in Post-Soviet Russia," is now available.

A state’s ability to maintain mandatory conscription and wage war rests on the idea that a “real man” is one who has served in the military. Yet masculinity has no inherent ties to militarism. The link between men and the military, argues Maya Eichler, must be produced and reproduced in order to fill the ranks, engage in combat, and mobilize the population behind war.

In the context of Russia’s post-communist transition and the Chechen wars, men’s militarization has been challenged and reinforced. Eichler uncovers the challenges by exploring widespread draft evasion and desertion, anti-draft and anti-war activism led by soldiers’ mothers, and the general lack of popular support for the Chechen wars. However, the book also identifies channels through which militarized gender identities have been reproduced. Eichler’s empirical and theoretical study of masculinities in international relations applies for the first time the concept of “militarized masculinity,” developed by feminist IR scholars, to the case of Russia.

Eichler, Maya. Militarizing Men: Gender, Conscription, and War in Post-Soviet Russia, Stanford University Press, forthcoming 2012.

Maya Eichler
Gender and International Security Fellow, joint with the International Security Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Maya Eichler joined WAPPP from the University of Southern California, where she held the Hayward R. Alker Postdoctoral Fellowship on the theme of Gender in Global Issues at the Center for International Studies. Her research focuses on gender and security issues, in particular on women's an men's roles in military institutions and processes of militarization. Maya has published in the International Feminist Journal of Politics and several edited volumes, and co-edited a special issue of the Austrian Journal of Political Science on “Counter/Terror/Wars: Feminist Perspectives” (no. 2, 2008). While a fellow at WAPPP, Maya focused on her book manuscript on "Gender, Conscription, and War in Post-Soviet Russia" as well as conduct research on a new project titled "Gender and Global Governance: The Privatization of Military Security." Previously, she was the recipient of the Human Security Doctoral Fellowship awarded by the Canadian Consortium on Human Security. In 2010, she was selected for the Jill Vickers Prize awarded by the Canadian Political Science Association for the best paper on gender and politics presented at its annual conference. Maya holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from York University (Toronto).

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